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Marsha411JD, Lawyer
Category: Military Law
Satisfied Customers: 20301
Experience:  Licensed attorney and former Navy JAG serving ashore, afloat and at the OJAG
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Hello, I currently work in IT and was thinking about taking

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Hello, I currently work in IT and was thinking about taking a job for a government contractor. Up until now I just left my discharge as I failed myself but learned a lot in the process and moved on. However, before I go and start applying for a 'SECRET' security clearance I want to make sure I have all my ducks in a row to make sure that everything in black and white will allow me to obtain the clearance. Back in 2009 I received the following discharge: Box 24: Character of Service: Uncharacterized Box 25: Separation Authority: AR 635-200, Chap 11 Box 26: Separation Code: JGA Box 27: Reentry Code: 3 Box 28: Narrative Reason For Separation: Entry Level Performance and Conduct Form ATZJ-C-T-C under provision 1 states: "...missed mandatory training due to an injury. He was offered a newstart, but declined it. You have been provided with counseling and rehabilitation required by paragraph 11-4". My injury placed me in medhold for 178 hours as recorded on my red phase card. When I returned to my unit I was asked to restart and declined. Going over my records that is what is in black and white. I recall that I did go through the steps during recruitment to get my security clearance but want to know how to explain my discharge and if that would have any negative effects on reinstating or bringing my security clearance out of a dormant state. Thank you for your time and any help that you can provide. -Jeremy
Hello Jeremy,

Thank you for the information. Are you asking if this ELS discharge will keep you from obtaining a Secret clearance, or what specifically? Was there anything other than your injury that occurred prior to your separation? How did your injury occur? I am just trying to figure out why they used the "Entry Level Performance and Conduct" code instead of an injury code.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Hi Marsha,


Yes my main concern is if the ELS discharge will keep me from obtaining the Secret security clearance.


The injury was actually an illness. Basically my throat closed up on me and they listed a lot of possible causes. My take on it is this: During my enlistment my platoon didn't have a barracks to stay in, so we slept on the floor of another platoon's barracks. We had only two working shower heads in the barracks. Normally the 60 of us couldn't get a shower in the 10 minutes allotted so we just cleaned ourselves with water and rags from the sinks or if the sinks were taken up we used wet wipes. We tried to rotate who would be in the shower, sink or general area. However, a lot of fights occurred over who got to shower so I just used wet wipes as it took less time with arguing and possibly not even being able to get clean.


My guess is that poor hygiene and possible containment's in my airway possibly lead to my illness. I can't quite say that though because I was the only one who fell that ill. All I know is that one night I woke up and couldn't breathe. My guess is that fireguard called for help and I ended up in medhold for about a week to recover.


The only disciplinary action that happened was when I received a article 92 for disobeying a direct order. Essentially when I reported back to duty I did not have my PT mat. While in medhold my PT mat and some other supplies were "misplaced". I was told it was my duty to keep track of my items. I attempted to appeal that I couldn't keep track of items in platoon 3's barracks while I was in medhold. However, it was overturned on-the-spot and I was told to retrieve another PT mat from CQ.


I was also told I was a "non-trainer" at the time but still could do PT. My rifle and other gear was taken away or distributed to others. This also caused issues when preparing for going out to the range without the proper equipment. I did go to 'profile' PT every morning and would often try to join my platoon/company in the march to the DFAC to make sure that I was doing my best. I was often told to march with the other profiles so that's what I did. Eventually the time came for me to "restart".


I decided at that time I did not want to restart. I believe this is the reason for the ELS code. With medicine and time I did not have any further symptoms of passing out and did work to strengthen myself. However, I essentially lost motivation and refused the restart. Reflecting on it now I know that I could've made it through a second round but at the time this occurred I was frustrated and confused with the system.


Please let me know if this puts things in perspective as well as please not my primary concern is if this ELS code will prevent me from getting a 'Secret' security clearance.


Thank you,



Hello again Jeremy and thank you for your reply. I apologize for the delay in responding but I was away from my office for a few hours. In any event, your ELS separation should not interfere with you ultimately passing a secret security clearance. That said, because of the separation code that implies misconduct, which I assume is that you either had a a nonjudicial punishment or counseling entries in your record for the issues you described with the Article 92, etc., there will be a bit more time probably taken to look at your record. However, it is not an adverse discharge, so as I mentioned, it will ultimately not be the thing that would keep you from gaining your clearance.

You merely need to submit that you have an ELS discharge and if there is a place for explanation, which I can't remember since it has been a while since I looked at the form, you would describe why you were separated. I believe you have to submit a copy of your discharge form as well.

Please let me know if you need any clarification. I would be glad to assist you further if I can.
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