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Jeff ( -
Posted on Thursday, August 18, 2005 - 7:35 pm:   

Hi there. I've been recently contemplating joining the peace corps, but I came upon a concern that I was hoping someone here might be able to tell me more about.

I've heard through word-of-mouth that it can be exceedingly difficult (ie near impossible) for returned volunteers to get a secret or top secret security clearance. As a clearance would be very valuable to be me in future lines of work, this is very concerning to me.

Is there anyone on here who can tell me if this is true or not? A cursory inspection on the web showed that returned volunteers were not eligable to have any army intelligence jobs for five years after serving, but I'm wondering if the restriction extends to other (civilian) branches of the intelligence community.

Thanks for any help.
Anonymous ( -
Posted on Friday, September 23, 2005 - 9:48 pm:   


What have you heard is untrue. Clearances are difficult to obtain is a direct result of 9/11. Background investigations are more thorough and robust now than prior to 9/11. Secret clearances take up to two years and top secret clearances take up to five years.

I am an RPCV and has clearance but it did take almost 2 years.

I encourage you to pursue the Peace Corps. Keep track of your international travels during the Peace Corps as you will be asked to provide it in detail.
Anonymous (
Posted on Monday, July 31, 2006 - 10:31 pm:

Just something to consider. Look at the bottom this is something everyone needs to consider.
Mike Smitz (
Posted on Monday, October 08, 2007 - 8:29 am:   

Untrue. You will absolutely be restricted not only from obtaining a clearance, but from filling certain job functions. For example AR 140-192 states the following in sub-para j.

j. Applicants who are former member of the Peace Corps (such as volunteers, leaders and staff members) will not be assigned, attached, or detailed to an intelligence-type unit or position in the USAR. Persons who received Peace Corps training but did not go overseas with the Peace Corps are not considered former members of the Peace Corps. However, such persons will not be assigned duties in an MI field in and foreign country for which trained.

There is/are good reason(s) for this. It is for the protection of both the classified information and the Peace Corps. The PC has enough problem with host nations thinking that their volunteers are working for a 3 letter without this sort of thing. If you want to join the PC, join, but a TS is not in your future.
Anonymous ( -
Posted on Monday, January 07, 2008 - 3:56 pm:   

I'm in the military and was denied entry into the Intelligence Branch due to my prior Peace Corps Service (Costa Rica 1990-92). However, I do have a TS clearance and just had my 5 year review closed and awaiting final clearance by the Army Central Clearance Facility. So yes, you can get a TS but not in the intelligence field.
Anonymous (
Posted on Wednesday, March 26, 2008 - 11:41 am:   

I am also in the Military and I do enlistment processing. We have restrictions on the Previous Peace Corps Members, as someone said, the fact you worked abroad could mean you have contacts that would love to have your information if you worked in Military intelligence. Not to question someones loyalties or intergrity, however if you aren't placed into a position that could result in those compromises then they can't happen. It's to protect you and National Security both.
Unregistered guest
Posted From:
Posted on Monday, February 17, 2014 - 1:53 pm:   

has this issue been explored in court? I would like to look up the cites

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