The Day I Was Denied Security Clearance

“Your mom goes to college.”
Kip, in “Napoleon Dynamite”

In 1988 I was at the Military Entrance Processing Station in Detroit along with a group of about 100 other guys taking our physicals in order to join the military. With so many people this was turning out to be an all day process so by the time it was my turn to take the eye exam (which I knew I would have no trouble passing since my vision had always been 20/20) I had already planned out what I was gonna do. The eye doctor began the process with me as he had begun it so many other times that day.

“Standing with your toes directly behind the line over there, please read line four aloud for me.”

I looked at line four. “A, M, D, S, V.”

“Very good, now read the next line.”

“M, 2, 6, L, W.”

“Outstanding. And finally line six.”

“V, X, 3, E, R.”

“Congratulations, you passed.”

The doctor began writing down the results, anticipating that the exam was over but I was still staring at the chart on the wall. Then I added: “Copyright 1981 Houghton Mifflin Publishing Company Walla Walla Washington.”

The eyedoctor actually turned around and did a double-take at the eye chart to see if I had actually read the copyright from 20 feet away (I hadn’t, it was a gag I stole from a Bugs Bunny episode but since he fell for it it was new to him.) We both got a good laugh about that. Long story short I passed my physical and I was soon on my way to the Marine Corps Recruit Training Depot at Camp Pendleton where I was to begin my career as a comic book superhero. You see, not much had changed with me between 8 and 18, I still had the goal to be a tough guy.

Anyone who knows the story knows that I went AWOL shortly after graduating bootcamp (yes I DID make it through boot camp, that’s not what killed me). But why, you must be asking at this point. Why did you go AWOL so soon after joining the Marines?

For the answer to this question we first must examine why I joined in the first place. The reason I enlisted is because, unlike my brother’s dad who didn’t work and only drank all the time until he finally attained hit-by-a-car-edness and died at age 33, I wanted to actually do something with my life. I didn’t have any specific desires on what I wanted to be so joining the military seemed like a good option because whatever you were gonna be would be decided for you. And whatever that was it was sure to be good (this wasn’t the usual shuck and jive they gave the recruits, my ASVAB scores were high. I qualified for a special MOS which would bring accelerated promotion and higher pay, more on that later.)

SO in boot camp everything was going along just swimmingly, I was up to like 20 pullups at a time and ultimately qualified rifle expert on the range, when for some reason, on a telephone call back to Lansing, I asked my ex-something to marry me. She immediately said yes and I was like fuck, yeah I said it but I thought it was just an expression. What to do now? The last few weeks of boot camp were kind of hilarious as I debated what I was gonna do as I was corresponding regularly not only with her but also with Tywonna, Angie Alan, and some chick named Celeste who was under the impression that I was gonna come back and be with her (the latter was a chick we’ve mentioned before as she was the principal in the famed story with a player henceforth known to us as Guy in the UNLV Jacket Classic, but I digress).

Anyway at some stage in my boot camp experience something happened that soured me on the military altogether. As predicted by my Marine Corps recruiter my testing scores got me sent to additional higher level testing. After I passed the second round of testing a group of us of about 8 (from three platoons I think) were sent to special screening. This would be the process where our backgrounds were going to be thoroughly searched and once we were given special security clearance we would get our kick-ass MOSes (Military Occupational Specialties). I was stoked. We were told the security screening would last all day and I was ready.

The person in charge began by saying “First of all, if there is any one of you here who has had either parent born outside the United States please raise your hand.”

My mother was born in Jalisco Mexico so I raised my hand. Some Asian guy also had his hand raised up.



“You can’t get a high level security clearance unless both your parents were born here.”

My high level military aspirations were thus summarily ended. I left there with the determination that my country didn’t trust me which made me a little less gung ho about the prospect of getting shot at. After all, would YOU get in a bar brawl to defend the honor of some chick who thinks you’re cheating anyway and is probably giving your friends blowjobs when you’re not looking? Certainly not. This is not to say I don’t love my country, I love this place profoundly and I wanted to serve it in the best capacity possible. But since they weren’t gonna let me do that I didn’t want to be there anymore.

So I resigned myself to the fact that I was gonna serve out my four year stint as a grunt (0300 basic infantry was the MOS I was assigned which just added insult to injury) but when I got back home and got married it turns out the thing I married started attempting suicide and when I requested and was denied emergency leave I went AWOL to go see about her. It turned out that the suicide attempts were just attention getting shallow cuts but since I was AWOL already I decided fuggit and eventually they caught up to me and the rest of the story is described here so there is no reason to repeat it. I think that’s about it, I just felt like clearing that up. So thanks for the catharsis bitches! I mean that as a term of endearment, I really do.

Oh, and just so we don’t have any misunderstandings like when “Layla” commented the other day that she can’t believe how cocky, arrogant, selfish, and jerky I am, I will clear this up right now: I’m really like that in real life, that’s not blog schtick. In my defense I will add that all my friends are conceited and jerky too, and that’s as it should be. One chick actually accosted me in a bar one night and said “Oh my GOD, your friend Gary is an AUSSHEOLE! (she had a British accent) And I was like yeah. . . Because I was waiting for her to finish. But that was it and I was like oh wow big surprise. What am I supposed to do? “Hey, yeah Gary, you can’t be my friend anymore because you degrade women.” NOT!

Yeah we all have that aussheole quality (it sounds so much more respectable when you say it with the accent) and we’re probably misogynists to boot. But we have good reason to be and that’s because it’s funny.

Get the jerkiness in!!!

21 Responses to “The Day I Was Denied Security Clearance”

  1. guy in the UNLV Jacket says:


  2. Phelps says:

    I would have been like, “Gary! High-five!” Oh, wait, I did do that.

    Remember: Side to side, ambulance ride. Up and down, no more frown. I hate it when people do a half-assed job.

  3. Phelps says:

    Oh yeah, and my grandfather had really high clearance. He was Westmorland’s crew chief in Nam. He had Top Secret clearance, and a couple of Top Secret with a Codewords. He did some training at Langley for something he still won’t talk about. (I might pump him for info on it over the 4th since he is about to die anyways. He just told me about his work on this last year, which might have been part of the Langley stuff.)

    I tell you that to tell you this. My mother told me about how he had a great big fight with my grandmother’s sister because he didn’t get a new asignment. He didn’t get the new assignment because he didn’t get security clearance. He> didn’t get clearance because about ten years earlier, she had lived next to a communist for six months. No shit. Not friends — she didn’t even talk to the guy (called him a wierdo.) Just lived next door.

  4. mexi says:


  5. R says:

    When I was a senior in high school I got an opportunity to work during the summer at the NSA. Unfortunately the fact that both my parents were born in Mexico precluded me from doing that.

    It sucks.

  6. mexi says:

    Yeah. There’s always the chance we’ll give the secrets to Mexico and they will storm up here on burros on a ass kicking motif.

  7. L says:

    GODDAMNIT. OF COURSE YOU ARE cocky, arrogant, selfish, and jerky! OTHERWISE I WOULDN’T KEEP CALLING YOU. You should have followed that statement up with “after she posted that, she immediatly called me up to arrange a booty call with an ass kicking motif.” I don’t like pussyfied boys. And further more why do you gotta say it like “layla’s comment”, why I gotta get blamed all the time?

  8. L says:

    p.s. I;m better than you are. pbthhhh (rasberry)

  9. mexi says:

    Hey I tried to call you yesterday! then I went and shot pool!

  10. L says:

    oops, my phone died…. you knew where I was at- you should have called the bar.

  11. guy in the UNLV Jacket says:

    Damn “L” wants Mexi to become a stalker

  12. mexi says:

    My sister called me at the bar once. That was really weird. I remember thinking that someone must have died for her to look me up there but then it turned out to be a totally unimportant reason.

  13. ElGrande says:

    I can relate to both scenerios! I was told I scored high on my ASVAB and much the same BS. The shit about my situation was they looked at me and said “smart guy, wrong ethnic”. Wrong ethnic? What’s that all about. MF’s i was a boyscout for 11 years! I already earned my security clearance, hahaha.
    Then to make things worse I married this psycho biach that didn’t want to be taken care of and now we are getting a divorce. the suck ass part of it we have three kids. pinche viejas!

  14. Detroit Dave says:

    It is not being cocky it is the truth. We read books! Stupid dumb ass people don’t!

    We keep our jobs that we worked hard in college to get! Stupid people smoke weed and fuck with hoochie mommas all day!

    Well I like fucking with Hoochie Momma’s myself—-scratch that!

    I have the right to be a asshole, cocky, selfish, Big Titty loving freak if I want to!!

    If people think I am a cocky asshole they are right. I earned this right! Add to that the fact that verbally most people out there don’t understand the joke when we tell it! Even when it is about them. Fuck regular people ! Be different ! Be a asshole and offend everyone and have the balls to back itup!!!

    Hold on seems like my anger management is fading!!!!!!!!!! Oh No!

  15. mexi says:

    Muhuhahahhaa! Welcome back to the Dark Side! Ooh rah The Empire!!!

  16. guy in the UNLV Jacket says:

    I don’t think I have ever been described without the words cocky, arrogant and narsicistic being thrown around………

  17. mexi says:

    Hey this subject touches on the tangent of the mythical Nice Guy. I should talk about that tomorrow!

  18. Souljah K says:

    Oh yeah. Because only people who have foreign-born parents give away government secrets…

    Fuck the military. They are a bunch of racist jackasses anyway. Regardless of how smart you were, they were going to put your brown ass in infantry (or supply–‘cus ya gotta have cooks in a war). Whether you passed the security clearance or not, you were headed straight for a bullshit detail. They promised my father and my brother the world (my dad had a college degree). My brother went AWOL from the USAF for reasons similar to yours, and my father retired from the Navy last year with no skills b/c he was a glorified cook.

    You’re better off without the military or that nutty wife.

  19. Phelps says:

    SK, were you listening to the dude’s story? He just said they gave him 0300-Infantry. You don’t cook or run supply in 0300-Infantry. You kill people.

  20. For those interested in security clearance obtaining, the following information may be of some value. There has been developed a psychological type ‘test’ that very accurately predicts success/failure to be eventually granted high-level security clearance status for persons who are being (or plan to be) processed/adjudicated by the federal government regarding potential granting of such status. The Personnel Security Standards Psychological Questionnaire (PSSPQ)was developed by a very senior psychologist while he was the Chief Research Psychologist in the USA’s then largest intelligence agency. Information regarding the PSSPQ and how to make arrangements to ‘take’ it can be found at:

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