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Infamous SF-86 question 21

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  • Infamous SF-86 question 21

    I heard that the pentagon signed into effect a policy that makes it where those who served in combat zones don't have to check yes if they have seen a mental health professional. I have read some about it online, and it seems that it's been signed for a bit now. Has anyone come across this yet? What would you check on question 21? No? I'm curious b/c when I get the "packet" I need to know if I have to list the name of my PA when I came back into the US. Everyone in my entire brigade had to go see our PA during our in-processing back into the states. Any info on this would be greatly appreciated.

  • #2
    Originally posted by ifineed2 View Post
    I heard that the pentagon signed into effect a policy that makes it where those who served in combat zones don't have to check yes if they have seen a mental health professional. I have read some about it online, and it seems that it's been signed for a bit now. Has anyone come across this yet? What would you check on question 21? No? I'm curious b/c when I get the "packet" I need to know if I have to list the name of my PA when I came back into the US. Everyone in my entire brigade had to go see our PA during our in-processing back into the states. Any info on this would be greatly appreciated.
    I'm going to offer you a thought. A Pentagon Policy is not a law, and is not one bit binding on a Law E nforcement agency which asks, "Have you seen a mental health professional"? Let me put that another way. If in fact, you've seen a mental health professional, answer "Yes". Merely having seen a mental health professional probably isn't going to put your application in jeopardy. Lying about it will. It's very likley you'd be DQ'd, and Pentagon policy isn't going to do you one bit of good.

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    • #3
      Thank you, that's exactly the answer I was looking for. I appreciate it. The last time I filled one out I told them about the PA and they said that was normal...I just didn't want to check no and should've checked yes. Esp since I've filled out an SF-86 before.

      Thanks again.

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      • #4
        Seeing a mental health professional after experiencing some horrible crap in a LE job or in a war zone is not going to hurt you. They may question you about it down the line but as long as you are OK now you will be fine. Just tell the truth and do not worry about it. Trust me on this.

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        • #5
          The Form states to answer "no" if it was strictly related to adjustment from service in a military combat environment. And that sounds like it applies to you

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          • #6
            Ahhh, thank you neflcop, I guess I'll cross that road when I get there, but thank you guys...this is the issue I'm having, do I say yes or no?? GRR

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            • #7
              I'll verify that. I just filled one out last week and it does say to check "no" if it was related to military service or marriage.

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              • #8
                I believe the SF86 says if it was for post-deployment adjustment, to place no

                The SF86 does also give a space for comments on this I believe, so be as detailed as possible on it.

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                • #9
                  Make up your own mind but thats what I saw on e-qip and it was crystal clear. I for one think it is a long time coming. I have several close friends who opted not to seek help for traumas they experienced in the combat zone b/c of fear of that question.

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                  • #10
                    I have struggled with this issue as well. I have been seeing a Va professional for mental health issues from overseas. It took me a while to even seek treatment because I was so afraid it would affect my future goals. Im glad that we can say "no" to that question, but I still fear it will in some way come back to haunt me down the road.

                    Anyone have PTSD that has gotten a TS clearance with the govt?

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                    • #11
                      Just some food for thought. THe SF-86 is one thing but you will still have to take a physical exam and guess what question you are going to see again. I can also tell you that on the physical there won't be a caveat for medical or marriage. Better to put yes and explain than to put no on one form and then yes on the other or worse yet to put no on both and have it come out later. Trust Me when I tell you that having seen a Mental Health professional will not in itself keep you from getting a clearance or gettin hired. Believe me when I tell you this.

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                      • #12
                        It specifically says on the new SF-86:

                        http://www.opm.gov/Forms/pdf_fill/sf86.pdf

                        "Mental Health counseling in and of itself is not a reason to revoke or deny a clearance. In the last 7 years, 10 years for an SSBI, have you consulted with a health care professional regarding an emotional or mental health condition or were you hospitalized for such a condition? Answer "No" if the counseling was for any of the following reasons and was not court ordered:

                        1) strictly marital, family, grief not related to violence by you; or
                        2) strictly related to adjustments from service in a military combat environment."

                        If your issue was due to anything related to service in the military overseas or the other reasons listed above and was not court ordered then you do not list it period. It's specifically telling you to say no. I wouldn't list it. They don't want to know about it. End of story. It's called TMI.....too much information.
                        Last edited by ops; 04-18-2009, 04:30 PM.
                        The post above does not constitute legal advice, nor should be construed as such. These are the private opinions of a private citizen and do not represent the opinion nor official capacity of any law enforcement agency.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by rakkasan View Post
                          I have struggled with this issue as well. I have been seeing a Va professional for mental health issues from overseas. It took me a while to even seek treatment because I was so afraid it would affect my future goals. Im glad that we can say "no" to that question, but I still fear it will in some way come back to haunt me down the road.

                          Anyone have PTSD that has gotten a TS clearance with the govt?
                          I don't myself but work with many people with TS level clearance that have been diagnosed with PTSD. One of these guys takes valium at night, and an SSRI during the duty day and he's still allowed to carry a firearm and protect classified government property. The stigma attached to mental health problems is slowly starting to fade. People need to get the help they need and not be impeded by whether their command thinks it's ok or not. That's the purpose of the the revised mental health Q on the SF-86.
                          The post above does not constitute legal advice, nor should be construed as such. These are the private opinions of a private citizen and do not represent the opinion nor official capacity of any law enforcement agency.

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                          • #14
                            Thank you all very very much for all this info, it seems that it's been a pretty good topic to bring up. I have heard so much about this, but never REALLY got a good answer.

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