I’ve not kept up with military enlistment requirements since I separated in the ’90s, but this sounds like BS.
US Army quietly discharging immigrant recruits
Some of the service members say they were not told why they were being discharged. Others who pressed for answers said the Army informed them they’d been labeled as security risks because they have relatives abroad or because the Defense Department had not completed background checks on them.
When I enlisted in 1980, it was explained that it was contigent upon security clearance. I seem to recall a couple of folks in my Basic training flight who got dropped during Basic when their clearance applications came back disapproved.
I definitely remember a Canadian citizen in the mid-’80s who was discharged. Security requirements changed, and he couldn’t get approved for a Secret clearance, although he had been allowed to enlist with a Confidential. And he knew it. He thought it sucked, but he’d understood all along about clearance requirements, and knew as soon as the change was announced that he’d be separated. And he knew his AFSC and assignment options had always been limited by his mere Confidential.
So I call bullshit. I’m sure all these people were told about the requirements (and noncitizens back in the day told me they were specifically briefed about the difficulties of completing adequate background checks on them as noncitizens).
A security clearance might seem like no big deal. Just a grunt, right? Who needs a clearance to tote a rifle in the mud?
Who needs a clearance to get briefed on their unit’s movements? To read maps with classified markings? To see classified specs on munitions? To have lists of classified callsigns and challenge/responses for field exercises, and the real thing? Tactical locations of other supporting units? Sometimes a Secret clearance would be required because, even when they didn’t have access to the directly classified material, they’d be bound to see enough nonclassified bits and pieces to deduce the classified whole.
I was a just frickin’ radio tech, and sometimes paper-pusher (well… there was occasionally crawling around the swamp with a rifle, and other little adventures). And once out of training I probably had more days that I handled classified material than otherwise. (And that’s why I know enough about handling classified material to know that — just on what the FBI publicly announced in clearing her — that Hillary Clinton should be in prison for her willful mishandling of classified documents.)