Hi everyone — I’ve received a lot of requests to verify myself or where I work, so I wanted to send this letter along to share with you a little bit more about myself and what I do. But first, a story.
It was January 2006 and I was sitting in an unmarked building just outside of Boston in one of it’s most dangerous suburbs. It was the beginning of my dream to work in the federal government. Months prior, I had done some aptitude tests in order to determine my mental acuity for the position and as I was later told, I nearly aced the test.
I was only 20 years old at the time. As my SF-86 was being reviewed, I was scolded for one mistake — not marking a year in the correct format. As a result, I’ll never forget that years always need to be written as xxxx and not xx. I was poked, prodded, had to be watched as I peed into a cup, and later got in an argument with a “medical specialist” who didn’t know the difference between a sprain and a strain. I knew I was right and I needed to make sure that my medical history was accurate as I didn’t want anything that might disqualify me from receiving my clearance.
I went through the necessary rigamarole — a lot of it still classified, and then had to drive the two and a half hours back home. It was just in time as a nor’easter was pushing its way in. That drive ended up being one of the scariest drives of my life as I traveled down the Mass Pike with only semi-trucks on the road with me while I tried to navigate a blizzard in an old Ford Contour, but I survived.
About nine months later I received my clearance and was formally offered a position. Sadly, I was more or less forced to move across the country. It’s a long personal story, but it was for my own personal wellness. I asked to have my application transferred to the office to where I moved and they went ahead with the transfer. 3 months later, I was offered the position again in my new place of residence. The one thing that has always took precedence in my life was the importance of getting my education and this agency and I couldn’t work out a plan for me to do both. Sadly, I had to decline.
I finished up my schooling and worked in code enforcement, interned at the local sheriff, and worked my ass off in the private sector making next to nothing until 2014. During that time, I went off to get my Master’s degree in Homeland Security from a top private university in the hopes to get back into federal government. Numerous applications later, it just never materialized. I graduated college at the wrong time and had a hard time getting experience for a lot of jobs I was educationally qualified for.
In 2014, I received an offer in the private sector that I couldn’t turn down. I use a lot of what I learned and now work for an internationally known company in private security and safety management doing vetting reports, security and safety assessments and policy, and background checks. It’s one of the most challenging jobs I’ve had and I enjoy the work, but I’m in the process of trying to find something a little more fulfilling in terms of where I’m doing that work. The public sector still feels like the place I need to be so that’s where I’m working on moving my career to (and maybe politics one day).
I know this may disappoint a lot of people, but I wanted to be more transparent about this. On my Twitter feed AltHomelandSecurity, I’ve never made any claims to be someone that I am not. I’ve always talked about the work I do, but never where I do it. In fact, I even carefully chose the name as “Alt” instead of “Rogue” for that reason.
Nevertheless, through my contacts I’ve made over the last 10+ years I have many individuals whom I know on a personal basis in several “letter agencies” based around the country and I do ask them a lot of questions about what’s going on for their perspectives. For those who will inevitably read this within government, don’t worry, they don’t share classified information with me and I wouldn’t put them in that position. (I wanted to insert a photo here of Obama’s custom Spaulding basketball a friend in the Secret Service sent me, but I don’t know where else he might have shared that.)
In the mean time, I maintain the account to keep the information flowing, to talk about homeland security issues, dive into politics, and give a voice to those who may have similar views within government.
Thank you for listening, for sharing, and for your part in keeping the information flowing about what is going on in American government today. I believe that without the work of the #resistance, we would farther away from our goals compared to today.
Happy April 1st!