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What Is Yankee White?

Yankee White refers to a top-tier security clearance granted by the U.S. government, specifically for personnel working closely with the President and Vice President. It's a testament to trust and reliability, ensuring that only the most vetted individuals protect our nation's leaders. Discover how this elite status is achieved and what it means for national security. What does the process involve?
John Markley
John Markley

Yankee white refers to the security clearance necessary to work with the president or vice president of the United States. It is a necessary qualification for a wide variety of positions, such as aides to the president and vice president; support personnel in areas such as food service, medical care, and transportation; and members of honor guards, military bands, and other ceremonial positions. This security clearance is required of both military personnel and civilian government employees working for the president as well as employees of private-sector civilian contractors who provide services for the president or have access to sensitive areas such as presidential residences or vehicles. Receiving this clearance requires extensive background checks intended to weed out potential security risks.

Three categories make up the Yankee white security clearance. Category one is for sensitive positions working in direct support of the president or vice president. These include important members of the White House Military Office, such as the security adviser, the food service coordinator, and the director of the medical unit. It also includes the commanding and executive officers of several military units or facilities closely involved with the president or vice president, including Marine Helicopter Squadron One, the Air Force's 89th Airlift Wing, and Naval Support Facility Thurmon, better known as Camp David.

People working directly for the president or vice-president of the US must have Yankee White clearance.
People working directly for the president or vice-president of the US must have Yankee White clearance.

Category two encompasses other, lower-level supporting personnel for the president and vice president. This includes the personnel of support organizations such as the White House communications agency, travel agency, and medical unit. It also includes the air crew, maintenance crew, and other associated personnel of the president's air transport, most notably Air Force One. Employees of private contractors hired for presidential support services also go in this category. Category three is mostly for members of honor guards and military bands, though it can also be used for other personnel who are in contact with the president or vice president, but to a lesser degree than the members of category one or two.

A person receiving Yankee white clearance must first undergo thorough background checks. This process involves personal interviews with both the person being considered for clearance and his or her friends, family, and other acquaintances and checks on things such as the person's employment history, medical history, and previous places of residence. After receiving Yankee white clearance, the clearance holder must undergo periodic subsequent checks to determine his or her continued suitability.

To be eligible for Yankee white clearance, a person must be an American citizen whose loyalty to the United States is considered to be beyond question and who has proved himself or herself to be mature and trustworthy in past performances. D conviction for a serious crime in a civilian court or military court-martial is disqualifying, as is a history of recurring trouble with the law or use of illegal mind-altering drugs other than marijuana. Yankee white clearance is less likely to be given to someone with a past history of marijuana use or immediate family members who are citizens of other countries, though these are not absolute disqualifications.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Yankee White clearance?

Yankee White clearance is a security clearance given to individuals who work directly with the President of the United States, Vice President, and other high-level national officials. This clearance involves a thorough background investigation and vetting process to ensure that individuals have an unimpeachable character and unquestionable loyalty to the nation. It is one of the most stringent security checks in the United States, reflecting the sensitivity of the positions it covers.

Who is eligible for Yankee White clearance?

Eligibility for Yankee White clearance is typically limited to U.S. citizens who must have an impeccable record. Candidates are meticulously screened for their loyalty, trustworthiness, and reliability. The clearance is required for positions such as those in the Presidential Support Duty (PSD), including military personnel who work in close proximity to the President, such as the crew of Air Force One or the Marines who guard the White House.

How is Yankee White clearance different from other security clearances?

Yankee White clearance is distinct from other security clearances due to its specific focus on positions involving direct contact with the President and other key national figures. While other clearances, like Top Secret or Secret, are based on the level of classified information accessed, Yankee White also considers the potential risk to national leaders. It includes extensive background checks, polygraph tests, and continuous monitoring, which are more rigorous than standard clearance procedures.

What is the process to obtain Yankee White clearance?

The process to obtain Yankee White clearance involves a comprehensive background investigation, which includes checks into the individual's financial records, employment history, personal conduct, and any criminal records. Additionally, interviews with friends, family, and associates are conducted. The applicant must also pass a polygraph test. The entire process is overseen by the Department of Defense and can take several months to complete.

Can Yankee White clearance be revoked, and if so, under what circumstances?

Yes, Yankee White clearance can be revoked if an individual no longer meets the stringent requirements or if they are found to have engaged in activities that compromise their trustworthiness. This could include criminal behavior, mishandling of sensitive information, or actions that suggest a change in loyalty or reliability. The revocation of clearance would typically result in the individual being reassigned or removed from their position.

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Discussion Comments


Yankee white is kind of a strange name for this kind of security clearance. However, it is probably a good idea to have it. It kind of makes me wonder if I would be able to pass this kind of background check. It can't be much worse than the clearance checks for other jobs, right?


Yankee white isn't a security clearance. It's the type of investigation conducted for people who support the president.

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    • People working directly for the president or vice-president of the US must have Yankee White clearance.
      By: camrocker
      People working directly for the president or vice-president of the US must have Yankee White clearance.