Service members in the United States are expected to uphold high standards of behavior. Any infractions or criminal activity could have a serious impact on your military career. Additionally, as you progress, opportunities such as promotions may be available, and these often require a higher level of security clearance.
It is important to note that as well as misconduct and criminal behavior, your financial history could impact the level of security clearance you may be able to obtain.
The importance of honesty in the military
Your financial history may be used as a measure to gauge how honest you are. For example, if you have failed to make payments in the past, or have a poor crediting rating, this could negatively impact decisions regarding your security clearance. Additionally, evidence of questionable financial activity, such as failing to file tax returns appropriately could be taken as a sign of unreliability or a willingness to defy authority — which are other problems that won’t endear you to the military.
Do you have to disclose your financial history?
When submitting military applications, such as those for security clearance, it is expected that you are fully transparent throughout the process. Any indication that you have attempted to hide or disguise your financial history may reflect poorly on you.
Even in the event that you are granted security clearance, it is possible that your financial activities may continue to be monitored. Consequently, if more irresponsible activity is flagged, your ongoing security clearance could be jeopardized.
Understanding how your financial history and activity affect your career in the military could be in your best interests. If you are facing disciplinary action as a service member, it is important to remember that you have legal rights.