Get Task & Purpose in your inbox
DoD To 'Continuously' Monitor Your Financial Information For Security Clearance Risks
This article by Amy Bushatz originally appeared on Military.com, the premier source of information for the military and veteran community.
Troops with security clearances who have low credit scores or past-due bills could be at greater risk of having those clearances revoked, thanks to a change to the frequency at which background check officials look at financial data.
"The Department of Defense (DoD) will now 'continuously' monitor the financial status of service members with security clearances," the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau announced in an Aug. 20 release. "This means that a past-due bill or an error on your credit report could jeopardize your clearance status."
Currently, background check reviews for clearance holders look at credit and financial data of clearance holders once every five to 10 years, the release says.
But a change directed by the White House earlier this year shifts the administration of background checks from the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) to the Pentagon, and with that comes the new automated monitoring plan, officials said.
"This new process might impact your DoD security clearance and prevent you from being deemed 'deployable,' which could greatly impact your military career unless you can prove to DoD that you were the victim of identity theft, fraud or a mistake and that you're currently living within your means and are making a good-faith effort to resolve your unpaid debts," the CFPB release warned.
Pentagon officials did not respond to a request for clarification on how much a service member must be in debt or how low a credit score must be before a clearance is revoked or what troops who believe they could be impacted should do to address the problem.
Financial stability is just of one of many risk factors investigators considered when determining whether or not troops and other employees can hold or keep a security clearance, according to the National Security Adjudicative Guidelines, last updated in July, 2017.
"Failure to live within one's means, satisfy debts, and meet financial obligations may indicate poor self-control, lack of judgement, or unwillingness to abide by rules and regulations, all of which can raise questions about an individual's reliability, trustworthiness, and ability to protect classified or sensitive information," the guidelines say.
Other facets considered by investigators include sexual behavior, alcohol consumption, and personal conduct, according to the guidelines.
Troops who are notified that their security clearance is being denied or revoked can appeal the decision with a hearing before the Defense Office of Hearings and Appeals. Financial experts who specialize in military issues recommend troops take simple steps to avoid problems like monitoring their credit reports and working to paying bills on time.
The shift of background check responsibility from OPM to DoD was made after a series of security incidents, including the 2013 attack on the NavyYard, exposed background check system flaws.
The DoD is expected to complete its takeover of the background check program in the next three years, according to the Associated Press.
As of early July, 58 workers had their security clearances revoked as a part of the Pentagon's new monitoring system, according to the Associated Press. Officials did not respond to requests for an update.
This article originally appeared on Military.com
Read more from Military.com:
- Mulvaney Urged Not to Weaken Military Consumer Protections
- This Benefit Just Expanded for Transitioning Troops, Families
- The DoD Just Changed the Name of This Transition Class
Former Army 1st Lt. Clint Lorance, whom President Donald Trump recently pardoned of his 2013 murder conviction, claims he was nothing more than a pawn whom generals sacrificed for political expediency.
The infantry officer had been sentenced to 19 years in prison for ordering his soldiers to open fire on three unarmed Afghan men in 2012. Two of the men were killed.
During a Monday interview on Fox & Friends, Lorance accused his superiors of betraying him.
"A service member who knows that their commanders love them will go to the gates of hell for their country and knock them down," Lorance said. "I think that's extremely important. Anybody who is not part of the senior Pentagon brass will tell you the same thing."
"I think folks that start putting stars on their collar — anybody that has got to be confirmed by the Senate for a promotion — they are no longer a soldier, they are a politician," he continued. "And so I think they lose some of their values — and they certainly lose a lot of their respect from their subordinates — when they do what they did to me, which was throw me under the bus."
Fifteen years after the U.S. military toppled the regime of Saddam Hussein, the Army's massive two-volume study of the Iraq War closed with a sobering assessment of the campaign's outcome: With nearly 3,500 U.S. service members killed in action and trillions of dollars spent, "an emboldened and expansionist Iran appears to be the only victor.
Thanks to roughly 700 pages of newly-publicized secret Iranian intelligence cables, we now have a good idea as to why.
BANGKOK (Reuters) - Defense Secretary Mark Esper expressed confidence on Sunday in the U.S. military justice system's ability to hold troops to account, two days after President Donald Trump pardoned two Army officers accused of war crimes in Afghanistan.
Trump also restored the rank of a Navy SEAL platoon commander who was demoted for actions in Iraq.
Asked how he would reassure countries such as Afghanistan and Iraq in the wake of the pardons, Esper said: "We have a very effective military justice system."
"I have great faith in the military justice system," Esper told reporters during a trip to Bangkok, in his first remarks about the issue since Trump issued the pardons.
For one veteran who fought through the crossfires of German heavy machine guns in the D-Day landings, receiving a Congressional Gold Medal on behalf of his service and that of his World War II comrades would be "quite meaningful."
Bills have been introduced in the House and Senate to award the Army Rangers of World War II the medal, the highest civilian award bestowed by the United States, along with the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
An airman at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base was arrested and charged with murder on Sunday after a shooting at a Raleigh night club that killed a 21-year-old man, the Air Force and the Raleigh Police Department said.