Is Excessive Debt A National Security Issue?

According to a Department of Defense study, 19% of junior military personnel failed to pay at least the minimum on their credit cards, 12 percent took out payday loans and 11 percent bounced checks. While financial integrity is important in civilian life, it is extremely important in military life where a bounced check can get you a court martial.

But just like civilians, military members are a part of American culture and currently excessive debt has become the foundation on which many of us have placed out financial houses. With so many Americans needing bankruptcy, it isn’t surprising that the military is also facing its own financial crisis amongst the rank and file. A matter of fact, the excessive debt in the military could be a national security threat. One of the main dangers is that financial insecurity creates distractions.

Financial Insecurity Creates Distractions

Whether a military member is in training or out in the field, excessive debt and financial worries can distract them from their task. If you have massive numbers of military personal financially distressed, you could have an entire defense force of less than optimally focused personnel, which is dangerous in a combat situation. The military understands this and has taken on a massive campaign to increase the financial readiness of military personnel. And to their credit, they have not discouraged military members from filing bankruptcy. A matter of fact, a military member facing financial troubles may be better off filing bankruptcy than allowing their bills to simply go unpaid.

Filing bankruptcy has no direct impact on military security clearances; but the failure to handle your financial situation properly does. A military member who files bankruptcy quickly when he realizes he is unable to pay his debts is acting more responsibly than a military member who simply allows the financial situation to deteriorate.