AndrewMaking E7 is a big step in all services (Army: Sgt First Class, Marine: Gunnery Sgt, Air Force: Master Sgt and Navy/CG: Chief Petty Officer). This is the "Senior Enlisted" ranks (E7, E8 and E9) and in my experience as an officer (IOW, a meaningless appendage), the "Top 3" work pretty hard to make sure the unworthy are not promoted into this group. In my AF career, I noticed that those who go to retirement as E-6's have certain characteristics they share....the most evident is that they are just not that committed and usually don't have the mental wherewithall to keep up. I'd be willing to bet SSG Bales would fit this description.Reading through his media-explained bio, it looks like this guy is on the flakey end of the spectrum...not uncommon for those entering the military, particularly the Army (now, hold your fire Army-vets, and let me explain....). But the Army has one of the better behavior modification systems around, and can usually get flakeoids to mend their ways, at least to the point of being field ready and responsibile members of a team. Many don't make it to this point and become so much ejecta and no doubt quickly become jail fodder. That SSG Bales made it to E6 says something about his basic abilities.His problems with FINRA and the arbitration settlement are indeed civil matters that likely would not show up on the standard background checks. And I don't know if at initial recruitment, recrutees are required to disclose any pending or final civil actions....I would think they would, as otherwise the military would have a large chunk of financially encumbered refugees....BruceM
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