Someone is in a whole lot of trouble, and they're in more trouble than these five idiots:
There are some chain of custody issues here, and while the five soldiers in question are in trouble, there are people further up the food chain who will also face some serious scrutiny for not maintaining a proper chain of custody for this weapon. In the military, accountability is everything.
At some point, this weapon was accounted for, and then it was marked accounted for AFTER it had gone missing. Whether it was marked accounted for multiple times after it had physically gone missing is anyone's guess. I would imagine that it was marked as being used or utilized on a weapons range (but not actually fired) and that's how it was smuggled off of the post.
If it was taken from an arms room inventory, and then counted as being accounted for in spite of not actually physically being in the arms room, then, whoa Nelly--someone is in a heap of trouble.
Whoever was in charge of the range where the weapon was "fired" but not actually fired is also in trouble for not inspecting these soldiers when they left the range with a live weapon. Each and every weapon of this type--and I'm guessing that this is true--has to be accounted for if it has been fired. That is, someone would have to sign off on the fact that the rocket was, in fact, fired. This is not done with bullets, really, but they do expect you to police up your brass. Leaving a weapons range with a single brass casing from an expended bullet is bad enough; leaving with a bullet is worse, but it does happen. But leaving a range with a weapon AND a rocket? Unbelievable.
I'm thinking they took the weapon and stuck someone else with the accountability issue. This is what happened at the base in January. Was this related to this incident? I'm thinking that if one of these weapons goes missing, they would lock down everything until it was found.
The media will seize on the fact that this came from Joint Base Lewis-McChord and that's wrong as well. This is the sort of thing that could happen on any combat arms post, or on any post where there is a heavy weapons firing range, and it has happened before. Soldiers have been doing things like this since forever. It has nothing to do with the fact that this happened where it did.
In any case, that is all semantics. You don't take a weapon like this home with you. Period.