Despite the broad literature base on factor analysis best practices, research seeking to evaluate a measure’s psychometric properties frequently fails to consider or follow these recommendations. This leads to incorrect factor structures, numerous and often overly complex competing factor models and, perhaps most harmful, biased model results. Our goal is to demonstrate a practical and actionable process for factor analysis through (a) an overview of six statistical and psychometric issues and approaches to be aware of, investigate, and report when engaging in factor structure validation, along with a flowchart for recommended procedures to understand latent factor structures; (b) demonstrating these issues to provide a summary of the updated Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Checklist (PCL–5) factor models and a rationale for validation; and (c) conducting a comprehensive statistical and psychometric validation of the PCL–5 factor structure to demonstrate all the issues we described earlier. Considering previous research, the PCL–5 was evaluated using a sample of 1,403 U.S. Air Force remotely piloted aircraft operators with high levels of battlefield exposure. Previously proposed PCL–5 factor structures were not supported by the data, but instead a bifactor model is arguably more statistically appropriate.