NewsHow Much Do They Pay You In The Military

How Much Do They Pay You In The Military


Basic Pay And Allowances

How Much Do I Get Paid | Military Pay

While serving in the military, your basic pay is considered taxable income, while many allowances are not. That means taxes will be deducted from your basic pay, but not from additional allowances aimed at paying for things like housing or food.

Basic Pay

Basic Pay is the primary compensation for service members and is determined by assessing two factors: pay grade and years in service. As mentioned above, basic pay is your primary taxable income. Its calculated monthly, then cut it half and distributed in two paychecks. Basic Pay can be compared to a salary in a civilian job, meaning its not tied specifically to hours, as service members are not eligible for overtime. Basic Pay rate are adjusted annually to coincide with the national Employment Cost Index. In other words, Basic Pay increases each year to coincide with changes in average private sector pay and inflation.

If youd like to know what you should be receiving for your basic military pay, check out our 2020 military pay charts for officers and enlisted personnel here.

Basic Allowance for Housing

Service members also sometimes receive something called BAH Type II, which is an in-transit rate for housing between duty stations.

Want to find out what the exact BAH rate is for your appointed place of duty? Check out this BAH Calculator provided by the Defense Travel Management Office.

Basic Allowance for Subsistence

Service members received a .90% increase in BAS for 2020.

Other Common Allowances

Final Thoughts On How The Military Pays For College

The military wants to incentivize people to enlist and one way to do that is by helping to pay for education. The variety of options available show that the U.S. government wants to assist its servicemen and women in paying off their student loans or having them forgiven or discharged whenever possible. Its a small, but significant, way to show gratitude for your service.

Special And Incentive Pay

When service members deploy, they receive additional pays and allowances based on their deployment location, length of deployment, and whether they have a family. Special and Incentive pays include:

  • Family Separation Allowance is paid during extended periods of family separation. FSA is $250 per month.
  • Hostile Fire/Imminent Danger Pay is for service members serving within an officially declared hostile fire/imminent danger zone. The current rate is $225 per month.
  • Hardship Duty Pay comes in three designations.
  • HDP-Location compensates service members assigned to locations outside the continental United States where living conditions are substantially below the standard members serving stateside would endure. Rates are paid in increments of $50, $100, or $150 per month, based on the level of hardship in a
  • HDP-Mission compensates officers and enlisted personnel for performing designated hardship missions.
  • HDP-Tempo involves personnel who are mobilized or deployed for a specified mission. Secretaries of the military departments are authorized to designate such missions, but none have been implemented.
  • Assignment Incentive Pay is a popular program that rewards service members on extended tours or unusual assignments. Personnel can receive from $200 to $3,000 extra per month, depending on the circumstances.
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    Do You Get Paid To Join The Military


    Feelings of patriotism aside, you get paid when you join the military. The pay is fixed by the U.S. Congress and paid according to your pay grade as an enlisted member or an officer. Enlisted pay grades range start at pay grade E-1 and rise to pay grade E-9. Officer pay grades start at pay grade O-1 and rise to pay grade O-10. Advancement depends on testing, performance, and openings within each service.

    What If You Dont Notice An Incorrect Payment

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    It can be easy not to notice getting paid an incorrect amount during hectic times or while your pay is fluctuating due to a PCS move or deployment. If you dont notice, someone in admin eventually will, either as a part of internal quality assurance efforts, or as a result of an inspection. When over-payments are caught in these ways, that can sometimes be recouped from your next paychecks without noticeand thats a really crappy surprise to have on payday. This is commonly referred to as a checkage.

    Avoid being surprised by having your pay checked by staying on top of your pay and ensuring its correct each time its deposited.

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    Broke Soldiers: Military Pay Scale

    I constantly hear people in the Army say they are broke. This leads so many people to believe that the Army doesnt pay very well. I am here to tell you that is simply not true. The Army is one of the best-paying jobs you can find if you don’t have a degree. Compared to an entry-level job that requires a degree, the Army pays just as well, if not better.

    These soldiers are not broke because of what they get paid. They are broke because of how they spend their money. When I was in the Army, I was only an E3, and I felt like I was living large with what I was paid.

    Military Separation Pay Eligibility

    Military separation pay is comparable to the severance pay you might find in the civilian world. However, not all servicemembers who are involuntarily separated from the military are eligible to receive separation pay benefits. There is also two types of pay, Full Separation Pay, and Half Separation Pay. .

    Full Pay Eligibility: You must have served at least 6 years on active duty, but less than 20 years* to be eligible to receive involuntary separation pay. In addition to the service time requirements, you need to be fully qualified for retention at the time you are let go, and your service must be characterized as Honorable.

    Common reasons for being eligible to receive involuntary separation pay include separated under Force Shaping, or Reduction in Force measures, or exceeding high-year tenure for your rank.

    To qualify for Full Separation Pay, the service member must agree to serve in the Ready Reserve or similar Reserve Component for a minimum of 3 years following release from active duty service.

    Half Pay Eligibility: Half Pay also requires a minimum of 6 years of active service, and less than 20. However, servicemembers can get by with an Honorable, or General discharge. Some common examples include involuntary separation due to failure to meet fitness/weight standards, loss of security clearance, involuntary discharge due to parenthood, etc. Be sure to check with your personnel department to verify you will be eligible for separation pay.

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    Eligibility For Va Disability Compensation

    Veterans with a service-connected physical or mental disability that makes everyday tasks difficult or impossible may be eligible for VA disability benefits.

    Eligibility to file a VA disability claim is dependent on meeting one of the following conditions as set by the VA:

    • A Veteran who became sick or injured while serving in the military, or
    • A Veteran with an illness or injury before enlisting that was worsened by service, or
    • A Veteran with a service-connected disability that didn’t appear until after separating from the military

    The VA will need evidence to support your disability claim when applying, which we discuss in the next section.

    But I Went To College

    Military Officer Pay – What does a Lieutenant make? (O-1/O-2)

    You may be thinking, OK thats great for someone with no college or experience but what if I have a bachelor degree? Here is a breakdown of your pay if you joined the Army with a 4-year degree. It doesnt even matter what your degree is in! Many soldiers like to say you can have a degree in underwater basket weaving, and its true!

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    Do You Get Paid More If You Are Married In The Military

    It would be a perfect world if all our employers would throw extra pay at us just for tying the knot, and the U.S. military does come close. No, the federal government won’t give you a pay raise just for getting married. It won’t give you “military marriage pay,” but it does the next best thing. It gives servicemembers more of a housing allowance when they add a dependent, and yes, a spouse is considered a dependent. It offers a few other perks as well.

    About The Va Disability Rating System

    Veterans with a disability that developed or worsened while serving in the military or due to military service may be eligible for Service-Connected disability pay.

    Conditions covered by these benefits typically include:

    • Physical disabilities including hearing loss, chronic back pain, asthma and cancers caused by contact with toxic chemicals.
    • Mental disabilities including anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder , depression and traumatic brain injury .

    Find a complete list of covered conditions here.

    For every disability claim, the Department of Veterans Affairs assigns a severity rating ranging from 0-100%. This rating moves in 10% increments, is based on service treatment records, VA medical records, and private medical records directly relating to the disability.

    For Veterans with more than one disability, the VA uses the combined rating table to calculate your disability percentage.

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    Contributing Factors For Salary

    Regardless of the service branch you choose, your pay in the military depends largely on your job performance. Your supervisors rate your performance at regular intervals. In addition, if you’re an enlisted member of the military, you’ll take tests to prove you can handle the next higher rank. If you’re an officer, each promotion depends on your performance, the needs of the service — each service only has so many officers of each rank — and the recommendation of a group of senior officers, called a promotion board.

    How Much Does A Military Officer Make An Hour

    US Military Pay Scale for all Branches of the US Military ...

    Because we are salaried employees, calculating an hourly wage can be depressing. Also, work hours in a week can vary wildly, depending on whether you are deployed, in garrison, or TDY.

    If you are working 12 hour shifts 7 days a week, that’s 84 hours per week of work. If you are in garrison and working 0730-1630 Monday-Friday, you’re only working 45 hours per week .

    But assuming an average of 2000 hours worked in a year, as an 8 year military officer in 2018 I made $45.50 per hour.

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    Basic Allowance For Subsistance

    All enlisted members of the Army receive a monthly allowance for food and drink of $Notice: Trying to access array offset on value of type null in /home/militaryranks/public_html/ranks_pay.php on line 2580.00.

    Enlisted members’ BAS is higher than officers’ BAS, as enlisted members are generally responsible for buying their own food.

    Does The Military Pay Off Student Loans

    Much like joining the military, receiving a diploma from a college or university is a first-class ticket to opportunity. Many point to their college years as some of the best of their lives, where they were able to meet people and go places they never would have otherwise. Upon commencement and receiving their certificates of completion, graduates can leverage it immediately, working in the fields most in line with their capabilities and ambitions.

    How does student loan repayment work for service members? What other college loan repayment programs are there?Can the GI Bill pay off student loans?Can military spouses get student loan forgiveness?The information provided in this blog post is for informational purposes only. It should not be considered legal or financial advice. You should consult with a financial professional to determine what may be best for your individual needs.

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    Why Is It Important For Every Service Member To Understand Their Pay

    The United States military is a massive operation that distributes paychecks to around 1.4 million service members twice a month. A great deal of the data entry tied to those dispersed payments is handled internally by other service members, some of whom are also learning the ropes of their jobsjust like you. That means that theyre sometimes prone to making mistakes, and those mistakes can affect how youre paid.

    Electronic Access To Pay Information

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    MyPay, a web-based service of DFAS, provides up-to-date, round-the-clock pay information for military service members, DoD civilian employees, military retirees and annuitants. Accessed through a personal identification number, the MyPay site also may be used to make address changes, review W-2 forms, or adjust contributions to the military Thrift Savings Program.

    Because the service members Leave and Earnings Statement can be viewed through this secure site, many military families find MyPay especially useful during deployments. Service members often provide their PIN information to the spouse who then can access the LES through MyPay. Spouses find they are better able to help manage the familys finances while the service member is away.

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    Combined Rating System For Veterans With Multiple Disabilities

    Veterans with multiple disabilities use the combined rating system.

    To use the combined rating system, arrange the disabilities in order by severity and locate the intersect of the two numbers on the table below.

    The VA rounds the final figure to the nearest to 10 percent.

    If the Veteran has more than two disabilities, find the combined value for the first two, without rounding, and repeat with the third disability. Once you have a final number, round to the nearest 10%.

    For example, if disability 1’s rating is 40% and disability 2’s is 20%, the combined rating is 52%. That figure gets rounded to the nearest 10%, making the disability rating 50%.

    For a three-disability example, if disability 1’s rating is 60%, disability 2’s rating is 30%, and disability 3’s rating is 20%, we first find the rating of 1 and 2. The rating of 1 and 2 comes out to be 72. We then take the first combined rating and find the intersect with disability 3. The final number comes out at an even 80% rating.


    Va Disability Pay Chart Expectations For 2022

    The announcement for the following years’ change in COLA doesn’t typically come out until October. However, based on the Consumer Price Index, VA disability pay could increase anywhere from 5 to 6 percent in 2022.

    We will update our charts here accordingly when the numbers are finalized.


  • Rates for more than one child are shown separately and are not included with any other compensation rates unless otherwise stated. For example, a Veteran with a 70% disability rating, spouse and four children would receive $1,975.71 .
  • Where the Veteran has a spouse who is determined to require Aid and Attendance, add the figure shown as additional for A& A spouse to the amount shown for the proper dependency code. For example, a Veteran with a 70% disability rating and an Aid and Attendance spouse and two minor children would receive $1,830.71 .
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    Comparison: Army Pay Vs Civilian Pay

    Compare these incomes to some common civilian situations where only a high school diploma is required.

    Minimum Wage

    $7.25 per hours X 40 hours per week

    $1,257 per month

    $15,084 per year

    Minimum wage is nowhere near what the lowest paid Private gets paid in the Army. To top it off, those jobs almost never have any other benefits included.

    Save Pdf Copies Of Your Les

    How Much Does the 2020 Military Pay Raise Really Put In ...

    One tip I recommend for all military servicemembers, enlisted or officer, is to download a PDF copy of your Leave and Earnings Statement every month from MyPay and save it in Google Drive, Dropbox, or some other cloud storage solution.

    The military is notorious for withholding pay or deducting pay due to clerical/administrative errors. I keep a copy of all my LESs in PDF form so I have a record of what they have and have not paid me.

    It has saved me a few times when I have been accused of being overpaid or underpaid.

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    Active Duty Health Professions Student Loan Repayment Program

    Health professionals who are also on active duty can qualify for $40,000 per year toward your student loan debt for up to 3 years if youre serving in the dental, medical, allied health, nursing, or veterinary corps while on active duty. You can also be eligible for up to $50,000 in total loan forgiveness over 3 years if youre in the reserves for those professions.

    What Loans Qualify for Active Duty Health Professions Student Loan Repayment?

    • Stafford Loans
    • Supplemental loans for students

    How to Apply For Army Student Loan Repayment:

    Contact an Army recruiter to learn how to apply, find out whether youre eligible, and learn more about what active duty service in the Army entails.

    Extra Pays And Allowances Help Take Their Salaries A Bit Further

    Base pay can seem stingy, especially at the lower ranks where enlisted receive around $20,000 per year.

    But troops receive a number of benefits and may qualify for extra allowances.

    TRICARE Prime, the military’s primary healthcare package, is free for active duty troops saving them the $6,896 average annual premium for single payers.

    When eligible to live off base, service members receive a basic allowance for housing , which increases at each paygrade the exact amount is set based on location and whether the individual has any children. Service members also receive allowances to help cover the cost of food and in expensive duty locations receive a cost of living allowance . Enlisted personnel also receive a stipend to help them pay for their uniforms.

    Any portion of a service member’s salary that is labeled as an “allowance” is not taxed by the government, so service members may only have to pay taxes for roughly two-thirds of their salary.

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