Making it in the Military ~ Military Pay

Making it in the Military ~ Military Pay at The Happy Housewife

2010 Military pay charts have been released! Service members will receive a 3.4% pay raise in 2010.

While basic pay is taxable, most allowances are not taxable. To find out your tax advantage view the Regular Military Compensation Calculator .

The most junior military members earn around $17,000 a year in basic pay, while the most senior officer makes over $220,000. How is that for incentive to stay for the long haul? Military pay is much more complex than basic pay. There are a host of special pays and allowances paid to service members as well. Listed below are the basics of military pay and allowances.

2010 Enlisted Pay

2010 Officer Pay

Basic Pay: Your military salary. Based on rank and time in service. You can find a 2009 pay chart here.

Basic Allowance for Substance: Money paid to the service member for food. Enlisted members receive$323.87 and Officers receive $223.04 per month.

Basic Allowance for Housing: Money paid to the service member for housing. This pay is based on zip code, rank, and dependents. Contrary to popular belief military members are not paid more if they have more children. There are only two categories for BAH, with dependents or without dependents. the 2010 BAH rates will be released in December. You can a view the current BAH rates here.

Cost of Living Allowance (COLA): COLA is a cash allowance intended to compensate for high cost of living areas. COLA is not assigned to areas where the cost of living is less than of meets the average of that in the United Sates. A service member must be permanently assigned to the area to receive COLA. Based on rank, time in service and number of dependents. Click to view Stateside COLA and Overseas COLA rates.

Clothing Allowance: Officers receive this allowance once, Enlisted members receive the initial allowance, plus an allowance each year. You can find rates here.

There are numerous of other special pays available for service members. To view a comprehensive listing of special pays click here.

Members serving in a combat zone do not pay taxes on their basic pay. I found this interesting article regarding how to make the most of your combat-pay exclusion. You can read a summary of your combat zone benefits here.

It is important check your LES (Leave and Earning Statement) each month to ensure you are receiving the correct pay. The military does make mistakes.  You can log on to My Pay, to view a current LES.

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  1. Yes, the military does make mistakes. They had my husband’s rank wrong for 6 months and over paid us. We wisely saved the money because now they are taking a little out of every pay check to get back the money they over paid us. Raises are always good 🙂

  2. paula camp says:

    thank you for posting ths because after reading it i think they have the food allowance wrong for my hubby…..i really never knew what to look for even after all these years my husband usually did it . i miss getting the monthly paper LES’s where i could actually see it all the time

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