Army Pay

Army Pay Scale

Pay in the US Army

The Army pay scale can be a bit confusing than a standard 9-5 job payroll system. The amount you make in income while serving in the US Army will vary based on a number of factors. To understand exactly how much you would make while serving in the US Army, you should speak with an Army recruiter who can break down the specific details for you depending on your chosen career path within the military.

There are different ways to define Army pay and each member may be entitled to pay or monetary benefits based on their specific circumstances such as housing, marital status, rank, and length of time in service. Members may also qualify for a bonus upon enlistment depending on their chosen job field within the Army.

It is important to ask questions of your recruiter about expected rate of pay as well as additional financial benefits as an active or reserve Army member. Here is a brief overview of some of the most common Army pay scales and benefits enlisted Army personnel may expect to receive:

Base Pay
This is the amount of pay everyone in active duty will receive. How much you will get for your base pay depends on your rank and how many years you have served in the military. Enlisted members will earn a lower base pay than a career-enlisted Army general.

Housing Allowance
As a member of the Army who do not have dependent and live in the Army barracks, additional pay is provided through the military housing program. The barracks where soldiers reside does not typically meet the standards of housing as required by law so a Partial Housing Allowance is awarded in addition to base pay. For enlisted members who have moved up in rank, there is opportunity to live in premises off base including an apartment or rented house. These members can receive a monthly housing allowance. Members who are married and have children also can receive additional funds in order to rent or purchase a home off base. The amount of this housing provision depends on the member’s rank and the number of dependent children they have.

Food Allowances
Active duty Army members receive a Basic Allowance for Subsistence which is also known as a food allowance. Commissioned officers receive a slightly lower monthly allowance than enlisted members. Enlisted members who live off base are not allowed free meals in the chow hall and instead receive the food allowance in their pay. Enlisted members who still reside in the Army barrack facilities typically must eat in the chow hall as provided by the Army. The amount of food allowance funds is then deducted from their pay. Those who are unable to eat in the chow hall due to duty requirements can claim a missed meal which needs to be approved by a commander. If the request is approved, the enlisted member can receive the amount of the meal in their pay.

Uniform Allowance
Military uniforms are costly and each member will receive a complete uniform during their initial training. After that uniform has become worn, members must replace their uniform to standard using their own money. Army members are given a yearly clothing allowance which helps to cover the cost of the clothing. This allowance is usually paid out on the anniversary of the member’s enlistment.

Drill Pay
Active duty members will receive their base pay for full-time duty. Those who are enlisted as a member of the Army Reserves receive a monthly drill pay. The drill pay is based on how many drill periods an individual participates in, how long they have served in the Army, and their individual rank.

Family Separation Allowance
Any military member who is deployed to a specific location that does not allow a spouse or children to travel along at the expense of the government can receive a Family Separation Allowance based on each month the member has been separated from their family following the first month of separation. The amount paid is meant to cover the expenses of essentially having two separate households. The amount received is the same regardless of member rank.

Combat Pay
Army members who are deployed into a combat zone are given a monthly pay known as Combat Pay. All ranks receive the same amount and no matter how long the member is deployed into the combat zone they will be paid the monthly amount, even if time spent there is only a few minutes.

Bonus for Enlistment or Reenlistment 
Members just enlisting in the Army into a job considered to be in high demand can receive an enlistment bonus. The amount received will be included in the enlistment contract and can range from $1,000 up to $50,000 and typically will be received in one lump sum after basic training and job training has been completed. Members that continue to serve in a job area where there is a shortage who agree to reenlist in the same capacity can also receive a bonus from $1,000 to over $90,000, the amount depending on a number of factors.

Military members and their families should inquire about other possible allowances, benefits, and additional pay based on their specific situation to ensure their financial needs will be met. Your local Army recruiter can provide you with the correct Army pay scale resources pertaining to your specific rate of pay during the enlistment process.