How Much Do Army Officers Make?

How much do Army Officers make? It depends on their rank and years of experience. A new Second Lieutenant with no experience can expect to make around $3,000 per month, while a Brigadier General with over 30 years of experience can make over $16,000 per month.

Checkout this video:


In order to become an Army Officer, one must first complete Officer Candidate School (OCS). OCS is a 12-week course that is designed to teach college graduates the basics of being an Army Officer. After completing OCS, one will be commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the Army.

As of 2019, the starting salary for a Second Lieutenant is $3,287 per month. Officers are also eligible for a variety of allowances and benefits, which can add up to an additional $400-$700 per month.

Army Officer Compensation

Army officers are compensated for their service to the nation through a variety of means. Active duty officers receive a base salary, as well as allowances for housing and food. They also may be eligible for bonuses, which are often awarded for completing specific tasks or serving in difficult locations. In addition to their salary, officers may also receive benefits such as healthcare and retirement benefits.

Basic Pay

Basic pay for Army officers is determined by their rank and years of service. Officers receive a salary called “basic pay.” In addition to basic pay, officers may receive other types of compensation such as allowances, housing and food benefits, and money for continuing education. Here is a breakdown of Army officer basic pay by rank:

-O-1 (Second Lieutenant): $3,287.30 per month
-O-2 (First Lieutenant): $3,788.40 per month
-O-3 (Captain): $4,383.40 per month
-O-4 (Major): $5,231.60 per month
-O-5 (Lieutenant Colonel): $6,139.60 per month
-O-6 (Colonel): $7,295.80 per month

Housing Allowance

The army offers a variety of allowances to offset the high cost of living, especially in more expensive cities. The Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) is one such allowance, and it is determined by rank and location. A captain with dependents, for example, will receive $3,967 per month to help cover the cost of housing, while a colonel will receive $5,371 per month.

Cost of Living Allowance

In addition to their salary, Army officers also receive a Cost of Living Allowance (COLA). The COLA is a way for the Army to help offset the high cost of living in certain areas of the country, and it varies based on where you are stationed. For example, officers stationed in San Francisco will receive a higher COLA than those stationed in Fort Hood, Texas.

Family Separation Allowance

Family Separation Allowance (FSA) is a non-taxable allowance paid to eligible members of the Armed Forces who are separated from their dependents due to their duties. The FSA compensates for the additional expenses incurred as a result of separation, such as the cost of maintaining two households.

Hazardous Duty Pay

Hazardous duty pay is a form of compensation for soldiers who are exposed to hazardous duties and situations while serving. This includes combat situations, exposure to toxins and other dangers, and any other duties that may be considered hazardous. Hazardous duty pay is not available to all soldiers, and the amount of pay may vary depending on the severity of the hazard.

Combat Zone Tax Exclusion

The Combat Zone Tax Exclusion (CZTE) allows personnel who serve in designated combat zones to exclude certain types of income from their taxes. This includes active duty military, commissioned officers of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and members of the Foreign Service. The CZTE applies to income earned while serving in a combat zone, as well as any leave taken while in a combat zone.

Army Officer Benefits

Army officers receive a wide range of benefits, including a competitive salary, housing allowance, health insurance, and more. Army officers also receive a retirement plan, life insurance, and other benefits.

Health Insurance

active duty Army officers and their families are provided with free, comprehensive health care coverage through TRICARE. Army officers may also enroll in dental and vision insurance plans for an additional premium.

Life Insurance

All Army officers are automatically covered by a basic life insurance policy at no cost to them. This policy, known as SGLI (Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance), provides up to $400,000 in coverage for active-duty officers and reservists. If you are a married Army officer, your spouse is also automatically covered by a $100,000 policy known as FSGLI (Family Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance).


All Army officers are eligible for retirement benefits, regardless of how long they have served. The Army offers two retirement plans: a traditional pension plan and a 401(k)-style Thrift Savings Plan. Officers can choose to participate in either or both plans.

Under the traditional pension plan, officers accrue benefits based on their length of service and average salary. Benefits are vested after 20 years of service, and officers can begin collecting them at age 60.

The Thrift Savings Plan is a retirement savings and investment plan similar to a private-sector 401(k) plan. Officers can contribute up to $19,000 per year (or $25,000 if they are over age 50). The Army does not contribute to this plan, but officers’ contributions are tax-deferred.

Education Benefits

One of the biggest advantages of being an Army Officer is the education benefits. The Army will pay for a large portion of your college education, and in some cases, 100% of your tuition. In addition, the Army also offers many programs that allow you to pursue a graduate degree while you are on active duty.


In conclusion, Army Officers make a good salary, with the potential to make more with bonuses and allowances. They also get great benefits, including healthcare, housing, and education. If you are looking for a career in the military, becoming an Army Officer is a great option.

Scroll to Top