How Much Do You Get Paid in the Army?

How much do you get paid in the Army? The answer may surprise you. Learn about Army pay and benefits.

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Army Basic Pay

Army Basic Pay is the starting salary for a soldier on active duty and depends on the soldier’s length of service and rank. A new recruit with less than two years of service will start at a pay grade of E-1 and earn $1,514 per month. A soldier with more than two years of service but less than six will start at a pay grade of E-2 and earn $1,638 per month.

Active Duty

service members on active duty are paid a base salary determined by their paygrade. In addition to their base pay, soldiers are also eligible for allowances, bonuses and other types of compensation that can help offset the cost of living.

A soldier’s base pay depends on two factors – their rank and how many years they have been in the Army. A service member’s rank can be a warrant officer, commissioned officer or enlisted soldier, while their time in service ranges from less than two years to over 20.

The following is a breakdown of Army basic pay by rank and time in service:

– Rank Time in Service
– Warrant Officer 1 Over 2 Years
– Warrant Officer 2 Over 6 Years
– Warrant Officer 3 Over 10 Years
– Warrant Officer 4 Over 14 Years
– Warrant Officer 5 Over 18 Years
-Commissioned Officer 1 (2nd Lieutenant) Under 2 Years
-Commissioned Officer 2 (1st Lieutenant) Over 2 Years
-Commissioned Officer 3 (Captain) Over 6 Years
-Commissioned Officer 4 (Major) Over 10 Years
-Commissioned Officer 5 (Lieutenant Colonel) Over 14 Years
-CommissionedIn officer 6 (Colonel) Over 18 Years
Enlisted Soldier E1 (Private) Under 2 Years
Enlisted Soldier E2 (Private Second Class) Over 2 Years – Enlisted Soldier E3 (Specialist or Corporal) Over 4 years – Enisted Soldier E4 (Sergeant) – – Enlisted Soldier E5(Staff Sergeant) – – Enlisted Soldier E6(Sergeant First Class)* – *Note: There are also Sergeants Major (E7), Command Sergeants Major(E8), and Sergeant Majors of the Army(E9), but these are not ranks that you will typically achieve as an enlisted soldier.

Reserve Duty

All reservists are paid according to their rank and number of years of service. There are two types of pay: basic pay and drill pay. Basic pay is given for attending mandatory training sessions, and drill pay is given for participating in actual deployments.

Reservists typically earn less than active-duty soldiers, but the exact amount varies depending on factors like rank and time in service. For example, a first lieutenant with two years of service would earn $3,639.50 per month in basic pay, while a sergeant major with 30 years of service would earn $8,361.50 per month.

While most reservists are only required to serve one weekend per month, they may be called to active duty for longer periods of time if the needs of the Army dictate it. When called to active duty, reservists receive full pay and benefits for the duration of their service.

National Guard

As of 2020, the National Guard pays its soldiers a base salary of between $20,172 and $33,677 per year, depending on their rank and length of service. In addition to this base salary, soldiers are also paid a housing allowance and a food allowance.

Army Bonuses

In the Army, you can receive bonuses for a variety of reasons, including enlisting for multiple terms, serving in certain high-demand jobs, or completing a Ranger or Special Forces training. Some bonuses can be worth up to $40,000, and they don’t have to be repaid.

Enlistment Bonus

The Army offers enlistment bonuses to encourage new recruits to join the Army. The amount of the bonus depends on the Navy’s needs at the time, but it can be up to $40,000. You must enlist for at least three years to qualify for an enlistment bonus.

Reenlistment Bonus

The Army offers bonuses for soldiers who reenlist for additional service. The size of the bonus depends on the soldier’s rank, duration of service, and job specialty. The Army also offers bonuses for soldiers who agree to serve in specific high-demand jobs or locations.

Referral Bonus

If you refer someone who joins the Army, you may be eligible for a bonus of up to $2,000. The amount of the bonus will depend on the job they enlist in.

Army Allowances

In addition to base pay, Soldiers are given allowances to cover the cost of housing, food, and other necessary expenses. The amount of the allowances depends on the Soldier’s rank and whether they are married and have children.

Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH)

BAQ is calculated using the “with dependents” rate for an E-5 service member with three years of service, living off base in the local area. The Department of Defense sets a national average for each type of housing and location, which is then adjusted according to the actual cost of utilities in the area. The result is the soldier’s monthly BAQ payment.

The soldier’s total pay can be increased by other allowances, such as the Basic Allowance for Subsistence (BAS), or by special pays and incentives, such as combat pay or crew incentives.

Basic Allowance for Subsistence (BAS)

BAS is intended to offset the cost of food for active duty service members and is calculated based on the number of dependents you have. If you have no dependents, you will receive $253.63 per month, as of 2018. This increases incrementally with each dependent until it reaches a maximum of $vardependents for those with five or more dependents. You will continue to receive this allowance even if you are deployed to a combat zone, but it does not increase for hazardous duty.

Cost of Living Allowance (COLA)

Your Cost of Living Allowance (COLA) is based on the cost of living in the area where you live and is paid in addition to your base pay and any special pays you may receive. The COLA is not taxable and is adjusted based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI-W).

You may receive a COLA if you are:
-Living in government quarters, or
-Receiving a housing allowance, or
-Living in quarters which do not have adequate utilities, or
-Authorized to move because of a permanent change of station.

If you are authorized a COLA, you will receive it even if you do not incur expenses for the specific items it covers. For example, if living in government quarters, you will still receive your COLA even if your actual utility expenses are low.

Army Incentives

The Army offers many different types of bonuses and pay incentives to its soldiers. Some of these include the enlistment bonus, the education bonus, and the combat pay. The Army also offers housing and food allowances, which can help offset the cost of living.

Army College Fund (ACF)

The Army College Fund (ACF) is an education benefit that provides up to $70,000 for eligible soldiers to use towards the cost of tuition, fees, and other education-related expenses. The ACF can be used for both undergraduate and graduate-level studies.

To be eligible for the ACF, soldiers must:
-have completed their initial enlistment contract
-have completed basic training and advanced individual training
-be on active duty or in the Army National Guard or Army Reserve

Soldiers can use the ACF to attend either traditional colleges and universities or online schools. Some of the most popular online schools that offer the ACF include:
-American Military University
-Central Texas College
– Walden University

Montgomery GI Bill (MGIB)

The MGIB program provides up to 36 months of education benefits to eligible veterans for college, business, technical or vocational courses, correspondence courses, apprenticeship/job training and flight training. Benefits may be used while on active duty or after a veteran separates from active service.

-The Montgomery GI Bill (MGIB) is available for those who enlist in the U.S. Armed Forces.
-Eligible individuals generally have 10 years to use their MGIB benefits once they leave active duty.
-Some Guard and Reserve members may be eligible if they contribute to the Montgomery GI Bill – Selected Reserve (MGIB-SR) program.

Student Loan Repayment Program (SLRP)

The Army offers several programs to help soldiers with their education and student loans, including the Student Loan Repayment Program (SLRP). The SLRP can help you repay your student loans, up to $65,000, after you complete your service commitment. You may be eligible for the SLRP if you:
-Have a high-interest loan
-Agree to serve in a critical Army career field
-Meet additional eligibility requirements

If you qualify for the SLRP, the Army will repay a portion of your loan each year for up to three years. You can use the SLRP to repay both federal and private student loans.

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