One of my colleagues, recently of the Hawaii Army National Guard (as I recall), sent me this breakout of the various categories of pay. I thought you should know the little details. For some, the pay and allowances add up to a pretty damn good living!

Base pay (BP) is what enlisted/officer personnel are entitled to based on rank/pay grade.  This amount is taxable:

E-4 with 2 years service:  $2,378 per month

0-3 (captain) with 6 years service:  $6,128 per month

But, there are numerous allowances that are added to that base pay that are not taxable as income:

Cost of living allowance (COLA) is 25% of Base Pay in Hawai’i:

E-4 with 2 years of service:  $594.50 per month

0-3 with 6 years of service:  $1,532 per month

Basic Allowance for Subsistence (BAS) is to offset cost of meals (for 

members, not family members):

BAS enlisted:  $372.71 per month

BAS officer:    $256.71 per month

Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) is based on rank.  Examples in Hawai’i:

E-4 with 2 years of service:  $2,784 per month

0-3 with 6 years of service:  $3,426 per month

Clothing Replacement Allowance (enlisted only):

Male:  $444.53 per month

Female:  $435.90 per month

Family Separation Pay (FSP):

E-4 with 2 years of service:  $250 per month

0-3 with 6 years of service:  $250 per month

Imminent Danger Pay (combat) $325 per month to $1,500 per month

Enlisted and Officer personnel are also entitled to Special Pay for a specialty, including Airborne (jump pay), medical, judge advocate, flight pay, enlistment bonuses based on specialty, etc.  For example, flight pay for an E-4 is $165 per month and for a Captain 0-3 is $700 per month.

Total Pay and Allowances:

E-4 with 2 years service  Entitlements 0-3 with 6 years of service

$  2,378/mo Base Pay $  6,128/mo

        594.50/mo COLA     1,532/mo

        372.71/mo BAS         256.71/mo

    2,784/mo BAH       3,426/mo

        444.53/mo Clothing (male) NA_____

$ 6,573.74/mo $  11,342.71/mo

        250.00/mo Combat Pay 250.00/mo

        325.00 ___ Family Separation Pay 325.00____

  $ 7,148.74/mo   $  11,917.71/mo

 $ 85,784.88/year $143,012.52/year


Published by Bob Jones

Journalist since age 19. St. Petersburg Times, Noticias y Viajes in Madrid, Overseas Weekly in Frankfurt and Paris, the Louisville Courier- Journal, the Honolulu Advertiser, KGMB-TV, NBC News foreign correspondent in Africa and Southeast Asia, and MidWeek columnist. LL.B LaSalle University Law. 3 years in the U.S. Air Force. Covered: Biafran War in Nigeria (1968) Vietnam War (1969-73), Iraq in 1991. George Foster Peabody Award for distinguished journalism for reporting in China. 2 Emmys for documentaries. Married to journalist Denby Fawcett; one daughter. Brett Jones, foreign service officer, State Department.

4 replies on “Military Pay 2020 By Rank And Situation”

  1. “A Pretty damn good living” except every one of them is required to lay their lives on the line at a moment’s notice. I would add, the average pay of a public relations flack for most State or City/County Departments or Agencies (read: Spokesperson) is as much, if not more.
    And little risk of more than a possible paper cut.

  2. All well and good, but during my time in the Navy as an unmarried junior officer 1968-1971 my “adequate government housing” was a rack on a WW II vintage destroyer. Has that changed? Luxurious housing on the civilian economy was an inaccessible dream.

      1. “Living like princes” was not a universally shared experience, especially for those for whom (unlike me) light to heavy shrapnel was part of the weather forecast.

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