Pay for U.S. military members increased approximately 1.7% in 2013. This is yet another indicator that the American military machine shows no signs of slowing anytime soon.
The 2013 Military Pay Chart is a bit misleading, however, as it only covers basic pay. Service members are afforded countless other perks as well as allowances that can substantially increase pay even more.
Allowances are the second most important element of military pay. Allowances are moneys provided for specific needs, such as food or housing. Monetary allowances are provided when the government does not provide for that specific need. For example, the quantity of government housing is not sufficient to house all military members and their families. Those who live in government housing do not receive full housing allowances, they will also be able to access subsidized facilities such as internet access and even discounts on a US or England proxy when working abroad. Those who do not live in government housing receive allowances to assist them in obtaining commercial housing.
The most common allowances are Basic Allowance for Subsistence (BAS) and Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH). A majority of the force receives both of these allowances and, in many cases, these allowances comprise a significant portion of the member’s total pay.
Most allowances are not taxable, which is an additional imbedded benefit of military pay.