All About Military Pay Dates And More

As a personal finance enthusiast and someone who has navigated the intricate world of military pay, I understand the challenges that come with managing finances in a dynamic environment. Whether you are new to the military life or not, there are probably some questions that you have about military pay dates, entitlements, and deductions.

How else can you budget if you don’t know how much you make? Knowing when and how much you and your family will earn is crucial to making the most of each paycheck. In this guide, we’ll delve into the frequency of military pay, explore the 2024 military pay dates, discuss factors influencing how much the military pays, and address the impact of government shutdowns on military pay.

Military Pay Dates written on chalkboard with cartoon woman

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How Often Does The Military Get Paid?

Military members receive their pay bi-monthly, typically on the 1st and 15th of each month. However, it’s essential to note that these dates may shift if they coincide with weekends or holidays.

What adds an interesting twist is that members of USAA and Navy Federal Credit Union (NFCU) enjoy the perk of receiving their pay 1 to 3 days earlier with direct deposit.

Notably, this early payment advantage is usually 1 business day in advance. In cases where the regular payday falls on a Monday, NFCU members get paid on the Saturday before, while USAA members receive their pay on the preceding Friday.

2024 Military Pay Dates

Let’s break down the military pay dates for 2024, sourced from the DFAS website and various financial institutions:

Pay PeriodPay DayNavy Federal A.D. Pay DatesUSAA A.D. Pay DatesLES Available Dates
JanuaryJan. 12
Feb. 1
Jan. 11
Jan. 31
Jan. 10
Jan. 30
Jan. 5
Jan. 25
FebruaryFeb. 15
Mar. 1
Feb. 14
Feb. 29
Feb. 13
Feb. 28
Feb. 8
Feb. 23
MarchMar. 15
Apr. 1
Mar. 14
Mar. 29
Mar. 13
Mar. 28
Mar. 8
Mar. 22
AprilApr. 15
May 1
Apr. 12
Apr. 30
Apr. 11
Apr. 29
Apr. 5
Apr. 24
MayMay 15
May 31
May 14
May 30
May 13
May 29
May 8
May 24
JuneJune 14
July 1
June 13
June 28
June 12
June 27
June 7
June 21
JulyJuly 15
Aug. 1
July 12
July 31
July 11
July 30
July 5
July 25
AugustAug. 15
Aug. 30
Aug. 14
Aug. 29
Aug. 13
Aug. 28
Aug. 8
Aug. 23
SeptemberSept. 13
Oct. 1
Sep. 12
Sep. 30
Sep. 11
Sep. 27
Sep. 6
Sep. 24
OctoberOct. 15
Nov. 1
Oct. 11
Oct. 31
Oct. 10
Oct. 30
Oct. 8
Oct. 25
NovemberNov. 15
Nov. 29
Nov. 14
Nov. 27
Nov. 13
Nov. 26
Nov. 8
Nov. 22
DecemberDec. 13
Dec. 31
Dec. 12
Dec. 30
Dec. 11
Dec. 27
Dec. 6
Dec. 20

These dates serve as a roadmap for planning and budgeting, ensuring financial stability throughout the year.

How Much Does the Military Pay?

Understanding the components of military pay is vital for effective financial planning. There are several factors that affect how much you will get paid.

Your Leave and Earnings Statement (LES) aka Paystub provides a detailed breakdown, encompassing various payments and deductions. You can download your LES on the myPay website.

Two major elements include basic pay (dependent on rank and years of service) and Basic Housing Allowance (BAH). If stationed overseas, service members receive Overseas Housing Allowance (OHA). These are what I usually use to estimate the monthly income until the LES breakdown is available to look at.

Your housing allowance is a noteworthy component, and it’s essential to be aware that it increases if you have dependents. To delve deeper into the intricacies of military dependent pay. read the linked post.

However, it is important to note that your paycheck can still vary due to entitlements and deductions.

What are Entitlements?

Entitlements on your LES vary by your duty station and are everything that you are eligible to receive beyond your basic and premium pay.

Entitlements include but aren’t limited to:

  • Cola (Cost of Living Allowance) – Received both within the U.S. and overseas as a way to offset the cost of being stationed at a duty station with a higher cost of living.
  • BAS (Basic Allowance for Subsistence) – Given to help with the cost of meals for the service member. There are certain instances where this is also deducted, for instance, if the service member is deployed.
  • Uniform Allowance – Received once per year on the date you joined.
  • Incentive and Bonus Pays – The military will sometimes give special incentives for people to enlist that have special skills, to fill a needed position, etc.
  • Career Sea Pay – Given to those stationed or deployed on a ship. It is dependent on your sea time and pay rate.

Deductions on your LES include:

  • Regular Taxes: Federal Taxes, State Taxes, Social Security, Medicare
  • SGLI (Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance): A low-cost life insurance for service members and their families
  • SGLI Fam/ Spouse: Term life insurance that covers $100,000 for the military member’s spouse, and $10,000 for dependent children.
  • AFRH (Armed Forces Retirement Home): 50 cents given to help fund AFRH facilities.
  • Dental Insurance for Family
  • Meal Deduction: When the BAS is taken back.
  • Debt: If you were mistakenly overpaid, or are paying back advanced pay.

Military Pay During A Government Shutdown

Government shutdowns can impact military pay, depending on the passage of the military budget. If the budget is approved, military members will receive their pay, as seen in the 2018-19 shutdown. However, this isn’t guaranteed, making it crucial to save and establish an emergency fund.

It is important to save and start an emergency fund to help you get through these times and avoid debt. Please refer to my beginner budget to help you get started.

I recommend banking through military institutions like Navy Federal Credit Union and USAA. These institutions often have programs to assist members affected by shutdowns, minimizing financial strain during uncertain times.


Navigating military pay dates involves strategic planning and a comprehensive understanding of the various components that make up your paycheck. By aligning expenses with pay dates, optimizing military discounts, and leveraging the military community’s support, you can maximize your financial well-being in the dynamic world of military life.

Also, take a look at my Military Financial Resource Guide for help that may be available to you.


How often does the military get paid?

Military members get paid twice per month on the 1st and the 15th (the basic pay is split between these two paychecks). However, if that day falls on a weekday or holiday, they will get paid the workday before.

What time does military pay get deposited?

There is no set time that the pay will be deposited.

Is BAH split between paychecks?

All entitlements such as BAH and Basic Pay are split between the two paychecks that service members receive each month.

Why is building an emergency fund important for military families?

Military life comes with uncertainties. An emergency fund provides a financial safety net, covering unexpected expenses and offering peace of mind during challenging times.

What factors affect how much the military pays?

Basic pay, BAH (Basic Allowance for Housing), and various entitlements and deductions contribute to the total military pay. The LES provides a detailed breakdown.

What are some additional income options for military families?

In addition to considering remote work, freelancing, or starting a small business, exploring military side hustles can be an excellent way to supplement income. This is particularly beneficial in situations where traditional employment may pose challenges due to frequent relocations.

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