Whether you are new to the military life are 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? Here, I will explain some of the basics of military pay and more!
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How Often Does The Military Get Paid?
Military members are usually paid bi-monthly on the 1st and the 15th of the month. However, these dates can be different if they coincide with a holiday or the weekend.
Noteworthy, members of USAA and Navy Federal have the benefit of receiving their pay 1 to 3 days earlier when using direct deposit.
It is typically 1 business day early; however, if the regular payday falls on a Monday, NFCU members would get paid on the Saturday before and USAA members would get paid on the Friday.
2023 Military Pay Dates
(Information pulled from the DFAS website and various financial institutions.)
|Pay Period||Pay Day||Navy Federal Pay Dates||USAA Pay Dates||LES Available Dates|
How Much Does the Military Pay?
There are several factors that affect how much you will get paid. You can read your LES (Leave and Earnings Statement), aka Paystub, for a breakdown of what payments you are getting and the deductions coming out. (You can download your LES on the myPay website.)
Two of the major payments are your basic pay (dependent on rank and years of service) and your BAH (Basic Housing Allowance). If stationed overseas, you will receive OHA (Overseas Housing Allowance) instead of BAH.
Read More: Your housing allowance is increased if you have dependents. Learn more about military dependent pay.
These are what I usually use to estimate the monthly income until the LES breakdown is available to look at. However, it can vary due to entitlements and deductions.
What are Entitlements?
Entitlements on your LES vary by your duty station and is 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, and 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
When the government shuts down, it is due to all the budgets for spending not being passed by the deadline.
With that being said, if the budget for the military has already been passed, you will get paid (which was the case in the 2018-19 shutdown). However, that does not always happen and you may not be.
It is important to save and start an emergency fund to help you get through these times without accumulating debt and having late payment fees. Please refer to my simple budget to help you get started.
I also recommend banking through military institutions such as Navy Federal Credit Union and USAA. They have programs to help their members affected by the shutdown.
If there is anything else you need to know about military finances, comment below. I’ll do my best to respond promptly.
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.
There is no set time that the pay will be deposited by.
All entitlements such as BAH and Basic Pay are split between the two paychecks that service-members receive each month.