Explaining military pay is a little more complicated than explaining remuneration for regular nine to five work. Those who wish to embark on a military career will want to know what they will earn in exchange for their service to the country. A range of variables apply to soldiers and other military personnel. Remuneration in the army is not based simply on the hours that soldiers work, but on a range of variables. All soldiers receive what is known as basic pay as well as extra payments which apply based on the type of work they do, deployment and housing. Length of time in service and rank are two criteria that are used to determine the amount of money that the soldiers will earn. Low ranking troops with two or fewer years in the army will be placed on a E1 scale and earn about $1,500 each month.
Four star generals on a 0-10 scale with thirty years service will be paid around $17,000 per month in base remuneration. Each rank has a different pay scale based on experience, and the army matches the scale with the number of years service. Other army personnel receive what is known as drill pay. Military Reserves and soldiers who belong to the National Guard will receive this type of remuneration. This type of pay is based on the number of drills that the soldiers perform every month. The army will also take into account years of service and rank when determining this remuneration.
Reserves and guard members usually engage in one weekend of drill each month and this would amount to four drill sessions. Soldiers are paid one day’s wages every time that they perform a drill. The lowest ranking member of the drill guard with under two years service earns close to two hundred dollars per weekend of drill. Colonels with twenty or more year’s service earn one thousand five hundred dollars every weekend that they spend performing drilling services. Reserves or National Guards that are called in for active duty will be paid the same money as soldiers who are employed full time by the army. This could happen when these members are needed to assist with basic training at military school, or if they are deployed for specific army duty.
Army recruiters are assigned to recruit soldiers for the various branches of the army. These recruiters will offer interested people free board and lodging. Thanks to the army’s housing program this is possible. Soldiers who are unattached usually reside in a dormitory or barracks along with other soldiers in the same situation. Because the barracks do not adhere to certain standards, soldiers are given a minimum allowance to compensate for this. This allowance is referred to as a Partial Housing Allowance.
After basic training and or military school, soldiers will be assigned to a single room to stay in. These soldiers will, have to share a bathroom. Once the soldiers become enlisted, they are then afforded the chance to live in premises that are away from the army base. These soldiers usually rent an apartment or a house if they can afford it. The army subsidizes this with an allowance. Low ranking soldiers can move away from the base. Should the low-ranking soldiers choose to move off base, they will not be paid an allowance.
Married army personnel with or without children can either be paid an allowance and live off base, or they can live in a house on the base for free. Soldiers who receive an allowance can use the money to either rent or buy a place to live in. As is the case with all army remuneration, allowances are calculated by years service and rank. Another factor is whether the personnel have children or not.
While they are on full time duty, Reserves and National Guard personnel are eligible for housing allowances. Different calculations come into play with these soldiers as they are not working full-time for the army. Should these soldiers be employed for more than thirty days, they will receive the same amount of allowance as full time army personnel. Should they work for less than thirty days they will be allocated less money. There is no housing allowance payable if Reserves and National Guards only perform drill duty on weekends.
Active army personnel are entitled to receive a monthly food allowance as part of their salary. Warrant officers and commissioned ranking personnel are given two hundred and twenty-four dollars each month while they are on duty. Personnel who are enlisted are given slightly more as they receive $324 each month while they are on active duty. As single, low ranking personnel eat at the base dining hall for free, their food allowance is deducted from their monthly pay checks before they receive their salaries. Soldiers can save a substantial amount of money by eating at the dining hall every day.
Any army personnel who live away from the base are not permitted to eat for free in the base dining hall. Such army officials receive a monthly allowance for food expenses. Although they are not permitted to eat at the dining hall without paying, these soldiers can pay to eat at the hall if they choose to. Members who eat for free receive a meal card, and they can claim for any meals that they have missed due to being on duty during meal times. In this instance, the soldiers will receive money for the missed meals when they next receive their salaries. An officer will have to approve this before any money is paid out.
In some cases, the army might permit immediate family members to accompany soldiers when they are redeployed. If the soldiers decline the offer to take their families along, no Family Separation Allowance will be paid. Where both spouses are army personnel, and they are deployed on the same day, only the senior ranking officer will receive Family Separation Allowance. All ranking soldiers receive an additional $225 when they are assigned to a combat region.