2018 BAS (Basic Allowance for Subsistence) rates

The Basic Allowance for Subsistence (BAS) is currently proposed at 3.4.%. The 3.4% increase would be effective on January 1, 2018, if approved by the FY2018 National Defense Authorization Act. Typically Congress and the President agree on a final version and sign into law in December. If enacted, the BAS increase would go into effect on January 1, 2018.

Basic Allowance for Subsistence (BAS) is used to pay for food for Enlisted Soldiers and Officers. Beginning on January 1 2002, all enlisted members were given full BAS, but pay for their meals (including those provided by the government) such as through a meal card management system.

BAS is calculated based on the current cost of food in the United States as recorded by the Department of Agriculture. Just as Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) correlates with the overall cost of living in a given zip code, BAS correlates with the cost of food in the given zip code. BAS, however, is not affected by the presence or absence of dependents, whereas BAH is a higher figure for service members with dependents.

BAS is not intended to cover all food-related expenses, but rather to aid in these expenses. The additional monthly stipend that service members can receive while overseas or when stationed in costly areas, known as Cost of Living Allowance (COLA), will not be affected by the proposed BAS rate.

Year Proposed Increase Actual Increase Enlisted Rate Officer Rate
2018 3.40% TBD $380.81 $262.25
2017 3.40% 0% $368.29 $253.63
2016 3.40% 0.1% $368.29 $253.63
2015 3.40% 2.90% $367.92 $253.38
2014 3.40% 1.48% $357.55 $246.24
2013 3.40% 1.09% $352.27 $242.60
2012 3.40% 7.20% $348.44 $239.96
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2018 Military Pay

The 2018 military pay increase is currently proposed at 2.1% according to the President’s FY 2018 budget proposal. The proposed pay increase is 0.3% lower than private sector wage growth but the same percentage that President Obama signed into law for FY 2017.

The 2.1% increase is not final until the FY2018 National Defense Authorization Act is signed into law which typically occurs in December. During this time the NDAA and the military pay increase can change as legislators amend the defense budget.

The 2.1% raise would be about $575 annually for enlisted soldiers and $900 to $1,700 for officers annually. If the 2.1% increase were to hold it would be the eight time in nine years that military pay raises fell below private-sector wage growth.

See the 2018 proposed military pay charts.

The annual pay increase for service members is determined by the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Employment Cost Index and growth in private-sector wages. However, by law, Title 37, Chapter 19, Section 1009, the President can set an alternate pay raise which is being proposed in the 2018 Defense Budget, and was also proposed and implemented for 2017.

Historical Military Pay Raises by Year

YearMilitary Pay Raise %YearMilitary Pay Raise %
20182.10% (proposed)19894.10%
20172.10%19882.00%
20161.30%19873.00%
20151.00%19863.00%
20141.00%19854.00%
20131.70%19844.00%
20121.60%19834.00%
20111.40%198214.30%
20103.40%198111.70%
20093.90%19807.00%
20083.50%19795.50%
2007 *2.70%19787.10%
20063.10%19774.80%
20053.50%19765.00%
2004 *4.20%19755.52%
2003 *4.70%19746.20%
2002 *6.90%19736.70%
20014.10%19727.20%
20006.20%19717.90%
19993.60%19708.10%
19982.80%196912.60%
19973.00%19686.80%
19962.40%19675.60%
19952.60%19663.20%
19942.20%1965E: 11% O:6%
19933.70%19642.5% - 8.5%
19924.20%196312.60%
19914.10%19620.00%
19903.60%

* 2002, 2003, 2004, and 2007 are the average percentage raise as military pay raises differed for various military pay grades.

2018 military pay increases are for all branches of the U.S. Armed Forces; Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marines, Navy, and Reserve forces where applicable.

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2018 Military Pay Charts

The 2018 military pay charts reflect a proposed 2.1% pay increase as set forth in the President’s defense budget. The proposed pay increase is the same as the raise percentage approved by President Obama for FY2017 and 0.3 percent less than it should be according to U.S. Code Title 37.

2018 Military Pay Scale

GRADE2 OR LESSOVER 2OVER 3OVER 4OVER 6OVER 8
O-10 (*1)$-$-$-$-$-$-
O-9 (*1)$-$-$-$-$-$-
O-8 (*1)$10,368 $10,708 $10,933 $10,996 $11,278 $11,748
O-7 (*1)$8,615 $9,015 $9,201 $9,348 $9,614 $9,878
O-6 (*2)$6,533 $7,178 $7,649 $7,649 $7,678 $8,007
O-5$5,446 $6,135 $6,560 $6,640 $6,905 $7,064
O-4$4,699 $5,440 $5,803 $5,883 $6,220 $6,582
O-3$4,132 $4,683 $5,055 $5,512 $5,776 $6,066
O-2$3,570 $4,066 $4,682 $4,841 $4,941 $4,941
O-1$3,099 $3,225 $3,899 $3,899 $3,899 $3,899
O-3 (*3)$-$-$-$5,512 $5,776 $6,066
O-2 (*3)$-$-$-$4,841 $4,941 $5,098
O-1 (*3)$-$-$-$3,899 $4,163 $4,317
W-5$-$-$-$-$-$-
W-4$4,270 $4,593 $4,725 $4,855 $5,078 $5,299
W-3$3,899 $4,062 $4,228 $4,283 $4,458 $4,801
W-2$3,450 $3,777 $3,877 $0$4,170 $4,518
W-1$3,029 $3,355 $3,442 $3,628 $3,847 $4,169
E-9 (*4)$-$-$-$-$-$-
E-8$-$-$-$-$-$4,223
E-7$2,936 $3,204 $3,327 $3,489 $3,616 $3,834
E-6$2,539 $2,794 $2,917 $3,037 $3,162 $3,443
E-5$2,326 $2,483 $2,603 $2,725 $2,917 $3,117
E-4$2,133 $2,242 $2,363 $2,483 $2,589 $2,589
E-3$1,925 $2,046 $2,170 $2,170 $2,170 $2,170
E-2$1,831 $1,831 $1,831 $1,831 $1,831 $1,831
E-1 > 4 mos$1,633 $1,633 $1,633 $1,633 $1,633 $1,633
E-1 < 4 mos$1,510 $-$-$-$-$-

2018 Military Pay Scale

GRADEOVER 10OVER 12OVER 14OVER 16OVER 18OVER 20
O-10 (*1)$-$-$-$-$-$15,910
O-9 (*1)$-$-$-$-$-$14,653
O-8 (*1)$11,857 $12,303 $12,431 $12,815 $13,372 $13,884
O-7 (*1)$10,182 $10,486 $10,791 $11,748 $12,555 $12,555
O-6 (*2)$8,050 $8,050 $8,507 $9,316 $9,791 $10,266
O-5$7,412 $7,668 $7,999 $8,505 $8,745 $8,983
O-4$7,032 $7,382 $7,625 $7,765 $7,846 $7,846
O-3$6,253 $6,561 $6,722 $6,722 $6,722 $6,722
O-2$4,941 $4,941 $4,941 $4,941 $4,941 $4,940
O-1$3,899 $3,899 $3,899 $3,899 $3,899 $3,899
O-3 (*3)$6,253 $6,561 $6,821 $6,970 $7,174 $7,174
O-2 (*3)$5,363 $5,569 $5,721 $5,721 $5,721 $5,721
O-1 (*3)$4,474 $4,629 $4,841 $4,841 $4,841 $4,841
W-5$-$-$-$-$-$7,592
W-4$5,523 $5,859 $6,154 $6,435 $6,665 $6,889
W-3$5,159 $5,328 $5,523 $5,723 $6,084 $6,328
W-2$4,690 $4,859 $5,067 $5,229 $5,376 $5,552
W-1$4,320 $4,530 $4,738 $4,901 $5,051 $5,233
E-9 (*4)$5,159 $5,275 $5,423 $5,596 $5,771 $6,051
E-8$4,409 $4,525 $4,664 $4,814 $5,085 $5,222
E-7$3,957 $4,175 $4,356 $4,480 $4,612 $4,662
E-6$3,553 $3,766 $3,830 $3,877 $3,933 $3,933
E-5$3,281 $3,301 $3,301 $3,301 $3,301 $3,301
E-4$2,589 $2,589 $2,589 $2,589 $2,589 $2,589
E-3$2,170 $2,170 $2,170 $2,170 $2,170 $2,170
E-2$1,831 $1,831 $1,831 $1,831 $1,831 $1,831
E-1 > 4 mos$1,633 $1,633 $1,633 $1,633 $1,633 $1,633
E-1 < 4 mos$-$-$-$-$-$-

2018 Military Pay Scale

GRADEOVER 22OVER 24OVER 26OVER 28OVER 30OVER 32
O-10 (*1)$15,910 $15,910 $15,910 $15,910 $15,910 $15,910
O-9 (*1)$14,865 $15,170 $15,702 $15,702 $15,910 $15,910
O-8 (*1)$14,226 $14,226 $14,226 $14,226 $14,583 $14,583
O-7 (*1)$12,555 $12,555 $12,555 $12,555 $12,872 $12,872
O-6 (*2)$10,535 $10,809 $11,339 $11,339 $11,339 $11,339
O-5$9,253 $9,253 $9,253 $9,253 $9,253 $9,253
O-4$7,846 $7,846 $7,846 $7,846 $7,846 $7,846
O-3$6,722 $6,722 $6,722 $6,722 $6,722 $6,722
O-2$4,941 $4,941 $4,941 $4,941 $4,941 $4,941
O-1$3,899 $3,899 $3,899 $3,899 $3,899 $3,899
O-3 (*3)$7,174 $7,174 $7,174 $7,174 $7,174 $7,174
O-2 (*3)$5,721 $5,721 $5,721 $5,721 $5,721 $5,721
O-1 (*3)$4,841 $4,841 $4,841 $4,841 $4,841 $4,841
W-5$7,977 $8,264 $8,582 $8,582 $9,011 $9,011
W-4$7,219 $7,489 $7,798 $7,798 $7,953 $7,953
W-3$6,474 $6,629 $6,840 $6,840 $6,840 $6,840
W-2$5,667 $5,759 $5,759 $5,759 $5,759 $5,759
W-1$5,233 $5,233 $5,233 $5,233 $5,233 $5,233
E-9 (*4)$6,288 $6,537 $6,919 $6,919 $7,264 $7,264
E-8$5,456 $5,585 $5,904 $5,904 $6,023 $6,023
E-7$4,834 $4,926 $5,276 $5,276 $5,276 $5,276
E-6$3,933 $3,933 $3,933 $3,933 $3,933 $3,933
E-5$3,301 $3,301 $3,301 $3,301 $3,301 $3,301
E-4$2,589 $2,589 $2,589 $2,589 $2,589 $2,589
E-3$2,170 $2,170 $2,170 $2,170 $2,170 $2,170
E-2$1,831 $1,831 $1,831 $1,831 $1,831 $1,831
E-1 > 4 mos$1,633 $1,633 $1,633 $1,633 $1,633 $1,633
E-1 < 4 mos$-$-$-$-$-$-

2018 Military Pay Scale

GRADEOVER 34OVER 36OVER 38OVER 40
O-10 (*1)$15,910 $15,910 $15,910 $15,910
O-9 (*1)$15,910 $15,910 $15,910 $15,910
O-8 (*1)$14,947 $14,947 $14,947 $14,947
O-7 (*1)$12,872 $12,872 $12,872 $12,872
O-6 (*2)$11,566 $11,566 $11,566 $11,566
O-5$9,253 $9,253 $9,253 $9,253
O-4$7,846 $7,846 $7,846 $7,846
O-3$6,722 $6,722 $6,722 $6,722
O-2$4,941 $4,941 $4,941 $4,941
O-1$3,899 $3,899 $3,899 $3,899
O-3 (*3)$7,174 $7,174 $7,174 $7,174
O-2 (*3)$5,721 $5,721 $5,721 $5,721
O-1 (*3)$4,841 $4,841 $4,841 $4,841
W-5$9,461 $9,461 $9,461 $9,461
W-4$7,953 $7,953 $7,953 $7,953
W-3$6,840 $6,840 $6,840 $6,840
W-2$5,759 $5,759 $5,759 $5,759
W-1$5,233 $5,233 $5,233 $5,233
E-9 (*4)$7,627 $7,627 $7,627 $7,627
E-8$6,023 $6,023 $6,023 $6,023
E-7$5,276 $5,276 $5,276 $5,276
E-6$3,933 $3,933 $3,933 $3,933
E-5$3,301 $3,301 $3,301 $3,301
E-4$2,589 $2,589 $2,589 $2,589
E-3$2,170 $2,170 $2,170 $2,170
E-2$1,831 $1,831 $1,831 $1,831
E-1 > 4 mos$1,633 $1,633 $1,633 $1,633
E-1 < 4 mos$-$-$-$-

Notes:
1. Basic pay for an O-7 to O-10 is limited by Level II of the Executive Schedule. Basic pay for O-6 and below is limited by Level V of the Executive Schedule.
2. Basic Pay for O-6 and below is limited by Level V of the Executive Schedule in effect during Calendar Year 2017 which is $12,641.70
3. Applicable to O-1 to O-3 with at least 4 years and 1 day of active duty or more than 1460 points as a warrant and/or enlisted member. See Department of Defense Financial Management Regulations for more detailed explanation on who is eligible for this special basic pay rate.
4. For the Sergeant Major of the Army, Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy, Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force, Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps, Senior Enlisted Advisor of the JCS, Senior Enlisted Advisor to the Chief of the National Guard Bureau or Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard basic pay is $8,165.10.
5. Combat Zone Tax Exclusion for O-1 and above is based on the basic pay rate plus Hostile Fire Pay/Imminent Danger Pay which is $225.
6. Basic pay for Academy Cadets/Midshipmen and ROTC members/applicants is $1,062.30.

The military pay charts are for all U.S. Armed Forces personnel Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marines, Navy, and Reserves forces where applicable. Also, be sure to know your military pay dates.

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2018 Defense Budget

U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class George M. Bell

The 2018 Defense Budget has been released by President Trump. However, what you see discussed in news headlines and blog posts is related to the President’s proposed  budget until this request has been approved and signed into law. Regardless of the fate of the current Defense Budget Request, these proposed changes are important since they reflect the fiscal goals and intent of the current administration toward military spending.

According to the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD), the President has requested $639.1 billion, $574.5 billion “in the base budget” and $64.6 billion “in the Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) budget.” This defense budget request is $52 billion above the defense budget cap in the Budget and Control Act (BCA) of 2011, according to a press release by the DoD.

Pay Raises, Manning Levels

At the time of this writing, the defense budget includes the following:

  • 2.1% pay increase for military members. This is less than the 2.4% under the formula in current law
  • 1.9% pay raise for civilian employees
  • 2.9% average increase in Basic Allowance for Housing Rates with 96% coverage of housing costs
  • 3.4% increase in Basic Allowance for Subsistence
  • Sustainment of FY 2017 National Defense Authorization Act increased manning levels
  • Modification of the military’s retirement system, “to allow enlisted members beyond 26 years to receive government contributions under the Thrift Savings Plan” according to
    Defense.Gov

Housing Allowances, Healthcare, Retirement

Under the section “Military Compensation Proposals-Going Forward”, there is no individual dollar-for-dollar comparison of 2017/2018 BAH, BAS, hazardous duty pay, or other compensation. However, specific mentions of TRICARE and military retirement plans included the following:

  • Streamlining of the current TRICARE system, with a proposed Military Treatment Facility “in-network” and “out-of-network” cost sharing
  • “Modestly higher” deductibles and co-pays
  • Increased pharmacy co-pays and fees for working-age retirees and families
  • “Proposed legislative changes” that would permit enlisted members serving more than 26 years to continue receiving Thrift Savings Plan matching contributions
  • Slight decrease in child care funding

A New Military Retirement System

The 2018 Defense Budget request includes a proposal for new “blended military retirement” which includes “a defined retirement pay system” that employs a 2.0% multiplier rather than 2.5%. The new retirement plan would also include a 1% government contribution to military Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) accounts, and matching government contributions to military TSP that are identical to the system used by civilian federal employees. There is also a proposed bonus paid to military members between year eight and year 12 of military service.

The new blended military retirement system would affect those who join the military after 1 January 2018, and currently serving military members who have less than 12 years of military service and choose to opt-in to the new plan.

Base Realignment And Closure

According to the 2018 Defense Budget Request Overview book published by Defense.gov, the Defense Department has approximately “20 percent more infrastructure capacity than required for its operations” and a request for a new Base Realignment and Closure round is part of the 2018 request.

At the time of this writing, that round is requested for the year 2021, but as BRAC has potentially major effects on assignments, family housing, and related issues, this is a topic to watch.

Defense Budget Approval Timeline:

May 23, 2017 – DoD Releases Fiscal Year 2018 Budget Proposal

Summer 2017 – Congressional committees submit “views and estimates” of spending and revenues.

Summer/Fall 2017 – House & Senate Armed Appropriations Committees work on the FY2017 defense bill.

Summer/Fall 2017 – House of Representatives and Senate pass their versions of the defense bill and negotiat differences.

November/December 2016 – The House of Representatives and Senate pass the final version of the defense bill.

December 2017 – President Trump signs the defense bill into law.

Compare to the 2017 Defense Budget that went into effect on January 1, 2017. For more detailed information on the 2018 Defense Budget proposal, visit the Defense Budget Overview document.

If the budget is enacted the changes would go into effect on January 1, 2018.

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Military Pay Allowances List Military Clothing (Uniform) Allowance Rates

Companies who support the SCRA

Active duty servicemembers can benefit greatly by applying for Servicemembers Civil Relief Act protections and provisions with the following financial companies. Possible benefits include reduction of interest rates, protection from repossession and foreclosure, no late fees, and no annual credit card fees.

Photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class LaTunya Howard
Credit: Petty Officer 2nd Class LaTunya Howard

American Express

American Express has demonstrated their support of the U.S. military by offering to waive all their annual credit card membership fees for active duty servicemembers. American Express will also apply the standard SCRA provisions.

American Express – SCRA Eligibility

To qualify for SCRA benefits with American Express, you must meet one of the following criteria:

  • A member of the U.S. Armed Forces (any military branch) serving on active duty.
  • A member of a reserve component called to active duty.
  • National Guard member under a call or order to active duty for more than 30 consecutive days.
  • Commissioned Officer for the Public Health Service or NOAA.
  • U.S. citizen serving with the forces of a nation with which U.S. is allied in war or military action.
  • Spouse of active duty, where credit is extended to a Service member and spouse jointly.

American Express – SCRA Benefits

Active duty military personnel can request SCRA benefits and have the annual membership fee waived on their American Express credit card accounts. This valuable offer includes The Platinum Card, which has a $450 annual fee. Please be aware that the active duty military service member must be a cardholder in order for the account to qualify for SCRA benefits with American Express.

Under the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act, the following account fees will also be waived by American Express, for the duration of the military members’ active duty service:

  • Overlimit fees
  • Late payment fees
  • Returned payment fees
  • Statement copy request fees

View more info and apply for SCRA benefits with American Express


Bank of America 

Bank of America has promised to help protect their active duty military customers by offering SCRA benefits and protections on lines of credit, credit cards, installment loans, mortgage and home equity secured loans, and student loans. Servicemembers Civil Relief Act benefits extend to both consumer and business loan accounts with Bank of America.

Bank of America also extends certain benefits to the spouse or dependent of a covered active duty servicemember, even if the servicemember is not specifically named on the account.

Bank of America  – SCRA Eligibility

To qualify for SCRA benefits with Bank of America, the military member must self identify as:

  • Active duty Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps or Coast Guard.
  • Reservist serving on active duty.
  • National Guard serving on active duty for more than 30 consecutive days under federal orders issued by the President or Secretary of Defense.
  • Commissioned officer of the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration
  • Commissioned officer of the Public Health Service.

Bank of America – SCRA Benefits

  • Reduction or limits on interest rates to 6% in effect for your entire active duty service. Eligible accounts include credit cards, installment contracts, mortgages, and student loans. If your interest rate is higher than 6% your payments will be reduced to reflect the lower interest rate.
  • Protection from repossession and foreclosure.

Bank of America encourages active duty to know their rights under the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act. For more information, check out the Bank of America SCRA overview.


Discover

Discover has made the commitment to support active duty servicemembers by offering 6% or less annual percentage rate (APR) on Discover card purchases and cash advances, and no late fees. These SCRA benefits are even applied retroactively to the service member’s active duty start date.

Discover  – SCRA Eligibility

To qualify for SCRA benefits with Discover, the servicemember must have been or currently be on active duty status in one of these U.S. military branches:

  • Army
  • Navy
  • Air Force
  • Marine Corps
  • Coast Guard
  • Reservist or member of the National Guard (on active duty)
  • Commissioned Officer of the Public Health Service or the NOAA

Active duty servicemembers and their spouses/domestic partners are eligible for SCRA benefits on joint accounts. Discover extends this benefit to separate accounts on which the servicemember is not obligated.

Discover – SCRA Benefits

  • 6% or less APR on all Discover card purchases and cash advances.
  • Coverage may extend to personal loans, home equity, home loans, and student loans.
  • No late fees.

You can also apply for retroactive SCRA coverage with Discover, for up to 180 days after the end of your active duty service.

Activate your SCRA benefits with Discover


Capital One

Capital One is committed to both the letter and spirit of the SCRA, including provision of benefits and protections above and beyond what is required under the SCRA in certain situations.

Capital One – SCRA Eligibility

Capital One offers SCRA benefits to those serving on active duty with one of the following branches:

  • Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard reserves
  • Army or Air National Guard
  • U.S. citizens who are members of an allied nation’s military service
  • Commissioned officers of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
  • Commissioned officers of the Public Health Service
  • Spouses and dependents of active duty Servicemembers listed above

Capital One – SCRA Benefits

  • Maximum interest rate of just 4% on accounts owned and serviced by Capital One.
  • No fees assessed on accounts, except bona-fide insurance.

Learn more about Capital One SCRA benefits


Chase

Chase is dedicated to offering servicemembers convenience, savings, service and security. Active duty servicemembers can apply for SCRA benefits and receive interest rates 2% lower than what the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act even requires.

Chase – SCRA Eligibility

To qualify for SCRA benefits with Chase, the applicable military member must currently be on active duty in one of the following:

  • Army
  • Navy
  • Air Force
  • Marine Corps
  • Coast Guard
  • Reservist or member of the National Guard
  • Commissioned Officer of the Public Health Service or the National Oceanic
    and Atmosphere Foundation

Chase – SCRA Benefits

  • Interest rates 2% lower than SCRA requires— You could lower your interest rate to 4%!
  • Foreclosure protection: Chase will not foreclose on your home if you’re deployed on active duty or SCRA-protected–even if you’re behind on your mortgage payments. This protection applies regardless of when your mortgage began. And Chase will honor this protection for one year following active duty or until your SCRA-protected status ends.

Chase has a dedicated Military Services Team available to assist you with SCRA benefits.