As a Coastie, I have traveled the States for the past 20 years going from coast to coast and one amazing adventure to another.
Read on in this blog to hear stories about my experiences living the Coast Guard life, not only as a military officer but also as a small town Midwestern girl who left home to enlist in the United States Coast Guard.
I look forward to hearing what you have to say about... My Coast Guard Career.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Military Pay

Sure, the military isn’t know for its substantial salary or lucrative bonus packages but I think it gets a far worse rap then it should. The standard military pay charts only show what they call “Basic Pay Rates”. That is base pay without considering all the additional pay and tax benefits like housing allowances (BAH), food allowance (BAS), additional income for dependents (i.e. wife/husband and children), and other potential income including special pay and bonus’.

This site will factor in many of these allowances to calculate actual military pay. According to this site, a single E-3 right out of bootcamp with less than one year in the service would make approximately $36,340.87. If this member were married with one child, he/she would receive approximately $38,082.18. After spending a few years in the service and advancing to the rank of Petty Officer, this same member would make $40,407.04 ($42,997.58 married with one child). Take this up another couple of years and a few promotions and this same member would make approximately $52,027.57 ($54,724.40 married with one child). That sure isn’t bad considering a person making $10/hour, 40 hours per week only makes about $19,200.

Since the Coast Guard is a branch of the military, its members receive the same pay and benefits as the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines. For a better understanding of pay specific to the U.S. Coast Guard, check out this site.

So, if you are one of those people who thinks the military doesn't pay well, maybe you will change your mind and realize its not so bad (and actually pretty darn good!).


Ryan R. Erickson said...

Good find! I've only used the pay charts, but this is much better. Thanks.

NCCM USN(ret) said...

I agree that when I retired just over a year ago that I was making a good wage (E-9 over 26) but have always been concerned at the amount the E-5 and below have earned. For what we ask these young men and women to do they shouldn't have to only count on less than a $1000 disposable income (after insurance, automobile, gas, and other essentials)

In one of todays papers in the UK they reported how some of their military members are having to take out loans to even eat - I made a comparison of US-UK military pay after reading it

I have been maintaining the basic pay charts for a few years now - even have the 2009 proposed one up :)

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