Finding the right career path is often challenging. The military is one of the biggest employers in America. There is 1.3 million active-duty military personnel.
Since joining the military involves moving, the military provides certain benefits. But do they pay for everything? This article outlines some of the benefits allowances the U.S. Army provides while you serve.
When you first join the Army, you will most likely live at the Army base. The Army provides for all utilities to all personnel living in the dorms. However, not everyone can live on the base.
Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) provides compensation for housing costs if you live off base. Overseas Housing Allowance caters to the cost of leasing housing while overseas. The amount of BAH varies depending on rank, paygrade, and duty location.
Military personnel goes where the military needs them. It often involves moving around to different bases around the country. Dislocation Allowance covers part of the costs of relocating to a new base.
However, DLA only partially covers the cost of relocating your household. DLA is also paid when the government orders soldiers to vacate their quarters due to privatization. Only military members with dependents get DLA.
Overseas Cost of Living Allowance
The military deploys its personnel to all corners of the globe. However, different locations have varying costs of living. Overseas cost of living allowance caters for the extra cost in high-cost duty stations.
COLA aims to equalize the purchasing power across the board. The rates are usually based on your duty zip code and not your home address. The amount of COLA is higher for personnel with dependents.
Family Separation Allowance
You can live with your family while serving in the U.S. However, that is not possible for soldiers serving overseas. Family Separation Allowance caters to some of the costs of the separation.
The U.S. Army pays Family Separation Allowance every month. FSA also applies to soldiers whose family members are unable to accompany them for medical reasons.
Military Clothing Allowance
Uniforms are a crucial part of the Army. Generally, uniforms display rank. The Army provides clothing to all its members after enlistment. The clothing allowance covers the cost of uniform replacement.
The clothing allowance is first paid during the first anniversary month. There are different types of clothing allowances. The army offers an initial clothing allowance when members enlist.
Additionally, members get a cash clothing replacement allowance every year to cover wear and tear. Lastly, extra clothing allowance covers the cost of civilian clothing.
The technical term for food allowance is Basic Allowance for Subsistence (BAS). It’s allowance caters to food cost for all enlisted officers. In addition, it caters to the cost of meals while you are at your permanent duty station.
However, it doesn’t have food costs for family members. The BAS is usually linked to the price of food. The allowance calculations come from food prices as provided by the USDA price index.
U.S. Army Allowances
The U.S. Army provides for everything if you are living on a base. Unfortunately, that is impossible for servicemen and women living off base. The best the Army can do is try to make your life as comfortable as possible. That is why the Army offers different allowances and benefits.
These allowances offset all or part of the cost soldiers incurs in the line of duty. The benefits only apply to service members serving in certain areas. The more dependents you have, the higher the allowance one gets. Find out more about your eligibility from your finance office.