We’ve all heard people say that some soldiers marry a “random” girl just for the higher pay or they have children expecting a huge increase in their paycheck. Where do these rumors start? So, here I am to debunk the myth!
When a soldier gets married, this authorizes him (in most cases) to live off post. At the very least, he’ll be authorized family housing on post. At this point, he either begins to receive BAH (housing allowance) or lives in “free” housing on post. So the housing allowance is a definite increase. But keep in mind, it also comes with an increase in bills since he’s now paying a mortgage or rent along with utilities, etc. so in most case it is a wash. If the soldier was already living off post and receiving BAH, he will receive an increase when he marries as he will then receive BAH at the “with dependents” rate. For our duty station, the increase is roughly $150.
When the soldier moves out of the barracks and into housing (on or off post), he will no longer be eating in the chow hall on the Army’s dime. Instead, he will receive BAS since the Army is no longer providing “three squares a day”. Once again, this is an increase in pay and once again, it comes with an increase in expense…so a wash.
There is no increase in base pay for extra dependents. Unless the soldier is living overseas, BAH and BAS are the only pays that will change when a soldier adds his first dependent. Again, have I mentioned how much I hate the word dependent?
I should also mention that if a soldier who is married deploys or is in training for more than 30 days, he will receive family separation allowance, which is currently $250 a month. So there’s your increase in pay. The catch is you have to live without your husband to get it!
If the soldier is already married when he has children, there will be no increases to his pay. No increase in base pay, no increase in BAH and no increase in BAS. NONE. The Army does not pay additional for additional dependents beyond the first.
If the soldier is stationed overseas, pay rates can differ based on his home country and there may be special allowances. This information provided above assumes the soldier is stationed CONUS.
I’m willing to bet I missed something when laying out the pay differences. So if you notice an error, by all means let me know!