How To Read an Army LES (Leave Earnings Statement)

Last Updated on August 8, 2019

The LES (Leave Earnings Statement) is basically his pay stub. He can elect to receive the paper stub or just view it online at You must have his social security number and pin in order to login and see his LES. The site can give you further details about how to get this if you don’t have it.

To me, the way the system works is backwards. On the 15th of the month, the LES has no detail just the amount paid. On the last day of the month is when his LES will have the breakdown of his pay. If his paycheck is the same every month, this is no problem. However, when he is in training, has just arrived at a new post or is deployed, he will rarely get two paychecks that are the same. Sometimes, the amounts vary greatly. You will have no idea what you are getting paid for until the end of the month. One word of advice: If his paycheck suddenly becomes larger, do not spend the money until you know that it is definitely yours to spend. The Army will quickly debit your account when they realize they have made a mistake. In fact they will debit your account to get their money back much quicker than they will credit your account with money they owe you.

On to the LES:

ID Row:

Soldier’s Name, SS#, Grade (Rank), Pay Date, Years of Service, ETS (date his current enlistment will end), Branch, ADSN/DSSN (number used to identify the finance office), Period Covered (period he is being paid for)

Entitlements: his income

Base pay: this is his base pay (which is taxable) and is dependent on his rank. For instance, base pay for E3 is $1,456 (as of 2005). This pay is generally not taxable if he is deployed (certain circumstances apply)

BAS: Basic allowance for subsistence (food). This is also non taxable.

BAH: Housing allowance (non-taxable). The amount is determined based on dependents and the zip code. Note that whether you are married with no kids or married with ten kids, the BAH remains the same.

Special pay: this could be parachute pay, diving pay, etc. Generally, this pay results from your soldier attending a special training course.

Other entitlements can include hardship pay (common for those stationed in Korea), hazardous duty and imminent danger pay (extra pay when deployed to one of these areas), and family separation allowance (if your soldier is away from dependents for thirty days or more).


This includes all deductions from his pay including all federal and state taxes.

SGLI: this is his contribution towards his $400,000 life insurance policy

MGIB: he must pay $100 for the first twelve months in service towards his Montgomery GI Bill

Mid-month pay: on the last paystub of the month, his mid-month pay will show as a deduction.


This column is for any items that are being deducted such as money that is going to a checking/savings account, insurance payments, bonds, etc.


+ Amt Fwd: the amount of any unpaid pay or allowances from the prior LES

+ Tot Ent: the total of all entitlements

– Tot Ded: the total of all deductions

– Tot Allt: total of all allotments

= Net Amt: net amount of his pay

– Cr Fwd: all unpaid pay or allowances due to appear on the next LES

= EOM Pay: amount to be paid at the end of the month

DIEMS: date initially entered military service

RETPLAN: type of retirement plan

Leave Row:

BF Bal: brought forward balance

Ernd: amount of leave earned (in days)

Used: amount of leave used (in days)

Cr Bal: amount of leave available (in days)

ETS Bal: projected leave balance to the member’s ETS

Lv Lost: amount of leave lost

Lv Paid: amount of leave paid to date

Use/Lose: projected number of days that will be lost if not taken

The next three rows are for taxes: Fed Taxes, FICA Taxes, State Taxes:

M/S: Denotes married or single

Ex: Denotes number of exemptions

Pay Data Row:

BAQ Type: type of basic allowance being paid (with dependents or without dependents)

BAQ Depn: type of dependent (i.e. “spouse”)

VHA Zip: the zip code used to compute BAH (or BAQ)

Rent Amt: amount of rent paid (if applicable)

Share: number of people the soldier shares housing costs with

Stat: VHA status – accompanies or unaccompanied

JFTR, Depns, 2nd JFTR: for COLA purposes

BAS Type: type of rations the soldier is receiving

Charity Type: amount of charitable contributions

TPC: this field is not used

PACIDN: active unit identification code (UIC)

Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) Row:

Base Pay Rate: amount elected for TSP

Base Pay Current: reserved for future use

Spec Pay Rate: percentage of special pay elected for TSP

Spec Pay Current: reserved for future use

Inc Pay Rate: percentage of incentive pay elected for TSP

Inc Pay Current: reserved for future use

Bonus Pay Rate: percentage of bonus pay elected for TSP

Bonus Pay Current: reserved for future use

TSP YTD Deductions: total deductions year to date for TSP

Deferred: total amount deferred for tax purposes

Exempt: total amount exempt for tax purposes

Remarks Section:

YTD Entitle: total of all entitlements in the calendar year

YTD Deduct: total of all deductions in the calendar year

You will then notice a section of remarks that are used to make you aware of general notices.

5 thoughts on “How To Read an Army LES (Leave Earnings Statement)”

  1. Capitalize Soldier and spell it right. Not all Soldiers are males so maybe loose the “he’s” and “his”. As jacked up as I feel towards this page it is surprisingly accurate LES information but figures when it comes to woman and money.

    1. As far as “he’s” and “his”, my husband was in special ops (an all male unit). I was never even around female soldiers until a great deal of time after I wrote this article. I have addressed the reason I use his/him/he, etc on this site multiple times and there is no disrespect intended towards females.

      And what exactly does your last sentence mean? Jacked up because I provide over 600 pages of free information for family members? If you don’t like the site, then don’t visit it. Simple as that.

    2. Somebody has been infected with the Feminazi/Political Correctness virus. It is unfortunate that no cure has been found yet. Sad face 🙁

      Many military publications state that references to the male gender are inclusive of the female gender as well. It’s not a male superiority deal, “we’ll only publish the male reference because male superior being, grr grunt ugh.” To include the he/she (and variants) references in a large publication would consume more resources, to do so simply for the sake of appeasing one’s butthurtness of not seeing “her” spelled out when it is clearly implied, would be impractical as it would generate unnecessary expenses. Take a dose of reality, it’s the only plausible cure for the F/PC virus, we can only hope it helps.

      Oh, and to you inner grammar nazi; she’s not a major publicist, she’s trying to be a source of help and assistance. I think we can somehow manage to find a scrap of decency in our hearts to forgive the lack of a capital “S”…

      Although, in counter argument to your F/PC, you then turn around and attack her, it figures that a military spouse would know so much about the “S”oldier’s paycheck! You are truly one asinine…ass! “…figures when it comes to woman and money.” (By the way, you failed being a grammar nazi, you left out the “a” before “woman”, oops! Or did you mean “women”?) It’s not just the female spouses who are guilty of plundering their “S”oldier’s paychecks, male spouses have been just as guilty. Moreso, not every spouse is a paycheck pirate, way to generalize. I’m sure you feel mighty about it.

      BLUF: You’re an ass. Shut up. Learn some manners and respect. Then, and only then, feel free to come back and speak with some respect. I certainly hope you do not wear a uniform, you would be a horrendous representative of the military, Mr. Greg.

  2. LOL! “If his paycheck suddenly becomes larger, do not spend the money until you know that it is definitely yours to spend.”

  3. So on my LES it says that my NET AMT is 2,251.75 and in CR FWD it says 2,251.75 so do I get paid thst money the next pay period or not???

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