military paycheck

Rumor Mill: Waiting for First Paycheck


My soldier has to wait four to six weeks to receive his first paycheck, but I’ve heard there are ways to get around it.


Unfortunately, this rumor is generally true as the first paycheck typically does take four to six weeks to arrive. It depends on when in the pay cycle he begins basic training, if he has all of the necessary paperwork completed and how fast they process the paperwork.

In most situations, he will receive his first paycheck within two pay cycles of starting basic training (not arriving there). However, I always tell everyone to be prepared for six weeks just in case.

Some people have emailed me to say they heard that the recruiter can speed up the paycheck process and help him get it faster – FALSE. The recruiter doesn’t have anything to do with him getting paid.

Some have said if they complete all of the paperwork ahead of time, he will get paid faster – FALSE.

While this does help and ensures mistakes are not made on the paperwork, having the paperwork completed before he arrives will not speed up the process. However, it is a good idea to gather all of this information before he leaves so he has what he needs.

Typically, there is enough time between him leaving his current job and enlisting in the Army to set up a plan to avoid financial hardship while waiting for his first paycheck.

Calling his commanding officer will not speed up the process or help out your soldier. Call your creditors to let them know the situation if all else fails. They are much more understanding if you make the call versus waiting to be called about a late bill.

Good luck!

author avatar
Stacey Abler
Stacey's husband joined the Army in 2003 and was medically retired after four deployments. She enjoys sharing her experiences and expertise around Army life while continuing to support Army spouses and families in their military journey.

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  1. so i just received my husbands first check from basic and i know that he should get a little over $1700 i also know that the amount is taxable. his check was just short of $960 and that’s about how much the BHS is. so is this the average amount i should expect every month from a full check? because we thought it was going to be at least over a $1000.
    please let me know i’m really stressing about it.

    1. What time period does the paycheck cover? An E-2 pay is $1644.90 per month plus he will receive BAH based on your zip code. After the first 30 days of separation, he’ll also receive that allowance ($250 last time I checked it). His base pay is taxable whereas the allowances are not. It’s also possible he had some expenses taken out.

  2. Ok so my husbands about to swear in and we are living pay check to pau check and were livong with my parent and will continue to be living with them till he gets out of basic will me and our 6 month old recieve soneof the pay while hes in basicw

  3. hi i had a couple of questions…
    In my husband’s first paycheck will BAH be included in the paycheck?

    if not, how soon do i start getting BAH?

    is BAH split into 2 payments in the month?

  4. My husband is reenlisting into the Army. He has already done eight years in the guard but thi time he is gctive duty. How long does it take to get stationed after reenlisting since he doesn’t have to go to basic or ait?

  5. So I leave for basic next week and I know they are going to want us to buy things in reception, will they give us some of our pay out of our first paycheck, or how does that work

  6. Hello my husband left for basic training on October 19,2015. Does anyone know when he will receive his first paycheck? i thought it would be the 15th of the month in November but i was wrong.

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