By the Numbers - Apr. 10, 2017

By the Numbers - Apr. 10, 2017

$100,000 - $110,000

The amount spent each year by the Department of Defense (DOD) "to compensate the average active duty servicemember (including) cash, benefits, and contributions to retirement programs," according to a recent Congressional Research Service report -- Military Pay: Key Questions and Answers. Although, as the report points out, "some estimates of compensation costs are higher."

The basic compensation package provided to all servicemembers includes basic pay, a housing allowance (or government-provided housing), a subsistence allowance (or government-provided meals), free medical and dental care for servicemembers, free or low-cost medical and dental care for dependents, paid annual leave, and certain other benefits. 

"The military compensation system is complex," as anyone looking at this report will quickly understand. The report "uses a question and answer format to highlight key aspects of the military compensation system and to address topics of recurring congressional interest," such as:

  • Compensation elements and rates
  • Statutory formulas for increasing compensation elements
  • Historical increases in basic pay
  • Comparability with civilian pay
  • Additional compensation for those serving in Iraq or Afghanistan

Military Compensation