2013 BAS Rates Announced

December 17, 2012 | Kate Horrell


BAH and Pay Charts are also changing on 1 January 2013.  See 2013 Pay Raise, One Step Closer and 2013 BAH Rates Released for more information.

Basic Allowance for Subsistence (BAS) rates for 2013 were released today.  The new rates, effective 1 January 2013, are:

Enlisted:  $352.27 per month

Officers:  $242.60 per month

BAS is a non-taxable allowance that is intended to replace the rations historically provided to military service members.  BAS rates are tied directly to the United States Department of Agriculture’s calculations of the increasing price of food.


  1. BAS went down says:

    So, it went down this year?

  2. Bruno says:

    every dollar counts baby thank u Jesus

  3. chris says:

    Wow boy food goes up and we get a lousy 4 dollar raise on it. lol. What a joke.

    • guest says:

      Tell me what other company or organization provides a tax free allowance to pay for an individuals food? In this economy we need to be happy with any raise.

      • guest says:

        and actually food went down this year.

      • guest says:

        If they aren't happy with four dollars now wait till 2014 and they maybe wishing for half of what they are getting now. I guess the ones complaining haven't been following the capital hill agenda lately? They are poised to take all of your free stuff and give it to those that are not working or have not worked. All the time taking the money away from the ones that have worked and are depending on it for living. (Social Security and Pensions)

  4. david says:

    I don't think people realize BAS is for the service member, not the families.

  5. Phil says:

    Please think how many jobs give you family days, pt during work hours, bas,bah, clothing allowance, and 30 days vacation. Be thankful!!!

    • johnny maintainer says:

      PT during work hours? you're obviously not miantenance

    • steve says:

      Quite a few civilian jobs will give "Family days" for example, Christmas/New Year's Eve, etc. Almost no one in my squadron got them though, you know, because of "manpower reductions." We also do not get "Comp Days" for working the holiday itself. I worked Veteran's Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day in the last few months, and my unit doesn't give comp days to shift work, again because of "Manpower."
      We also do not get PT during work hours. In fact, how many jobs do you think have physical fitness requirements at all?
      The only things you listed that I do get, are mandated by law, and the contract I signed when I joined. I am thankful for the things I do get, but don't try to make it sound like I can't take the communications degree I almost had before I joined (12 credits/one semester away), and make double what I currently make.

      • Bobby says:

        well why don't you get out and take your degree?
        one semester away and you joined the military? hmmmm
        wait… waiting to finish your enlistment so you can your G.I bill?

    • Leon says:
  6. Allyson says:

    The bas, bah, cola, jump pay ect all add up to make military pay somewhat equal to civilian pay. Without all the "extras" soldiers would make barely minimum wage. And yes you get 30 days off but what other job sends you on a 12 month deployment to a war torn country every other year? And don't forget about all of the field training when in garrison. 30 days is the least they could do.

    • Jason says:

      I hope you are joking. An E-5 with 6 years of service, with dependents and living in Fort Bragg makes about $50,000 per year. Now, take into account that your federal taxes, social security and medicare taxes are only calculated at 2/3 of your total monthly income, that you may not pay any state tax because of being in the military, and free health care, you would need to make about $15,000 more a year as a civilian to have the same net pay. So this would mean and E-5 has the same net pay of a civilian making $75,000 per year after taxes and after paying monthly medical insurance and costs for a family. I am sorry that you are so misinformed regarding military pay. Also, you realize minimum wage for the state of NC is $7.25, which equals to about $15,000 per year, before taxes and with no insurance. Nice try though.

      • guest says:

        LOL, I have tried to explain this to SO many fellow military spouses…they all look at me like I'm nuts or call me "unsupportive" Sorry ladies that 50k was more then I made at my first job out of GRAD school, after a 94k personal (not my parents) investment in my education. And guess what, I am gone 2-3 weeks a month for work STILL. Military pay IS AMAZING in this current economic environment and you really can't hold a candle to the health benefits (which frankly you are a little low on…4 years ago, for myself my premiums and copays were 7kish a year after taxes, families were up to 15k a year in premiums)

        • guest says:

          oh and I get 25 days vacation a year…use or loose (meaning I can't carry any over into a new year)…the most I've ever taken is 15…when we spent two weeks PCSing the last time.

  7. Andy says:

    Then quit. Get out. So bitching about what you don't get, and be thankful for what you do get. It's still an all volunteer force, right? So no one makes you stay. And if you have re-enlisted, you knew what you were getting into, and I definitely don't want to hear or read it.

  8. SMcCauley says:

    The Militray always gets screwed, Isn't this a gtray Country to fight for. Yea Right,

  9. Linna says:

    Yes but you are giving your life for that, you are giving time, the time, months and years fighting in other countries, time that you are not enjoying with your family or seeing your family growing up…that's not easy, that is something that no jobs will give it to you neither, only when you serve for your country…

    • guest says:

      not true…I spend half a year away from my family each year…and I work in a civilian job. Not saying I like it…but it's a part of life and a part of my job

      • LC says:

        It's not that same. Sorry,but it just isn't. Being in some hotel in your safe country missing out on family life is no comparison to being deployed. The life they live while gone and life we live without them can never be compared. Does your wife wake up everyday desperately checking her email in hopes of a sign your alive? Praying every night that her husband doesn't die or worse get captured and tortured? Preparing herself every minute of the day for the reality that if he does make it home alive and with all his extremities, he will never be the same. I doubt it. Go ahead and tell yourself its all the same.

  10. LoneRider says:

    If not for our forefathers our great nation would not be here. God has given me many blessings and one of those is being born in such a great nation and to allow me the abilities to serve it with my life. No, it’s not always easy and it does not always seem to add up, the sacrifices to the benefits, but what we have that other/ most countries don’t have are freedoms. Many other countries beg for only a scrap of food while we throw leftover food out. Few people in this world know what it means to get a raise. I for one have spent 10 years in the service and plan, God willing, to retire from it. The next time you think that $4 is a small amount of money then give that $4 to a homeless person or to a charity and see how you may have blessed someone’s life. God bless all and may we all see the new year with open minds and hearts. :)

    • Phil says:

      I completely agree with you. I signed up to give back to the country that offered so much for me and my mother. I feel that we as members get paid well, people have to take into account that most of our benefits are not taxed so our tax rate as enlisted military is really low.

    • nessa says:
  11. Hmmmm... says:

    $4.00 raise, wow…… I still don't think the money the military makes is even close to what they should make being they sacrifice so much to do their job.

    • Phil says:

      People need to realize that there is a chart out there that stats what we make at what rank. The military doesn't hide anything and we volunteered for this. As an e-4 working 45 dollars a week I make about 20 an hour with assistance for education. Would I like more money, thats a no brainer.

    • hardyandtiny says:

      have you looked at the officer's pay scale lately?

  12. afbevil says:

    You know, this is a volunteer force. I have volunteered my time, sacrificed family life sometimes and been deployed or TDY for anniversarys, birthdays, holidays, etc. I make okay money, and get adequate benefits. You are never going to get rich in the military, hell you are never going get higher than middle middle class unless you are a single officer O-4 or higher, the military doesn't exist to throw massive amounts of money at the individuals who serve, that is not why most of us serve, 40-50-60 and even 70 hour work weeks await most of us. We will be passed over for promotion or recognition because some bootlicker is stealing all the glory, and a small mistake may get us screamed at because someone was having a bad day. If you are not happy in the military then find something that does make you happy.

  13. cliffbar says:

    Officers must eat a lot less !!!

  14. Richard says:

    I am thankful for the 4 dollar increase as weel as the 36 dollar raise I also got meeaning i now make 40 dollar more a month than i did last year. The one complaint i have is that this is a base rate. So a service member with a wife and 2 kids gets paid the same as a single one. Other than that these raises are welcome to me and my family.

    • Alicia says:

      It's like any job. No one is going to pay you more because you have kids or not. You get paid based on your job… not your family.

      • mike says:

        Unfortunately, the military does dish out more money for people who have dependents. I think it's completely wrong as having dependents also increases the cost share for insurance and they are less productive than single service members because they are more likely to miss work from family illness or other reasons that they always seem to be allowed to go home early for.

        • KateKashman says:

          Mike, I'm curious which pays are more for having dependents. Yes, there is higher BAH, but it doesn't go up per dependent. It is "with dependents" or "without dependents." Oh, and you do get more COLA if you are assigned to a location that gets COLA, but most of those locations are places that people wouldn't ordinarily choose to live for exactly the same reason that they are receiving COLA. . Are there others that I'm missing?

          I also somewhat disagree about the health insurance. Yes, more dependents does mean more expenses to the military for health care. However, civilian health insurance does not differentiate based upon the number of children, either. Once you are paying the family rate for civilian health insurance, the rate does not go up because you have more people in your family.

          • guest says:

            Actually my civilian insurance has 4 rates, single, married, family, and family 5+ (that one was new this year and runs a 800/month cost share) so they do charge you more based on how many people are being covered. The fact that the military doesn't have that is a HUGE benefit for families (and extremely costly)

          • KateKashman says:

            Wow, thanks for letting me know. I've never used a company that charges more for more family members, once you get into the family level. I wonder if that is a new trend in insurance. That absolutely does make sense, though. I'm not disagreeing that medical is a huge benefit. As a family of six, I am thankful for military medical every day.

          • guest says:

            That's what I was wondering too, for the 7 years I've been with this company, my employer pays the bulk of the cost but rates just keep going up. We've always had single, married and family (our cost for family being 565 a month, single 125 and married 225) but the 5+ thing was new this year. On top of that they raised the copays on services and meds and yearly caps. What was a $50 copay 4 years ago is $100 now and the cheapest prescription level for generics is $30. I ran the numbers when the plan came out for 2013 for everything I had done in 2012 and just based on my medical, including PT from falling off a roof, it would have cost just over 15k out of my pocket for the MRI's CT's PT meds cost share and other appointments.

    • Cathy says:

      BAS is for the service member not their family.

  15. hogwild1976 says:

    Family is your option and obligation. The government can't possibly give you more than is fair. I am married mil to mil and my spouse is leaving the military after 10 years of service. So should I get more than a single person. Absolutely not. I am going to be receiving BAH at the w/dependent rate. So, the point is – your marital status and children you bear are your responsibility. This is not the welfare Military folks!

  16. Really??? says:

    You all do know these BAS rates are the rates you pay if you ate at the chow hall right…and they are only for the military member, not the families. In addition to BAS, the BAH rates is ONLY if you live in community housing, not govt housing. Not all single people are authorized to live off base, especialy junior enlisted. They are provided the barracks and get NO housing allowance. You should also note those BAH rates are based on a "standard" size house that you would rate for your paygrade. For example, a married Sgt would only rate a town house/apartment type dwelling to about 1200 square feet. Do the market research for your area under that criteria and that is probalby close to your BAH if not just under. BAH is to help off set costs of your utilities as well. If you live in Govt housing (privatized most everywhere now), then all your BAH goes to them and you have no utilities, etc.

    • Bob says:

      Why does a single 2nd LT automatically make more BAH than a married E-5? The whole pay system is screwed and outdated I would rather they just gave me the same type pay the civilians get with the dollar for dollar TSP match that the military gets screwed out of as well. Also officers were never meant to get BAS but look they make 10k+ more a year on average than enlisted with higher BAH but lose maybe 1300 a year on the BAS yup seems fair.

      • guest says:

        and exactly why should an E-5 with limited responsibilities make more in BAH then a O-1 to O-2 with more education simply because he CHOSE to get married? Also, how many officers do you know that get MASSIVE re enlistment bonuses? yea almost none.

        Lastly if you think the FERS system is better then the active duty military system you need to do a LOT more research

        • amber says:

          Have you even thought about the family side of what bob was talking about? Most 0-1 and 0-2 aren’t even married and make more than the e-5 that has probably been in for at least 4-6 years? Also that e-5 might have more than one dependant. They may have several children besides their spouse. Have you ever tried to live on e-3 pay with dependants and have two children in your household under the age of 2? Probably not and the fact that we qualify for W.I.C is sad. So yes I am an e-3 and push to make the checks stretch. My husband doesn’t work because he is a full time student trying to finish his degree. So next time, consider the other options that someone might be bringing to the table and yes we do struggle more than officers do. Oh and most officers don’t reenlist they get out when they want as long as they fulfill a four year agreement.

          • guest says:

            except that the 01-02 you are discussing HAS 4-6 years of experience, it's called a college education, grad school, ROTC/and or training. We DID raise a child on E-2 pay, it reaaaaally wasn't that hard, especially when our housing was paid for. The ONLY reason most military families qualify for aid is that BAH isn't taken into account in government calculations, if it was, you wouldn't qualify.

            My husband started as an E-1 went to E-5, went through OCS, did degree completion, and is now an O-3 promotable. We've lived both sides but made the conscious decision to not have any more children until we could afford them, living as an E2 with one was hard, but doable (without government assistance). My husband is in for life, no four years and out (and if you know any better it's actually 8 years, four you are fully open to recall)

  17. Bob says:

    Actually the BAS doesn't cover the cost if you were to eat at the DFAC for every meal. Also I don't know why officers get any BAS considering a CPT with 6 years in will make more than an E-7 with more than 20.

    • Jeff says:

      BAS pays for 3 meals a day 30 days a month. They are all priced different for different grades.
      I usually like the breakfast and you get quite a bit for less than $3

  18. MIlitary Nomad says:

    Officers get less BAS because their pay is higher. Although a lot of Enlisted have degrees nowadays, Officers get paid more because they are professional managers just like the civilian sector….Officers do not get clothing allowance on their anniversary date of enlistment like Enlisted do. Be thankful for what you have….life is not always greener on the other side! 2 weeks vacation, $500-$1000 a month for family healthcare!

  19. Kris says:

    If an active duty member gets married to another active duty member do they both get BAS?

    • Red says:

      My husband and I are both active duty, we both receive the single-rate BAH and single-rate BAS.

      We were told that when we have kids, only one of us will receive the "with dependent" rate, while the other will continue to draw the single-rate BAH/BAS.

    • KateKashman says:

      If you are co-located, usually yes. If you are not co-located, you are subject to the same guidelines as single servicemembers in your command. You can read more at Dual Military BAH: http://paycheck-chronicles.military.com/2011/06/1… I have heard of some younger sailors having difficulty and I can not figure out what rules we're missing. Hope that helps!

  20. Jason says:

    After spending 12 years active duty I decided I was done. I ETS's as an E-7 thinking how life would be so much better on the "other side"

    Pros: I get to come home to my family everynight for the most part. Other than training (tdy) or every now and then work super late.

    I make 29 dollars an hour, that is not a bad paying job. I'm outside a lot and it sucks sometimes. But my wife has a BS degree and I make more than she does.

    Cons: No retirement, That means I can work here 30 years and get nothing when I leave.

    Insurance: Is more than my truck payment for me and my family.

    Vacation: I get 3 weeks Personal Time Off (PTO) Thats it. Sick, hungover, vacation, son is sick, or just want to skip work. I get 15 days a year.

  21. Jason says:

    Ask your friends and family what happens once the work 20 years what they would get when they leave the company vs what they get after 30 or 40 years. The Army has retirement after 20 years, TSP vs 401K. and you still get VA benefits. as well as your normally young enough to get another job and more than likely it will be on post or with a government contractor. So you will be getting your retirement, VA money, you have your TSP and you are working a job based on your experience or rank/position with a contractor or fed job. NOT BAD

    Last but not least. Think of the Pride you get when your family and friends away for a military installion think when they see you. How total strangers look at you when you walk by.

    Before you get mad at your boss, or you think how bad you have it, or how you work in the most screwed up unit in the military. Think of what is really for you on the other side of the fence. Look at what you do have.

    I was greatful for my time in the Army and for everyone still serving.

  22. Frank says:

    so do you get bas if you are on shore duty.

    • Kate says:

      Frank, everyone on active duty gets BAS. Those who are supposed to eat in dining facilities will then have a deduction for those meals.