2014 Basic Allowance for Subsistence

commissary freezer

Long at last, the 2014 Basic Allowance for Subsistence (BAS) rates have been released.  The 2014 rates are 1.5%  higher than the 2013 rates, which means that the actual rates are:

Enlisted: $357.55 per month, a $5.28 increase over the 2013 rate of $352.27 a month.

Officers: $246.24, a $3.64 increase over the 2013 rate of $242.60 a month.

These higher rates are effective 1 January 2014 and will be reflected in the 15 January 2014 paycheck.  This BAS increase is smaller than most people expected and significantly lower than the 3.4% increase proposed by President Obama in the 2014 Fiscal Year Budget Proposal.

BAS is an allowance paid to every military service member to defray the cost of their meals.  It is not designed to pay for the meals of families.  Because BAS is paid, military members may be charged for their meals provided by the Department of Defense.

If you are reading this because you searched for the 2014 BAS rates, could you please leave a comment and tell me why you are searching.  BAS rates is one of the most frequently searched terms here at The Paycheck Chronicles, and it remains popular all year long.  While I understand wanting to look it up to learn it the first time, I do wonder about how many people are searching for it across the year.  If you can share the reason why you are searching, it will help me to better meet your needs.  Thanks!

And a great big thank you to Dan, who provided me with the link to find the rates.  If you click on the link it immediately opens in a PDF on your computer.  Don’t be waiting for it to open in your webpage like I did.

About the Author

Kate Horrell
Kate Horrell is a military financial coach, mom of four teens, and Navy spouse. She has a background in taxes and mortgage banking, and a trove of experience helping other military families with their money. Follow her on twitter @realKateHorrell.
  • Carly

    I search for it throughout the year because for some dumb reason it’s included in income for school lunch and for pell grant information. Don’t get it since it is only intended for the servicemembers and not the family. But I digress.

    • KateKashman

      Thank you, Carly. I appreciate your explanation.

    • Kyle

      Oh…its included in Child Support payment calculations as well. The amount of Child Support I pay takes into consideration BAS, Uniform Allowence, BAH, Sea Pay….literally every type of pay I get be it “pay” or “allowence”….kinda BS in my opinion but it is what it is…

      • Quayde

        Your child support should only include your base pay. They should have calculated your child support on the previous years W2, which only includes income from base pay. I would get a lawyer with knowledge on military laws and have it adjusted.

        • guest

          Nope, child support in most states takes into account BAH, BAS, uniform allowances, special pays, rental income, dividends and interest and so on. That’s how my husband got nailed, his ex refused to get a job (kid was in school all day) and they took every dime of money that had his name on it, we ended up having to rotate all of our investment and savings accounts and rental houses out of his name to mitigate her greediness.

          • Sarah

            I worked in banking in Kansas. KS may be different than other states, but we considered all pay to include base, allowances, special stipends such as hazardous duty and flight pay to be your yearly income just like we consider all forms of pay for a civilian. It is not separate pay when you are getting a loan. Should it be different when paying for your child’s well being? It could be possible that this is also the state’s opinion. To add to this, I was a National Guardsman while in college and the state of Indiana deemed me to be too well off for my father to continue paying child support even though my income was only $800/mo with my GI Bill and monthly drill pay. It’s all up to the judge!

          • guest

            You were employed, and 18 if you were using the GI bill, why should your father have to continue to pay? You were an adult, capable of taking care of yourself.

      • Holofernes

        Check with your state laws in my state the only thing that can be used for child support is taxable income bah nd bad are supposed to be tax free

    • Guest

      considering joining army active duty & researching the benefits

  • Nikki

    I look it up because I’m too lazy to look a mypay, since it’s become the same hassle as all other military sites.

    • KateKashman

      Isn’t that the truth! I haven’t been able to get into MyPay since they changed the password requirements. It is driving me crazy!

  • Ceci

    Looking up to see the increase for the new year.

  • Jennyfer Martinez-Sanchez
  • bri

    I know the BAS rate for the new year, but I was looking to see if the “meal deduction” they take back out for barracks galley eating was a posted number. For 2013 it was 310.00 at my barracks. I guess it’s not published…I’ll have to stop being impatient and wait to look at my LES in 5 days. :)

  • Bethany

    bri – it did go up slightly to $10.15/day so it will be $314.65 for January. You can see the Discount Meal Rate at http://www.defensetravel.dod.mil/site/faqmeal.cfm

  • Wil

    I check the new rates at the beginning of the year, this just happened to be the site i selected from google.

    Throughout the year i check my LES to make sure its accurate, i may reference a site like this during these times as well to make sure im getting the proper amount in mypay.

  • KateKashman

    Thank you for all the answers…I have always wondered why something so consistent would continue to be popular all year long. Now I know! Y’all are the best!

  • David

    Just to see the new BAS rates, and I learned BAS is the same for everybody. Glad to see offices earn less in one category too.

    • guest

      yup, and they don’t get a uniform allowance either

    • Sally

      And why is this good that officers get less? Do they eat less?

    • guest

      I was enlisted and thought the same way. Then I married an officer and realized that the responsibility of being an officer is far greater then the average joe.
      They deserve the money they receive. And I’m not quite sure why BAS is different between enlisted and officers.

  • Laura N.

    Can BAS be back dated if the unit failed yo do the paperwork properly? If so how far back?

    • KateKashman

      Laura, you should always be getting BAS. If you are not, then your unit should be able to backdate it to the day that you checked in.

  • msdevine

    is bas an extra income when you are married or does it still show as a deduction like when youre living in the barracks?

    • KateKashman

      If you do not have a meal card, which requires the deductions, then you use BAS to purchase your food. If you are not required to eat in DFAC/mess hall, you can choose where to spend your food money. That can include the DFAC, cooking your own food, going to restaurants, etc.

  • Sarah

    I looked it up b/c we are PCSing and I was trying to remember all the entitlements for budgeting purposes. We’re trying to save on this move since we’re not buying!

    • Kate

      Thanks for replying, Sarah. Good luck with your move and your savings!

  • Darby

    I looked it up to try to figure out a monthly budget for after i get married to my fiance this summer. He didn’t know as he currently eats at the DFAC.

    • Kate

      Congratulations on your marriage, Darby! I’m impressed that you are building a spending plan. I have no doubt you are going to be financially successful.

  • Shannah

    Moving back stateside after being over seas for 8 years….I feel so out of touch with the US. Trying to figure out what exactly our pay will be once myself and kids get back stateside and Hubby is in Korea for a year. We are planning on purchasing a home since the rental market is absolutely outrageous where we are going. Do you know if we will still get BAS if he is in Korea? Not sure what all we are entitled to and if it is different with him being in Korea. Thank you for the post.

    • Kate

      Shannah, he should receive BAS but he will have to pay for his meals. Good luck with your move and the different changes in your life. Sounds like an interesting and challenging time!

  • adam

    I looked it up to see what the rate is, and to get info on getting it transferred from the chow hall.

  • LKT

    Looked it up for my airman son who just told me next month he will no longer get to eat free at the DFAC but will instead get about $300/month in BAS.

  • Alicia

    Hubby just made officer, so curious what the new BAS would be!

  • amanda

    looked up to see how much it was

  • Queen Mary Tapic


  • Ann

    I looked it up to understand what it means. It’s listed as an entitlement, then deducted. There also a deduction for Meals. I’m confused how this work. It looks like I’m paying twice for meals.

    • SFC J

      You were given an alottment for your meals. Then you were charged for meals you at at the DFAC. There will always be a small remainder each check… like the old saying goes… “give you $100 and take back $99”

  • samantha

    is there anyway to get the BAS pay instead of DFAC?

    • Curious

      I am curious also. Does anyone know the answer to this question?

  • Jacquelne Ambrose

    I am a new spouse to someone stationed at Fort Bragg, NC. I am living in KY until the end of this week, My spouse asked me to quit my job and move there with less than 11 days of notice of the moving date. I will have no job and no income, I also have a two year old. I am concerned about his paycheck due to he is an E3. I do plan on getting a job once I am there but not sure how long that will take. In the mean time we will have to buy groceries for the apartment and still pay both of our normal bills that are due. I looked at FSSA and was trying to figure out how and where you would apply for it. I am not sure what BAS is I am still trying to figure out how all this works. If anyone has any advice that would be great thanks

    • Kate

      Jacqueline, you need to have a clear and frank conversation with your new husband. Make sure you understand his pay, and his obligations, and that he understands what obligations that you have each month. Then, figure out how you are going to make all this work. I suspect he has no idea how much it costs to run your life, or to have a child.

      It seems unlikely to me that an E3 with a spouse and one child would be eligible for FSSA.

      Congratulations, and good luck.

  • IT1(SW/IDW) Woo

    Going through a divorce. Judge is asking for the exact components of my military pay, what each portion of the Navy Leave and Earnings Statement means, and to divide my pay in half with an blatantly unfaithful wife.

  • Kurt

    I am not in the army or have a family member currently serving. I was misinformed that BAS was being slashed by one third only to find this information was from January 2013 and apparently never happened. I’m not American, but I believe in free food for every person alive, including shelter, clean water and electricity. We have to pay to live on this planet. If we do not, we are left to die. This is slavery. The system should support a free living for all things living policy. No man left behind.

  • Lorenzo Kimber

    I am actually trying to look into applying for an increase in BAS. I was talking to my CO and he told me that there is a new program out that allows soldiers in special situations to apply for an increase in BAS as opposed to receiving food stamps or something. I am young E5 and we decided to adopt my wife’s 15 year old sister to basically save her life, and I shouldn’t have to tell you all how hard it is out here theses days, these kids require so much. Also, I have two sons, a 3 yr old and a 3 mth old. To anyone with anything negative to say you can go f&^k yourself, but if anyone can help, I would greatly appreciate it.

    • Bethany

      I think the program you’re talking about is Family Subsistence Supplemental Allowance (FSSA). There’s more info at https://www.dmdc.osd.mil/fssa/. Have you checked into WIC? In many states, WIC doesn’t count BAH as part of your income, so it’s usually easier to qualify for.

  • Kate

    My most up-to-date FSSA post is here: http://live-military-paycheck.sites.thewpvalet.com/2014/02/1… Your family may be eligible for this allowance and it would be a big help.

    If you are not eligible for FSSA, be sure to check out WIC. Also, you can get financial education at your base’s family service center. Sometimes having fresh eyes look at your spending can help find things that you haven’t even noticed.

    Good luck to you!

  • Amber

    I am searching because my boyfriend and I plan on getting married in January 2015. I am just trying to find out all information that I can such as: housing allowance and food allowance. So I can start budging before we get married and moved in together. I don’t want to start to make dumb financial mistakes and blame it on age since we are in our early 20s!

  • Kelsey

    My reason for researching BAS rates was to verify the difference between enlisted to officer, for my husband will be making this transition once he completes his training. Thank you for the direct comparison.

  • Young

    I look it up to see if I qualify for it

  • Ivan

    Im a Geo bachelor living in the barracks, my question is am I still entitled to BAS?

    • Kate

      Everyone receives BAS. Those who are junior and required to eat in the DFAC may have a meal deduction for roughly the same amount as BAS.

  • sal

    Looked for the info for a family member who just went on active duty. Thanks for the information. One question: is this a tax free allowance like BAH or is it taxable income.

    A 1.5% increase is better than no increase, but inflation in food prices over the last year feels more like it’s in the 10%-15% range.

    • Kate

      Hi Sal, BAS is tax-free. Most allowances are, with a few odd exceptions.

  • William corgnell

    My question is why do the enlisted pay more than the officers when the officers get paid more

    • Kate

      Mr. Corgnell, I also wonder why there are two different rates. It is meant to be for food for the service member, so I can’t figure it out. It shouldn’t, and doesn’t, have anything to do with any other pay or allowances.

  • Britt

    Looked it up as a suggestion from a GIJobs article on hard to replace military benefits. I am a new spouse, so I am trying to learn as much as I can, especially to explain to my parents how important benefits are, and how much we do get with my husband being enlisted. They keep trying to suggest he go officer.

  • Srush

    How does this BAS-ENL work during AIT? My son is doing the Reserves split-option, and he did Basic last summer. Over this past year, he has been drilling, and he finally paid off the debt from where they over-paid him a month after Basic was over. So… now he is in AIT, and the first LES he received has his debt balance as zero…but now, he gets another LES that has “BAS-ENL” listed as an “unpaid debt balance” of $877.98. My understanding is that the BAS-ENL is for food during AIT or something like that, but that they don’t have to actually pay for their food when eating at the DFAC. How in the world does this work??

    • Kate

      Readers, can you help? My guess is that they are billing for the entire AIT, and paying it back offset by the BAS entitlement during AIT. However, I really have no idea.

  • Jacqueline

    I was looking to see if it would say whether or not my husband would get to keep his BAS if we move on base. We are trying to figure out whether we’re better off buying a house or moving on base.

    • Kristi

      Married soldiers automatically receive their BAS (instead of a meal card). It has nothing to do with whether or not you live on the instillation.

  • Hillary

    Looking because my fiance and I are trying to figure out if getting married while he’s still serving will help us pay our bills. I think it’s ridiculous that it doesn’t go up with dependents, but I suppose it’s better than no help!

    • Kristi

      If you get married they will give him the $357.55 instead of charging him for his meal card. Depends on how you use that money. Most use it for their monthly lunches (going to the PX, fast food, etc) while others eat their lunches at home or pack for their day.

  • CAB

    I looked for this info because my son is enlisted in the Air Force in tech school at Fort Sam Houston. I’m sure he is in info overload but currently is not clear how much his meals in the dining facility cost. He knows it will come from his pay check but doesn’t sound like he understands the specifics of the BAS process.

    • Kate

      CAB – sorry for the late reply. Were you able to explain it to him? Let us know if you have more questions.

    • Curious

      My son is in the Navy at A school. He asked me to check into the BAS also as he does not eat all of his meals at the chow hall. Is there any way he can reduce his BAS or not have it deducted at all? If so, how does he go about doing that? Thanks in advance.

      • Bethany

        It’s very rare for someone in training to be able to stop the deduction for meals. He can bring it up with his chain of command, but it’s unlikely. I work with Marines, and the only ones I’ve seen who live in the barracks and don’t have the deduction for the chow hall are those who work extremely odd hours.

  • Angel

    I have a question I was hoping I could get an answer my husband went to ROTC for the field for a month now and he told me that they are taking his BAS away from our paycheck is that true?

    • Bethany

      Usually if a member of the military is in the field or somewhere else where he is provided meals, the discount meal rate of $10.15/day is deducted from his pay. If it’s a full 31 day month, the total deduction would be $314.65.

  • israel

    Can BAS be sent to my gilf friends bank account ?

    • Bethany

      Not exactly. Of course, you could set up an allotment for the amount of BAS to whoever you want.

  • kkb

    I searched because my daughter is getting married to someone in the army and he has talked about BAS & BAH and I was wondering on the amounts with them trying to make a budget and move out. Thanks!

  • Aaron

    I looked it up because I’m researching why BAS is given but it’s not entirely taken (deducted). There’s something like $30 or $40 left for the member. What is the purpose of not taking all of it? The question is part of my larger question of should Airmen receive missed meals due to the DFAC closing breakfast down on weekends. They now serve brunch 11 – 1.

  • Anonymous

    I looked up BAS b/c my wife won’t let me see her paychecks so i’m doing my own research to see how much she actually gets since I get a very small portion/allowance and all the money that goes into her account is all public knowledge. I am also trying to figure out what monies is given to her for her job vs what monies are allotted for family as a dependent.

  • heather moore

    Anyone know if my husband was at school for 2 months if they take all the BAS out at once or is it broken up?

    • Kate

      Heather, it is usually taken out as part of the monthly calculations, but I suppose it is possible that some schools do it differently.

  • Anonymous

    I looked this up since my barracks are overflowing and single Sergeants at my unit are now able to put BAH packages in. (Googling this was less painful that logging into mypay)

  • PO1

    I’m going to be mobilizing and I’ll be transitioning from reserve to active. Trying to get the information so that I can create an updated budget while I’m overseas.

  • izzy

    i was seeing if food cost more in some places than others just ilke your bah changes i thought bas would too based off where you live.

  • Sarah

    I work for a mortgage company and check it annually to know what income can be used to qualify (in addition to base pay and BAH).

  • Kendall

    Looked it up to find out why we never actually receive the BAS. It all gets taken out of the pay before we ever see it, but the problem with that is that my husband eats ALL of his meals in our home. Is that normal? It’s doing nothing to help with the costs of my husbands eating habits since he never eats on the ship.

    • Kate

      Kendall, there are definitely special rules with regards to ships and meals, and I can’t speak to your husband’s exact situation. However, in my experience, if he is married and is receiving BAH, then it seems reasonable to me that he should be able to retain BAS for meals in his home. Of course, then, he would have to pay for meals taken on the ship and I’m not sure if they have a way to account for that. I would recommend your husband ask about how that works and see if maybe he isn’t having meals taken out as if he lives on the ship or something like that.

  • Allen

    My son enlisted in the Navy (I’m retired Navy). Was looking for information on how BAS $$ move from service member’s pay to account for meals taken in a galley or aboard ship?

  • laura

    I’m trying to find out how you apply for it

  • Lisa

    taking a tax preparation class and was asked if Basic Allowance for Subsistence is included in Gross Income on Federal Tax Return

  • Matt

    I searched for it because ship based officers are charged approximately $10/day to eat while aboard the ship. Quick math will demonstrate that $250/month is not sufficient to cover the cost of meals during deployment. I would rather they took my prorated BAS underway than charge me the “Wardroom Dues”.