Different types of military pay

Different types of military pay

Different types of pay positively impact the workers’ well-being. Basic wages, allowances, and monetary/ non-monetary incentives are the three types of payment making up employees’ compensation structure across all occupations. Basic wages are prevalently used to reward workers for their labor input. Allowances are used to help the employees lower the cost of living. Monetary and non-monetary incentives are used to motivate the employees. Therefore, the different types of military pay are basic wages, allowances, and incentives.

The basic wage is the basis of a military paycheck. It is the monthly monetary compensation awarded to military personnel. A basic salary is used to reward the military personnel for the labor input channeled towards accomplishing military operations. Defending a state against domestic and international is an example of the core military operation executed by military personnel. Due to the risks exposed to military personnel while carrying out their life-threatening military operations, the basic wage entitled to them is tax-free.

An officer’s grade determines the monthly basic pay entitled to military personnel. The military officers are graded against private soldiers, sergeant, warrant, lieutenant, captain, major, brigadier general, and lastly, major general (Retirement Modernization Commission, 2015). The number of years as military personnel, performance, and education are prevalent factors determining an officer’s grade or position. For example, the E-1 rank under private grade comprises military officers less than a year since their induction. In contrast, the E-2 rank comprises officers with at least one year of experience working as military personnel. The average monthly basic pay for  military officers in graded private, sergeant, warrant, lieutenant, captain, major, brigadier general, and major general is $ 1,638, $ 2,546,  $ 3,038,  $ 3,108, $ 4,144, $ 4,713, $ 8,614, and $ 10,399 respectively (Retirement Modernization Commission, 2015).. Australia and the United States (USA) are countries ranked top in paying their military officers high monthly basic pay.

Military officers are additionally paid lucrative incentives. Military incentives increase soldiers’ intrinsic motivations (Coughlan, Gates, & Myung, 2014). The incentive’s monetary value is determined by military operations’ environments surrounding an officer. For example, the incentives for soldiers carrying out military operations in danger zones – combat- are high compared to soldiers handling domestic operations. Military incentives for officers sent to designated combat zones are tax-free.

There are at least 60 types of military incentives. However, the prevalently detailed military incentives are hardship duty, assignment, hostile, and hazardous duty (Coughlan, Gates, & Myung, 2014). The above army incentives are detailed since they motivate soldiers to execute their military operations in designated-risky environments. Hardship duty incentive is issued to officers carrying out military operations outside their continent. Hardship duty incentives help soldiers meet the extra cost of living while executing the military operations. The hostile encouragement is given to soldiers sent to carry out military operations in life-threatening environments such as areas with hostile fire and explosives. Assignment incentives are paid to soldiers who are sent to handle unusual-risk assignments or circumstances. Hazardous duty incentive is awarded to military officers who volunteer to perform dangerous designated duties. Aircraft, parachutes, and explosive demolition are examples of responsibilities classified as unsafe. According to the military compensation department, the average hardship, assignment, hazardous duty, and hostile incentives pay are $150, $ 225, $ 300, and $ 1000, respectively (Coughlan, Gates, & Myung, 2014). Examples of other minor military incentives are career, responsibility, and retention.

Military officers are similarly awarded allowances. Similar to allowances issued to social workers, military allowances are compensated to soldiers with an explicit goal of helping them meet the cost of basic needs that are not covered by the government (Maldon et al., 2015). Therefore, military allowance greatly plays a significant role in helping soldiers meet basic family needs, such as housing and food. Military allowances are tax exempted, enabling soldiers to meet the family’s basic needs economically.

Military allowances are diversified. Family assistance, living, moving, travel, death, and housing are military allowances. Family assistance and housing allowances are prevalently known by the public (Maldon et al., 2015). Family assistance allowance is designed to help soldiers with the cost of food for the enlisted family, mainly nuclear. The housing allowance lowers the soldiers’ burden of paying rent expenses as the cost of housing for them and their nuclear family is catered. The USA Military Department unveils that each soldier is remunerated with family assistance and housing allowances valued at $ 400 and $ 100, respectively (Maldon et al., 2015). Besides, the military allowance help soldiers lower the cost of living, and it has played an imperative role in increasing soldiers’ sense of belonging.

In conclusion, basic wages, incentives, and allowances are the different types of military pay. The soldiers are issued a basic monthly salary valued at a certain amount based on their grade level. The nature of military operations similarly determines the cost of the incentive. As seen, the military incentives issued to soldiers executing extreme life-threatening operations are high. Lastly, the military allowance pay is given to soldiers to help cater for the cost of basic needs excluded by the government. Lucrative basic wages, incentives, and allowances account for the low military turnover rate.




Coughlan, P. J., Gates, W. R., & Myung, N. (2014). One size does not fit all: Personalized incentives in military compensation. Defense & Security Analysis30(4), 360-378. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/14751798.2014.948283

Maldon Jr, A., Pressler, L. L., Buyer, S. E., Zakheim, D. S., Higgins, M. R., Chiarelli, P. W., … & Carney, C. P. (2015). Report of the Military Compensation and Retirement Modernization Commission. MILITARY COMPENSATION AND RETIREMENT MODERNIZATION COMMISSION ARLINGTON VA. https://apps.dtic.mil/sti/citations/ADA625626

Retirement Modernization Commission. (2015). Report of the Military Compensation and Retirement Modernization Commission. https://dair.nps.edu/handle/123456789/3557





























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