From the day basic training begins, military recruits will begin earning pay in the military system. While basic pay rates are the same regardless of marital status, married military members are entitled to certain allowances which will increase their monthly pay.
All members of the military receive base pay. Base pay for all branches is based on the rank of the military member as well as the number of years of service.
Pay increases every two years as military members advance through the pay scale based on time in service. Pay can also increase as the person earns rank.
Congress also generally approves an annual pay raise for the military that is enacted on January 1st of each year. The amount of base pay does not change according to the number of dependents.
The housing allowance or BAH is offered to military members who are married.
While training, BAH is provided to assist in paying for housing for dependents. During training, BAH is based on the zip code of the dependents and the rank of the soldier. After training is complete, BAH is based on the zip code of the post where the military member is stationed regardless of if the dependents live there with him.
Single soldiers are generally not entitled to BAH as housing is being provided for them in the barracks. If a military member chooses to live on post after training is complete, he will forfeit BAH in exchange for a home on base.
The basic allowance for subsistence or BAS is provided to married soldiers who are not able to eat at the chow hall.
During training, this allowance is not provided to any soldier as they are allowed to eat in the chow hall. However, after being stationed, married military members will receive BAS and it will continue from that point forward even during TDYs (Temporary Duty).
It is important for all military members to realize that there is not increased pay available as more dependents are added. Whether the military member has only a spouse or is married with three kids, the amount of pay will be the same based on rank and time in service. Also, while base pay is taxable, allowances are not taxable.