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Military Benefits

Aug 17, 2007
The Basic Pay is the base salary earned by Active Duty Soldiers and activated Army Reserve Soldiers. The pay is distributed fortnightly on the 1st and 15th of each month, and depends on your rank and years in the army. In the army reserve, you earn Drill Pay during weekend training, as well as full-time training events. The compensation is hourly for work completed. For longer events, one is given prorated Basic Pay.

Special pay and bonuses:

Special duty pay is for enlisted soldiers who are in jobs with extra responsibility or effort, and Hardship duty pay, for those assigned to locations where living conditions are substantially below those of the United States. The Army also pays any active duty Soldier and any qualified Army Reserve Soldier for being certified, within the past 12 months, in a critical foreign language. The bonus is based on the maintenance of their ability to speak, understand, and read it. Flight pay is for army pilots, navigators and other aviators. Non-pilots aboard military aircraft get aircrew pay. Depending on the service and years at sea, soldiers are eligible for Sea-pay. A variety of special pay programs reward medical professionals with special certifications and experience.

Other allowances:

The US Army also provides allowances to counter the cost of living. Soldiers living on the base get free housing as well as free meals. Off base soldiers are given housing and meal allowances. The Basic Allowance for Subsistence (BAS) is paid to Enlisted Soldiers and Officers who have authorization to eat off base. The Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) rates is based on their location, and rank. Family status is also a consideration.

Soldiers also receive allowances for clothing and official travel. Enlisted Soldiers are given an added annual allowance for replacing uniforms. For those in jobs requiring civilian clothes, there is an extra civilian clothing allowance. The Soldiers who are assigned to high-cost locations get a Cost of Living Allowance. The army also pays for transporting household goods for any change-of-station move. A Dislocation Allowance and a Temporary Lodging Allowance covers the cost of temporary housing that may be needed at the beginning and end of a move. Soldiers posted in locations that do not allow families, receive an added Family Separation Allowance.

One time Bonuses:

The one-time bonuses are for choosing a specific Army job, completing the required special training, taking on extra responsibilities or having served in the military before. Active Duty and Army Reserve applicants may also be rewarded for their civilian educational experience.

Education and Health Benefits:

A Soldier can easily further their education, or pay off previously incurred student loans. One can attend classes while serving as an Active Duty or Army Reserve Soldier. Most Army bases have satellite branches of local, accredited universities to facilitate attendance. Also available is tuition assistance, which pays up to $250 per credit, to a maximum of $4,500 per academic year. This also applies to distance learning.

Soldiers and their families are automatically covered by an HMO-type TRICARE health plan providing medical and dental care at minimal cost. Separate programs are provided for those on remote assignment or overseas. Soldiers can access a program of low cost group life insurance called Service members' Group Life Insurance (SGLI).

Other Services and Benefits:

Every soldier gets a 30-day vacation annually, free weekends, national holidays, and required sick days. Every Army post has a Legal Assistance Center providing free walk-in services. Child and Youth Services (CYS) provide affordable childcare programs. The Troops to Teachers program provides help in becoming a teacher after army service. A Soldier is eligible for a 401(k)-type retirement savings and investment plan, known as The Thrift Savings Plan (TSP). Sponsored by the Federal Government, it offers the same type of savings and tax benefits as other private funds.
About the Author
Active Duty Military Specials. For more information go to www.earthmoverschool.com or phone 1.800.488.7364. Earthmoverschool.com has training over 30,000 Heavy Equipment Operators.
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