What Is the Military Wage Scale?


Quick Answer

The military wage scale shows the base monthly salary for U.S. military servicemembers based on pay grade and years of service. Each year the U.S. Department of Defense updates the wage scales to reflect changes in pay for all military personnel.

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What Is the Military Wage Scale?
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Full Answer

The military wage scale is divided into three different charts, with one each for enlisted personnel, warrant officers and commissioned officers. The pay grades for enlisted personnel range from E-1 to E-9, while the warrant officers' scale runs from W-1 to W-5. Commissioned officers rank from O-1 to O-10. Each respective chart shows the relationship between the pay grade and the years of service.

The wage scales do not reflect benefits, bonuses or other pay modifiers such as hazardous duty, imminent danger pay or submarine duty. A number of factors can affect the pay of military personnel, such as longevity, promotions and allowances for clothing, cost of living, subsistence and housing, depending on the location. Also, President Obama's signing of the 2015 National Defense Authorization Act increased the pay of all military personnel by 1 percent, effective on Jan. 1, 2015. Members of the National Guard or Selected Reserve also receive pay and benefits for undergoing multiple periods of training and serving under an active-duty status.

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