Military pay charts are organized by the years of service and pay grade. The amount of actual pay is located in the cell between Years of Service and Pay Grade in the table, according to the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness.
The number of years of active duty defines the years of service. It can be estimated by measuring breaks in the service and time served in the Reserves or due to Delayed Entry Status.
The pay statement, or leave and earnings statement, shows a "pay date." To find the amount of pay, subtract the pay date from the most current date. This number will determine the years of service.
Pay grade is the term used by the government to determine the level a person is entitled to be paid. In the military it closely follows the rank on the pay table.
In some cases rank in the service will not equate to a pay grade. If a service person was frocked before promotion, pay will reflect a previous rank until the official promotion was made. Officers who served 4 or more years as a warrant officer or as an enlisted member have different pay grades. Promotions and pay increases are shown at a higher row on the pay table.