How Is the Army Pay Scale Organized?

How Is the Army Pay Scale Organized?

The Army's basic pay scale is based on a soldier or officer's rank, experience and active or reserve status. Bonuses may be awarded for enlistment or having in-demand skills such as fluency in a foreign language.

Soldiers on active duty, and activated reservists, are paid on a salary basis, known as basic pay. Non-activated reservists receive a reduced amount, known as drill pay, for serving one weekend a month and two full weeks during the year.

Basic pay increases with each advancement in rank and the number of years served. New soldiers receive a salary of $18,378 based on the 2014 pay scale. The scale increases so that members at the sixth rank, staff sergeant, earn $28,569.60 with less than two years' experience. Staff sergeants with six years' experience reach $35,578.80.

The scale continues to rise as a soldier becomes an officer. A second lieutenant, with less than two years' experience, earns $34,862.40 in basic pay. Officers who reach the fourth rank, major, receive $52,869.60 with two years' experience. Majors in their sixth year earn $67,987.60.

New reserve privates receive $3,216.15 in drill pay. Upon reaching staff sergeant, drill pay increases to $4,999.68 and reaches $6,226.69 after six years. The drill pay continues to increase until the reservist becomes a major; the salary reaches $12,247.83.