Military Pay During Basic Training

A soldier on a firing range.
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Basic military training is one of the toughest parts of a military career, serving as the entry point from civilian life to the profession of arms. Although members aren’t at an official duty station, basic military training still qualifies for pay. However, this pay comes with special requirements and conditions, from how it is earned to how much is earned.

1 Basic Training

Basic training is the initial training that all enlisted military soldiers must go through before they can be assigned to a duty station or technical training and perform an assigned mission. No military member can serve in any other capacity until it is satisfactorily completed. Since it is considered active duty, members get paid as active duty members while they are going through basic training.

2 Military Pay Disbursement

Pay for basic trainees is made on the 15th and the end of each month, although payments usually reflect on the 1st and 15th. Trainees are required to use direct deposit to receive pay. A mandatory form must be completed and turned in prior to or upon arrival at basic training. If the trainee doesn’t have a checking account, he will be given the opportunity to create one at the basic military training location.

3 Pay Rates

Not all basic trainees receive the same pay rate while in training. Although most enter basic training with the grade of E-1, some trainees qualify for entry as an E-2. In other cases, promotion in rank can occur within basic training, therefore receiving pay equivalent to that rank. As of March 2010, the 2010 E-1 trainee basic pay rate, according to the Defense Finance and Accounting Service, is $1,338.60 per month. The E-2 pay is $1622.10 per month.

4 Special Pay

Basic trainees can also receive special pay known as Basic Allowance for Housing. The BAH rate can increase if the member is married or has dependents. If the trainee is away from his dependents for more than 30 days, he can also receive separation pay, which is currently $250 per month for every 30 days of separation.

5 Reservist and National Guard Pay

Reservists and National Guardsmen sometimes attend basic training. Members of both services who recently separated from active duty are not required to do so. For those who do attend basic training, they will receive active-duty pay because, they are considered on Active Duty status. Reservists and guardsmen with families will also receive a special BAH rate that applies to those in training less than 30 days. That rate does not vary dependent upon the member’s home of record.

Paul Bright has been writing online since 2006, specializing in topics related to military employment and mental health. He works for a mental health non-profit in Northern California. Bright holds a Bachelor of Science in psychology from the University of North Carolina-Pembroke and a Master of Arts in psychology-marriage and family therapy from Brandman University.