Military pay: This is how much US troops are paid according to their rank
- This is a list of the typical pay for military ranks, from entry-level Army privates who make $20,172 a year to Air Force generals who bring home $189,600.
- Base pay for an enlisted service member in their first six months comes out to less than $20,000 per year. But troops earn increases as they advance in rank and gain experience. The highest ranking enlisted Marine, Sgt. Maj of the Marine Corps Ronald Green, makes over $90,000 a year in base pay alone.
- Military officer pay is much higher. Newly commissioned officers make about $38,250 a year.
- Base pay is only part of their compensation. Most service members also receive allowances for housing, food, uniforms, and job-specific bonuses, many of which are not taxed.
How much are US troops paid?
The answer to that question depends on their rank, time in service, location of duty station, family members, and job specialty - just to name a few.Other benefits, like government healthcare and tax-free portions of their pay, help service members stretch their earnings a bit farther than civilian counterparts.
To give you an idea, we broke down their monthly salary, or base pay, for each rank. We estimated their pay rate based on how many years they've typically served by the time they reach that rank - many service members spend more time in each rank than we've calculated, while some troops spend less time and promote more quickly.
We also didn't include factors like housing allowance because they vary widely, but these are often a large portion of their compensation. We also didn't include warrant officers, whose years of service can vary widely.
Each military branch sets rules for promotions and implements an "up or out" policy, which dictates how long a service member can stay in the military without promoting.
The full military pay chart can be found here.
Here is the typical annual base pay for each rank.