The Pay of US Military


Randy Black is interested in Tim Brown’s comment that European troops are paid better and receive better benefits that US troops: "Does Mr. Brown’s claim hold true when the higher living costs of European home ownership (for far smaller homes), coupled with the generally higher European taxation is factored in? I realize that living within driving distance of all of the beautiful sites in Europe is a huge benefit, but…

For comparison purposes, I offer the salary of the ”lowly” US Army Private (rank E-3) who may be a high school graduate, age 19, give or take. After one year from entering the military, he or she is salaried about $15,000 annually. Housing and food allowances may raise the package to $20,000 a year. Educational, pension, medical and other benefits raise that sum further. The total may reach $31,000 for a private when the many variables such as war zones pay, job specialties, hardship allowances (duty stationed in Russia, Africa, etc.) and other factors are included. And that’s only for the lowest rank, with one year’s experience. Taxation on that salary, assuming the soldier is not married, may range from 0% to 15%. Tax rates are to a great degree determined by where you live. Living overseas? Earnings are not taxable if you are out of the USA for at least 331 days annually.

Source: www.military.com and The Christian Science Monitor

An Army sergeant, with 20 years of experience, may earn a base salary in the mid-$40,000 range, and can double that with the many allowances for job skills/specialty, housing and food allowances and so forth. A Colonel with 20 years earns a base of about $87,000, but the number can double with employment perks. Basic salary for a one-star General is about $109,000 with 20 years of experience. And of course, that can be much higher with allowances.

Source: http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos249.htm

How does this compare with European military salaries?"

Ronald Hilton -


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