Which Military Branch Pays The Most? - Operation Military Kids (2023)

Are you looking to serve in the U.S. Armed Forces and wondering which military branch pays the most?

Great question!

It’s crucial to make sure you are prepared for the military and prepared for the commitment.

Furthermore, being prepared goes a long way when dealing with a military recruiter or surviving basic training.

Therefore, we have put together this guide to answer all your questions related to military pay and benefits.

We answer frequently asked questions like “Which military branch pays the most?”

The guide also includes 5 critical steps to take with military recruiters to guarantee you earn the highest pay possible.

You’ll also receive insider’s knowledge to several of the most frequently asked questions regarding military pay and benefits.

Discover more in our complete guide to military pay, bonuses, allowances, and benefits.

Related ArticleHow To Land The Highest Paying Jobs In The Military

Table of Contents

Which Military Branch Pays the Most?

Which Military Branch Pays The Most? - Operation Military Kids (1)

It’s common for a military recruiter to encounter a question like this from a perspective recruit:

“I want to make a career out of the military and was wondering which military branch pays the most?”

The question makes sense considering you should get rewarded for your hard earned time and commitment to the military.

Moreover, since there are 6 different branches of the military (more information, below) it seems likely the pay structures are different.

However, many of the assumptions made about military pay and benefits are just that… assumptions.

The most basic and straightforward answer is that they all pay the same rate.

Your basic military pay is determined by designation (enlisted, warrant officer, officer) and rank, not by which branch you serve.

Consequently, an enlisted member of the U.S. Marines will not earn a penny more than an enlisted member of the same rank in the U.S. Navy.

Nevertheless, there are numerous ways to earn more money in the military based on several factors.

First, you can receive a higher pay in the military by naturally progressing in rank and years of service.

Secondly, the military offers several incentives to military personnel that serve in hazardous environments or combat roles.

There are additional financial incentives for military careers that need new recruits as well as allowances for troops with family.

In fact, the U.S. government provides allowances for housing, food, clothing, and more.

Third, you and applicable dependents receive military benefits like medical and tuition relief.

As a result, it’s still wise to ask a military recruiter about a current sign-on bonus or any other financial incentives.

These opportunities will allow you to earn more than a typical service member since all branches pay the same basic rate.

Thus, follow these 5 steps to earn more military pay and benefits even if there is not a military branch that pays more than another branch:

Step 1: Enlist in a Military Branch

Which Military Branch Pays The Most? - Operation Military Kids (2)

Which military branch pays the most?

As we previously outlined, there is no precise answer for which military branch pays you the most.

The basic pay rate is determined by military rank and years of service.

(Video) Which BRANCH of the MILITARY Should I Join? Army, Navy, Airforce, Marines, Coast Guard?

Consequently, you will not earn more just because you are in one military branch compared to another branch.

However, military personnel can earn more through various other means.

For starters, you’ll need to settle on a military branch.

There are 6 different branches worth considering in the U.S. Armed Forces:

  • Air Force (USAF)
  • Army
  • Coast Guard (USCG)
  • Marine Corps (USMC)
  • Navy
  • Space Force

In general, the U.S. Army promotes rank the fastest.

Thus, some consider this military branch the quickest method to receiving a higher base pay.

Regardless, having previous work experience or an advanced education can also warrant you a higher starting pay.

For example, enlisted recruits sometimes join at the rank of officer because of previous experience or education.

Moreover, there are countless other ways toward earning a higher military salary (more information, below).

Unfortunately, advancing in your military is partly a waiting game and exercise in patience.

Often, military promotions are granted once a senior member retires or transfers to another occupational specialty.

Step 2: Earn Basic Pay Based on Rank

The basic pay you receive is already determined by military rank as well as years of service.

For this reason, the U.S. Armed Forces divides pay rates based on military designation:

  • Enlisted Personnel
  • Warrant Officers
  • Commanding Officers

The lowest ranking service members in each category begin at designations 1-5 before progressing to higher numbers.

As a result, you can discover your basic monthly pay in the military depending on rank:

Enlisted Military

The enlisted ranks of the U.S. military include:

  • E-1
  • E-2
  • E-3
  • E-4
  • E-5
  • E-6
  • E-7
  • E-8
  • E-9

There are notorious terms (“Private”, “Seaman”, etc) for the lowest enlisted rank in each branch.

Not surprisingly, they also earn the lowest pay ( about $1,785 per month) compared to enlisted personnel of higher ranks.

E-1$1,785 (p/ month)
E-2$2,070 (p/ month)
E-3$2,104 - $2,372 (p/ month)
E-4$2,330 - $2,829 (p/ month)
E-5$2,713 - $3,607 (p/ month)
E-6$3,188 - $4,297 (p/ month)
E-7$4,190 - $5,765 (p/ month)
E-8$4,819 - $6,581 (p/ month)
E-9$5,637 - $8,753 (p/ month)

However, your pay doesn’t stay this long forever.

Enlisted personnel are automatically promoted to E-2 ($2,070 per month) after reaching 6 months of service.

Then, additional promotions in rank are granted based on merit as well as time in service.

Warrant Officers

Which Military Branch Pays The Most? - Operation Military Kids (3)

Meanwhile, the Warrant Officer ranks of the military are as follows:

  • W-1
  • W-2
  • W-3
  • W-4
  • W-5

Warrant officers are specialists and experts in certain military technologies or capabilities.

They hold a warrant from a service secretary which promotes the member to the position.

W-1$3,309 - $5,719 (p/ month)
W-2$3,770 - $6,293 (p/ month)
W-3$4,261 - $7,475 (p/ month)
W-4$4,666 - $8,691 (p/ month)
W-5$8,296 - $10,856 (p/ month)

The lowest-ranking warrant officers serve under a warrant yet receive commissions upon promotion to Chief Warrant Officer 2 (CWO2).

Warrant officers outrank enlisted personnel yet are under Commanding Officers.

Furthermore, Warrant Officers are not required to have a college degree.

Lastly, the U.S. Air Force and Space Force do not have warrant officer ranks.

Commanding Officers

Lastly, the U.S. Armed Forces classifies pay grades for officers in 2 different formats.

Officers that earn the rank upon enlistment are classified differently from Officers that earn the position by promotion.

Thus, you can differentiate the pay grade based on the definition (O-1 vs. O-1E).

Consequently, the different officer ranks of the U.S. military include:

  • O-1
  • O-1E
  • O-2
  • O-2E
  • O-3
  • O-3E
  • O-4
  • O-5
  • O-6
  • O-7
  • O-8
  • O-9
  • O-10

Commissioned Officers with prior enlisted service are often referred to as a “Mustang”.

(Video) US MILITARY PAY (All Branches) Everything You Need to Know

Officers immediately earn other benefits such as housing and food allowances.

Additionally, officers automatically earn promotions after 2 and 3 years of service.

O-1$3,386 to $4,261 (p/ month)
O-1E$4,261 - $5,290 (p/ month)
O-2$3,901 to $5,399 (p/ month)
O-2E$5,290 - $6.252 (p/ month)
O-3$4,515 to $7.345 (p/ month)
O-3E$6,023 - $7,839 (p/ month)
O-4$5,135 to $8,574 (p/ month)
O-5$5,951 to $10,111 (p/ month)
O-6$7,139 to $12,638 (p/ month)
O-7$9,414 to $14,066 (p/ month)
O-8$11,330 to $16,333 (p/ month)
O-9$16,013 to $16,608 (p/ month)
O-10$16,608 (p/ month)

The highest ranking officers (O-8 through O-10) include Major General, Vice Admiral, and Lieutenant General.

These high ranking officials can earn nearly $200,000 per year by 30 years of service.

The highest pay grade for an officer is obtained once a General or Admiral achieves a 4-star rank.

Step 3: Earn Special Pay

Which Military Branch Pays The Most? - Operation Military Kids (4)

There are many different ways you can earn special pay in the military.

The U.S. Armed Forces refers to this bonus pay as “special and incentive” (S&I) pay:

  • Career Incentive S&I Pay
  • Medical S&I Pay
  • Rehabilitation S&I
  • Retention S&I Pay
  • Skill Conversion S&I
  • S&I Transfer Incentive

Meanwhile, other examples of special pay and incentives in the military include:

  • Hazardous Duty Pay (HDIP)
  • Hardship Duty Pay
  • Assign Incentive Pay (AIP)
  • Overseas Tour Extension Incentive Pay (OTEIP)
  • Foreign Language Proficiency Pay (FLPP)

You’ll likely get offered some type of signing bonus for joining the military.

Moreover, personnel that are seeking reenlistment can earn a career field bonus up to $90,000.

In general, the Department of Defense (DoD) rewards service members that work in demanding or challenging career fields.

Additionally, service branches may offer their own discretionary bonuses depending on when you enlist.

There are many opportunities to earn special pay for pursuing an officer program.

Furthermore, advanced education and skills are rewarded such as being fluent in a second language (foreign language bonus).

It’s important to note that unlike many types of military pay and benefits, S&I pay is taxable.

Step 4: Apply for Military Allowances

The U.S. Armed Forces offers housing, clothing, and food assistance in addition to other benefits.

In general, military housing is available both on base and off base depending on living preferences.

For those that prefer to live off the base, a Basic Allowance Housing (BAH) is provided monthly.

The amount of the stipend varies depending on location, military rank, and number of dependents.

Meanwhile, service members are also allocated monthly stipends for food, clothing, and other basic needs.

The most common type of military allowances include:

  • Basic Allowance Housing (BAH)
  • Clothing Allowance
  • CONUS COLA Allowance
  • Dislocation Allowance
  • Family Separation Allowance
  • Family Supplemental Subsistence Allowance
  • Meal Allowance
  • Overseas Cost of Living Allowance
  • Tax Savings Allowance

As you can see there are a variety of allowances provided to service members to make the cost of living more reasonable.

The allowances are especially valuable for military personnel with a significant other and/or other dependents.

Unfortunately, military life does take a toll on family life which makes so many of these allowances beneficial.

For example, you can earn an additional allowance for being separated from family and/or stationed overseas.

Moreover, those that are stationed within the continental U.S. can qualify for the CONUS COLA Allowance.

The CONUS COLA Allowance is distributed to service members that are assigned to 1 of the 21 military housing areas where consumer prices are 8% higher than national averages.

Even better, the allowances you receive for food and housing are nontaxable.

Thus, service members and military personnel have an advantage over the taxable income people would report in the civilian world.

There are a variety of other tax-free allowances and credits you can apply to clothing and move-in expenses.

Step 5: Receive Military Benefits

The military is still a career path where longevity is rewarded in terms of promotions and bonuses.

As a result, you earn higher pay the longer you stick with the military in addition to more responsibilities and special privileges.

You can maximize military pay by qualify for understaffed and demanding career fields.

(Video) Branches of the U.S. Military

Furthermore, several military benefits are available as soon as you officially enlist.

Meanwhile, other benefits of the military are offered as you ascend rank.

Here are some of the many benefits you’ll eventually receive in the U.S. Armed Forces:

  • Dental Insurance
  • Health Insurance
  • Low-Cost Travel
  • Military Pension
  • Tax Exemptions
  • Tuition Reimbursement
  • VA Housing Assistance
  • VA Disability Compensation
  • Veteran Affairs Education & Training

You can learn more about the full benefits package by speaking with a military recruiter.

The military benefits may vary slightly based on branch but most are universal.


Which Military Branch Pays The Most? - Operation Military Kids (5)

Are you wondering “Which military branch pays the most?” and other frequently asked questions regarding pay and benefits?

Get all the answers, below…

What military branch gives the highest bonus?

We are frequently asked: “Which military branch pays the most?”

Unfortunately, this is not an easy question to answer because the simple truth is they all pay the same rate.

However, there are many other ways to earn more by qualifying for special pay, promotions, and bonuses.

It’s worth nothing that every military branch does have its own structure for S&I pay.

Moreover, bonuses frequently change based on current recruitment needs and other factors.

Nevertheless, military branches like the U.S. Army and U.S. Marine Corps are currently offering up to a $50,000 enlistment bonus.

Meanwhile, retention bonuses are even higher (up to $90,000) so do what you can to make a career out of the military if you enjoy it.

We suggest meeting with a military recruiter for the most accurate and up-to-date information regarding bonuses.

What military careers have the largest bonuses?

Again, this can change frequently.

For this reason, we encourage you to meet with a military recruiter from every branch that strikes an interest.

You may find that one branch is much more financially rewarding right now (in terms of special pay and bonuses) compared to another branch.

Nevertheless, doing hazardous work or serving in combat roles will automatically qualify you for special pay.

Additionally, any military career that needs more recruits or has special requirements will usually provide a financial incentive.

Despite the good news about bonuses, make sure you are not depending on this money immediately.


Bonus payments are generally contingent on a variety of conditions and may take 1-2 years before you actually see the cash.

Finally, some bonuses are paid out in prorated amounts over the course of a contract.

Thus, it’s important to make sure your recruiter is clear about how any bonuses will pay out.

You should get these negotiated bonuses formally written into the service contract and not just rely on the word of the recruiter.

Which military branch has the highest allowances?

There all the same.

You’ll receive the same basic pay (for the same rank and years of service) regardless of where you serve.

The Department of Defense created this pay structure to keep all military branches equal.

However, there are many other ways you can earn additional pay, regardless of branch.

Thus, you should choose a military branch you want to serve in rather than pick one simply based on its pay.

Do you get higher pay for serving overseas?

Yes, you earn considerable more for being stationed overseas.

In fact, eligible service members can receive up to $80 monthly or up to $2,000 annually.

(Video) Space Force Is The Newest US Military Branch. But What Do They Actually Do? | Boot Camp

More importantly, the Overseas Tour Extension Incentive Program includes other benefits like Special Rest and Recuperation Leave.

The Overseas Tour Extension Incentive Program is available for all military branches.

Regardless, it’s generally utilized most by service members in the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps.

The U.S. Navy – of all military branches – travels the most providing more opportunities for special pay.

Moreover, service members can earn more by qualifying for Career Sea Pay.


Which military branch pays the most?

The United States Air Force, Navy, Army, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, and Space Force are all equal in terms of basic pay.

The basic military pay you earn is determined by military rank and years of service.

Notwithstanding, there are multiple other means to earning a higher income in the military.

For starters, you can qualify for special allowances and bonuses.

Additionally, the military retains service members by providing a good benefits package including health care and housing assistance.

Lastly, military dependents can benefit greatly from the variety of programs and incentives available to them, as well.

For this reason, the military is what you make of it with boundless options for earning money!

  • Author
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Rob V.

Rob V. is the founder of OperationMilitaryKids.org. While he never actually served in the US Military, he has a passion for writing about military related topics.

Born and raised in Woodbridge, NJ, he graduated from the New Jersey Institute Of Technology with an MBA in eCommerce.His hobbies include beach volleyball, target shooting, and lifting.

Rob is also a Commercially rated pilot and Certified Flight Instructor (CFI), with over 1,500 hours of flight time.

Latest posts by Rob V. (see all)

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Which Military Branch Pays The Most? - Operation Military Kids (8)

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Do you get paid more if you have kids in the military? ›

Yes, but not in the way you're hoping. That BAH bump comes only once, when the service member gets married or, if they don't marry, when they have more than 50% custody of their first child. After that, the rate does not change per child or per dependent -- it's a one-time thing.

Which branch of the military pays more? ›

The most basic and straightforward answer is that they all pay the same rate. Your basic military pay is determined by designation (enlisted, warrant officer, officer) and rank, not by which branch you serve.

Which military branch has the best family life? ›

The Air Force has the reputation of having the best quality of life programs (dormitories, family housing, on-base shopping and services, and recreation) of all the military service branches.

What are the 5 branches of the military for kids? ›

There are five main branches of the military including the Army, Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps, and the Coast Guard. The Army is the main ground force and largest branch of the military.

How much does military pay per child? ›

The payments for children equal 55 percent of your covered retired pay. All eligible children divide this benefit in equal shares. If the SBP election was for spouse (or former spouse) and children, the children receive payments if the spouse is dead or dies, or otherwise becomes ineligible for the annuity.

What benefits do military kids get? ›

The children of U.S. military service members are eligible for a number of benefits including education benefits, health insurance, and survivor benefits. However, these benefits are contractually tied to your service obligation.

What position in the military pays the best? ›

Highest-paying Military Career Jobs
  • Aircraft Launch and Recovery Officers. ...
  • Armored Assault Vehicle Officers. ...
  • Artillery and Missile Officers. ...
  • Command and Control Center Officers. ...
  • Infantry Officers. ...
  • Special Forces Officers. ...
  • Military Officer Special and Tactical Operations Leaders. ...
  • Medical, Pharmacy, and Dental Services.

What's the easiest branch of military to join? ›

  • The US Air Force is considered the easiest military branch overall. ...
  • The US Army is considered the easiest military branch to get into, Image: Wikimedia.org.
  • Air Force basic training is considered the easiest out of all of the military branches. ...
  • The US Air Force is considered the easiest branch for women.
Feb 22, 2023

Which branch has the hardest basic training? ›

U.S. Marines

Of course, when you reach the top, you can find them becoming SEALs or a part of the Marine Raider Regiment (MRR), but the training of any Marine is some of the hardest military training in the world. Even outside of Special Forces, Marines have to be ready for both land and sea combat.

Which military branch is least respected? ›

American adults overwhelmingly consider the Marine Corps the “most prestigious” service, according to a Gallup poll released Friday.

What military branch is best for moms? ›

While women fit right into any branch, mothers may be most comfortable in the National Guard or Reserves.
  • Fly for the Air Force Reserve. ...
  • Serve Domestically in the National Guard. ...
  • Sail With the Navy Reserve. ...
  • Other Opportunities in the Reserves.

What branch has the most females? ›

So, which military branch has the most females? The Army has the most females in terms of numbers, but women are most likely to join the Air Force. The Council of Foreign Relations took a deep dive into gender representation in the US military. Here are their findings compiled.

Who gets deployed first in war? ›

The Marine Corps is often first on the ground in combat situations.

What are military kids known for? ›

Military children, affectionately known as "military brats," grow up in a unique environment with unique challenges. Their parents deploy, spending months and years away from home, and they move much more often than civilian families and often grow up in the culture of the military.

How long are military kids dependents? ›

Unmarried biological, step-children and adopted children are eligible for TRICARE until age 21 (or 23 if in college, see "College Students" below). Eligibility may extend beyond these age limits if he or she is severely disabled.

Do military kids get in-state tuition? ›

If you're covered under a GI Bill program or the Veteran Readiness and Employment (VR&E) program, you may be able to get in-state tuition rates at a public school even if you haven't lived in the state where the school is located.

Do married military get paid more? ›

Although not known as "military marriage pay," service members do receive a pay increase as part of their housing and cost-of-living allowances after they get married.

Do military kids go to college free? ›

The College Tuition Fee Waiver for the Dependents of Veterans -- sometimes called the CalVet Fee Waiver -- is a state benefit that provides a tuition-free education at the CSU and the other state public post-secondary colleges and universities.

Do military kids get free healthcare? ›

Coverage for active duty service members and their dependents. TRICARE covers hospital stays, doctor visits, tests, and prescriptions. There is no cost to active duty beneficiaries (called sponsors) little or no cost to their dependents (family members who are registered in DEERS).

Do military families get paid? ›

Most also receive a variety of allowances, special pays and bonuses depending on things like deployment, paygrade and military job. For most married service members, those allowances include Basic Allowance for Subsistence (BAS) and Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH).

What military branch is the hardest? ›

1. Air Force. It is regarded as the hardest branch of the military to get into among the 5 main US military branches. It not only requires being physically fit but also mentally sharp.

How do I get paid alot in the military? ›

Although you can earn a decent living as an enlisted man or woman, the fastest method of earning more is to earn your commission. You can do this by attending an ROTC program while in college or attending a military academy such as West Point, earning your commission upon graduation.

What branch offers the most benefits? ›

The Marines, Coast Guard, and Space Force are the branches of the military that have the best benefits. They also are the branches of the military that have the best pay. Nearly all branches of the military pay new recruits relatively the same pay ranges and benefits plans.

What branch gets deployed the least? ›

What branch is least likely to deploy? Next to the Coast Guard, Air Force members are among the least likely to see combat. Deployments in the Air Force are not as common as the Army, Navy, or Marine Corps, and they are generally shorter in duration.

What is the hardest training in military? ›

While all branches of the military are known to have rigorous and extremely difficult training programs, the Green Berets take the prize as having the hardest form of military training because of the Combat Diving program that is included.

Which branch has the shortest boot camp? ›

Coast Guard Recruit Training

How long is basic training in the U.S. Coast Guard? USCG Recruit Training, or “forming”, is the shortest of any military branch. All in all, it takes approximately 7.5 weeks to finish Coast Guard boot camp, including in-processing.

What is the safest military branch? ›

Now that you have briefed through the missions of the branches and have looked at the stats of accidents and casualties, it's easier to pinpoint the least dangerous military branch. So the safest military branch in terms of man-to-man combat and machine-to-machine accidents is the Space Force.

Is Marine Corps boot camp harder than Army? ›

Marine boot camp is extremely challenging -- both physically and mentally -- and considered to be tougher than the basic training programs of any of the other military services.

Which military branch has the best uniforms? ›

Number one on the list of best military uniforms is the Marine Corps dress blues. The Marine dress blue uniform includes a long dark blue coat with a stand collar. The collar includes red trim and gold buttons. Also, Marines wear a white belt with the dress coat.

Which military branch has the least females? ›

The Council of Foreign Relations took a deep dive into gender representation in the US military. Here are their findings compiled. The above findings show that women are most likely to join the Air Force and least likely to join the Marines.

Who is the most dominant gender? ›

In most mammals, including humans, males are larger than females and thus often considered dominant over females.

Which military branch has the lowest retention rate? ›

The Army has the highest overall attrition rate, and the Marine Corps has the lowest. For all services, the attrition rate is highest prior to month 6 and levels out by month 7, staying roughly constant after that.

What major is female dominated? ›

Women tend to major in the Humanities and Languages, but also in Sociology and Psychology and in Biology-related STEM fields. Men tend to major in Business, Social Sciences, non-Biology-related STEM, and Philosophy. Table 2. Major categories.

What unit gets deployed the most? ›

Since 2002, the 10th Mountain Division has been the most deployed regular Army unit. Its combat brigades have seen over 20 deployments, to both Iraq and Afghanistan, in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom.

What branch deploys the most? ›

Soldiers on active duty in the Army deploy more than any other branch, with the possible exception of the Navy (although most Navy deployments are on ships at sea). How often you deploy depends on whether the U.S. is involved in any ongoing conflicts.

What branch goes first in war? ›

The Marine Corps is often first on the ground in combat situations.

What age is too late to join the military? ›

The maximum age to join the Army as an enlisted Soldier is 35, while Officers must accept their commission before age 31. However, the Army can lift some restrictions based on the need for certain roles to be filled. It's possible to receive an age waiver if you retire with 20 years of military service by age 55.

Why does the Navy have 2 birthdays? ›

Does the Navy have two birthdays? The official birthday of the Navy has been determined to be October 13, 1775, and is celebrated on that day. October 27, 1775, was once considered the Navy's birthday and is still celebrated unofficially by many Navy supporters as a Navy tradition.

Which branch does Space Force report to? ›

The United States Space Force is a separate and distinct branch of the armed services, organized under the Department of the Air Force in a manner very similar to how the Marine Corps is organized under the Department of the Navy.

Where is child soldiers most popular? ›

The Democratic Republic of Congo, Somalia, Syria and Yemen currently have the largest number of child soldiers. 3. Children are not only recruited by armed forces and groups as fighters. They are also used as informants, looters, messengers, spies and as domestic or sexual slaves.

Is it hard being a military kid? ›

Sure, there are positive aspects of growing up as military brats. But they can, in many ways, be hurt as well as improved by their experiences. Military life can be incredibly hard, and our military kids often feel the effects of the separations and the relocations.

Is military life hard on kids? ›

Military life can be very stressful on families. Long separations, frequent moves, inconsistent training schedules, late nights in the office and the toll of mental and physical injuries on both the service member and the family can all add up over time.

What benefits do military moms get? ›

The Army offers a variety of programs and services to support your family and childcare needs, whether you live on or off post.
  • Family Planning Services. ...
  • Paid Parental Leave and Maternity Care. ...
  • New Parent and Special Needs Support. ...
  • Child Care Options. ...
  • Fitness and Deployment Deferments and More.
Jul 18, 2022

What happens if you have a baby in the military? ›

Service members who have given birth will not deploy for service until one full year after their commanding officer (CO) learns that they've given birth. The birth parent receives six weeks of parental leave after the birth of the child. This is called Maternity Convalescent Leave.

How much more do you get paid if you have a wife in the military? ›

There is no military spouse pay or stipend, but the military offers a number of benefits to help service members and their families. Your first stop after the wedding should be the nearest military ID card issuing facility to enroll in DEERS, the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System.

Do you get paid more in the military if you have a wife? ›

Although not known as "military marriage pay," service members do receive a pay increase as part of their housing and cost-of-living allowances after they get married.

Which military has the best benefits? ›

The Marines, Coast Guard, and Space Force are the branches of the military that have the best benefits. They also are the branches of the military that have the best pay. Nearly all branches of the military pay new recruits relatively the same pay ranges and benefits plans.

Do military wives get free college? ›

Once enrolled and approved, a military spouse can receive up to 36 months of benefits that can be used for housing, tuition, and books or supplies. For more information about the G.I. Bill®, eligibility, and transferring it over to a spouse, you can visit the Veterans Affairs website.

Is it better to get married before or after joining the military? ›

Keep in mind that many service members have spouses and children before they join, so getting married will not be an obstacle to joining. Most new spouses say it was less stressful to get married after the service member completed basic and other initial schools.

How long is military baby leave? ›

Birth parents will be granted 12 weeks of parental leave following a period of convalescent leave and non-birth parents will be granted 12 weeks of leave following the birth of their Child. Adoptive parents and eligible foster parents will also be granted 12 weeks of parental leave.

How many kids can you have in military? ›

DoD generally prohibits the enlistment of any applicant who has more than two dependents under the age of 18. While the Services are allowed to waive this policy, they often will not.

Is having a baby in the military free? ›

As you can see, there are some nice benefits to having a baby while active duty. It's free, the military will ensure you have access to top-quality health care and will even provide additional support if a special need arises.

Do most military wives work? ›

The unemployment rate of military spouses is nearly three times greater than the national average. According to Navy Federal's research, 13% of military spouses are unemployed, and 43% of military spouses are under-employed.

Is it better to be married in the military? ›

If you're married in the military, you make more money and get better benefits. So soldiers from the Army, the Navy and all branches of the military pay women to marry them, just to get the perks on the taxpayer's dime.

Why do military men get married early? ›

The military's solution is to incorporate families in their entirety, and it pays the full relocation costs for each family member -- as long as they are married. This policy causes people to marry earlier than they had planned to, and sometimes to people they would not otherwise have married.

Do military wives get insurance? ›

When you marry an active duty or retired service member, you become entitled to military benefits, including TRICARE. Your sponsor must register you in the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS). Once registered in DEERS, you'll get your own uniformed services ID card and you can start using TRICARE.

How much does military get for housing? ›

These amounts vary by grade and dependency status and range from $82 to $184 monthly for the 2023 rates.


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