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FY 2002 Basic Allowance for Sustenance (BAS)

Category Monthly Allowance
Officers (Commissioned & Warrant) $166.37
Enlisted $241.60
Enlisted (Rations in Kind Not Available) $262.50

There are several important changes in the way BAS is managed in FY 2002:

  • First and foremost, under previous law, BAS was paid only when individuals were officially allowed (for various reasons) to eat their meals outside of the military dining facilities (chow halls). Those required to eat meals in the dining facilities (usually, single enlisted, living on-base) received a "partial allowance" of about $25.80 per month. Under new procedures, all enlisted and officers receive full-rate BAS, after initial entry training (boot camp and follow-on schooling). However, for those required to consume meals in the dining facilities, most of the BAS will be automatically deducted from their paychecks, resulting in those members still only receiving about $26.00 each month. There are plans (for the future) to only deduct the cost of meals actually consumed in the dining facilities, but that is likely several years in the future (for the present time, DOD depends on the fact that members required to consume meals in the dining facilities only eat an average of 70 percent of their meals there, and purchase 30 percent of the meals elsewhere. The services rely upon the difference to help balance their food budgets).
  • Enlisted members with less than 4 months of service used to be paid BAS at a lower rate. The new law eliminates this difference.
  • Since 1998, BAS annual increases have been limited, by law, to one percent. This year's law eliminates that provision and ties BAS annual increases to the inflation rate as measured by the Agriculture Department's Food Cost Index (which, for 2002 is 3.71 percent).
  • Under the previous system, there was a little-used category known as "Emergency Conditions Where No Government Dining Facilities Exist." This category has been eliminated
  • Also eliminated by the new law is the "Rations in Kind Not Available." This rate is payable when a member's duty or location prevents access to government dining facilities. In 2001, it paid about $30.00 per month more than the normal rate. However, DOD has elected to temporarily continue this category, but will not allow its rate to increase. When the rate of "normal" BAS exceeds the rate currently allowed under the "Rations in Kind Not Available" category (probably about two years from now), it will be permanently eliminated.
  • BAS used to be calculated on a daily basis. That means that a person who received BAS got just a little bit more during months that had 31 days in them, and a little bit less during the month of February (which has less than 30 days). Under the new procedures, BAS is a monthly set rate.

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