Enlisted military members are paid a "clothing allowance" to pay for maintenance and replacement of required uniform items. The allowances shown here are for Fiscal Year 2011 and are effective from October 1, 2010 through September 30, 2011.
The Initial Clothing Allowance is how much an entire set of uniforms would cost. In most cases, uniforms are issued to new recruits, but some recruits (such as prior service) may be given the allowance instead and instructed to purchase their own uniforms from the Military Clothing Sales store.
The clothing allowance is usually paid annually on a member's enlistment anniversary. Those with less than three years of service receive the basic rate (on the assumption that their uniforms are still fairly new and don't need to be replaced as much). Additionally, their first annual payment will be only 1/2 of the basic rate (on the assumption that little would have to be replaced during their first six months of service).
After three years of service, members receive the standard rate each year.
This allowance is not taxable.
For more information about military enlisted clothing (uniform) allowances, see Department of Defense (DOD) Pay Regulation, Volume 7A (Active Duty & Reserve Pay), Chapter 29-- Clothing Monetary Allowances.
Marine Corps Clothing (Uniform) Allowance