Military budgets operate off of the "fiscal year," which runs from 1 October to 30 September. For example, Fiscal Year 2009 is from 1 October 2008 to 30 September 2009.
However, that does not mean that military pay changes occur at that time.
Due to the wording that Congress uses in the annual Military Appropriations Act, and the Military Authorization Act, most military pay increases do not begin until the beginning of the calendar year (i.e., January 1st).
The Military Appropriations Act, and the Military Authorization Act must be passed by Congress and signed into law by the President each year, before it can be implemented by the Department of Defense.
The Military Appropriations Act reserves (allocates) money for the Department of Defense. The Military Authorization Act tells DOD how to spend the money. Both acts must be passed and signed into law before DOD can implement them.
2012 Pay Charts
Proposed 2012 Military
It looks like President Obama's proposal for a 1.6 percent military pay raise is pretty much a done deal. If approved by Congress, here you'll find the new pay charts for the upcoming 2012 fiscal year.
2011 Military Pay Charts
What Congress has in store for you
Pay and benefit changes for the year 2011.
Military active duty base pay rates for the year 2011.
BAH (Housing Allowance)
Military members who are authorized to live off-base are paid a monthly housing allowance called BAH to help them pay for rent or mortgage.
2011 BAS (Food Allowance)
Basic Allowance for Substinance (BAS) rates for military members during the year 2011.
2011 Family Separation Allowance (FSA)
FSA is payable when a military member is forced to be separated from his/her family members (dependents, such as spouse and/or children) for longer than 30 calendar days.
2011 Family Subsistence Supplemental Allowance
Low-ranking military members, who would otherwise qualify for food stamps, may apply for this monthly, tax-free allowance, thereby removing them from food stamp eligibility.
2011 Combat Pay
Military members who are deployed to a designated combat zone are entitled to monthly, tax-free combat pay. Additionally, while in a combat zone, their other military pay may be partially or totally exempt from income taxes.
2011 Clothing (Uniform) Allowance
Military members are paid an annual tax-free allowance to help pay for maintaining their uniform items.
2011 Drill Pay
Members of the Guard & Reserve are paid drill pay for performing monthly drill duty. Here are the rates for 2011.
Guard/Reserve Housing Allowance
Members of the National Guard and Reserves who are on active duty for 30 or more calendar days, and who are authorized to live off base, receive the full Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH), just like active duty members. However, Guard and Reserve members who are on active duty for less than 30 days (for example, the two weeks of annual drill), receive a different type of Housing Allowance, known as "BAS RC/Transient, that pays less, on average than active duty BAH.
Child Support Allowance
Military members who live in unacompanied quarters (barracks), and pay court-ordered child support receive the difference between the single and dependent rate of the military transitional rate housing allowance. This pay is called "Differential Pay."
Partial rate Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) is paid to military members without dependents who are living in government quarters (such as dormitories or barracks), and are not entitled to any other type of housing allowance.
Military members who perform regular flight duties are entitled to special monthly flight pays.
Hazardous Duty Pay
Military members who perform duties which are considered "dangerous," due to the nature of the job, are entitled to monthly hazardous duty incentive pay.
Each branch of service has specific qualification requirements for members to receive Diving Duty Pay. In general, these divers must be designated divers by order, training, and assignment.
Military members performing duty at sea are entitled to a special monthly pay, known as "Career Sea Pay."
Submarine Duty Pay
Military personnel (mostly Navy) who perform operational submarine duty are entitled to receive Submarine Duty Pay.
Personal Money Allowance
A few high-ranking members of the U.S. Military are authorized a special monthly "Personal Money Allowance."