Military pay: This is how much US troops are paid according to their rank

U.S. service members in all branches conduct state memorial services for former President George H. W. Bush.Spc. James Harvey/US Army
This is a list of typical military salaries, from Army enlisted men ($24,648 per year) to Air Force generals ($203,688).
Base pay for a new recruit is $20,340 per year, but they earn more as they gain experience and rank.
Most service members also receive allowances for room, board, uniforms, and job-specific bonuses, many of which are untaxed.
How much are US troops paid?
The answer to this question depends on their rank, length of service, location of service, family members, and job specialty—to name a few.
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Other benefits, such as government health care and tax-free portions of their pay, help military personnel extend their income a little further than their civilian counterparts.
To give you an idea, we've broken down the monthly salary or base pay for each rank. We estimated their pay rate based on how many years they typically served to reach that rank - many soldiers spend more time at each rank than we calculated, while some troops spend less time and get promoted faster.
We also didn't take into account factors like housing benefit because they vary widely, but these often make up a large part of their pay. We also excluded warrant officers, whose years of service can vary widely.
Each military department establishes rules for promotions and adopts an “Up or Out” policy that dictates how long a service member can remain in the military without being promoted.
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The full military salary table can be found here.
Here is the typical annual base pay for each rank.
E-1: $20,340
A drill instructor shows Marine recruits proper techniques during martial arts training at Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego, California. While in boot camp, service members are paid minimally—but their paychecks will incrementally increase as they gain experience.
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E-1 is the lowest rank in the US military: Airman Basic (Air Force), Private (Army/Marine Corps), Seaman Recruit (Navy). Service members typically hold this rank during basic training and automatically advance to the next rank after six months of service.
Rounded to the nearest dollar, base pay (salary) at this rank starts at $1,695 per month. After four months of service, the pay increases to $1,833 per month.
The military can demote troops to this rank as punishment.
E-2: $24,648
From right, the insignia on these sailor uniforms show an apprentice seaman, a corporal 3rd class, and a seaman.Mass Communications Specialist Seaman Apprentice Ignacio Perez/US Navy
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Service members automatically advance to E-2 pay grade – Airman (Air Force), Private (Army), Private 1st Class (Marine Corps), Seaman Apprentice (Navy) – after 6 months of service.
Her salary increases to $2,054 per month.
E-3: $25,920
A Marine Lance Cpl. strums his guitar on the USS Kearsarge during a deployment.Lance Cpl. Antonio Garcia/US Marine Corps
Promotion to E-3 is automatic after 12 months of service. Airman 1st Class (Air Force), Private 1st Class (Army), Lance Corporal (Marine Corps), Seaman (Navy).
Base pay at this rank is $2,160.
E-4: $30,180
Senior Airmen perform a flag folding presentation during a retirement ceremony in 2019.Staff Sgt. Alexandre Montes/US Air Force
Although length of service requirements vary between branches, service members who advance to E-4 typically have at least two years of service. Senior Airman (Air Force), Specialist/Corporal (Army), Corporal (Marine Corps), Corporal 3rd Class (Navy)
If an E-3 does not move up in salary after two years, his salary still increases to $2,296.
For those earning E-4 at two years, pay increases to $2,515 per month. Some service members will advance to the next rank at that pay grade after just one year—those who remain at the E-4 level will receive a pay increase to $2,652 per month after serving three years of service.
E-5: $35,040
Audie Murphy holds his son in an army sergeant's uniform on the set of the autobiographical film To Hell and Back.Bettmann/Getty Images
Promotions are no longer automatic, but troops can advance to E-5 with as little as three years of service. These ranks are Staff Sergeant (Air Force), Sergeant (Army/Marine Corps), Petty Officer 2nd Class (Navy).
For these troops, their new paychecks are $2,920 a month.
Service members typically spend at least three years at this pay grade. While they will not advance in rank during this time, their salary will still increase with their tenure.
Four years after discontinuation, an E-5 is making $3,058 per month. After six years of service, their pay rises again — even if they don't get promoted — to $3,273 a month.
E-6: $42,576
Top NCOs from the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower participate in a community relations project. The logo on their T-shirts is a modification of the Navy's E-6 insignia, which features an eagle on three inverted chevrons and the seaman's occupation insignia.
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It is unusual for a service member to hold the rank of E-6 - Technical Sgt. (Air Force), Staff Sgt. (Army/Marine Corps), Petty Officer 1st Class (Navy) - with less than six years of service.
An "E-6 with six" will take home $3,548 a month.
After two more years of service, the monthly salary increases to $3,864, which is approximately $46,368 per year.
Reaching the next pay grade, E-7, prior to 10 years of service is not uncommon but not guaranteed. If an E-6 doesn't move up by then, they'll still get a raise and take home $3,987 a month.
Her next raise will be 12 years after her hire date, at which point her monthly salary is $4,225.
E-7: $51,624
The late Marine and actor R. Lee Ermey as Gunnery Sgt. Hartman in Full Metal Jacket.YouTube
Achieving the coveted rank of E-7 – Master Sergeant (Air Force), Sgt. 1st Class (Army), Gunnery Sgt. (Marine Corps), Chief Petty Officer (Navy) – with less than 10 years of service is not common, but it is can be done.
Those who reach this milestone will be paid $4,302 per month, which will increase to $4,440 per month upon reaching their 10 year anniversary of entry.
Some service members retire at this pay grade—if they do, their pay increases every two years until they are ready to retire. By the time they turn 20, their wages will be $5,232 a month — or $62,784 a year.
The military sets a cap on how long each service member can serve at each rank. Commonly referred to as “up or out,” it means that if a service member does not advance to the next rank, they cannot be re-enrolled. While these vary between branches, in the Navy this cap is 24 years for chief petty officers.
A boss with 24 years of service makes $5,528 per month.
E-8: $60,936
The cover of a US Navy Senior Chief Petty Officer with the emblem of an anchor and its chain, USN, and a silver star.Mass Communications Specialist 1st Class James Foehl/US Navy
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Service members may be promoted to E-8 - Senior Master Sgt. or 1st Sgt. (Air Force), 1st Sgt. or Master Sgt. (Army), Master Sgt. or 1st Sgt. (Marine Corps), Senior Chief Petty Officer (Navy) – with only 12 years of service.
At this point, they're getting $5,078 per month.
Troops who retire after 20 years of service as E-8s will receive a monthly salary of $5,860 - or $70,320 per year.
If they stay past that point, they'll get raises every two years.
An E-8 with 28 years of service makes $6,626 monthly.
The Army's up-or-out policy prevents more than 29 years of service for any 1st Sgt. or Sgt. Maj.
E-9: $75,348
The Chief Master Sergeant's insignia can be seen on jackets prepared for an induction ceremony. Less than 1% of US Air Force personnel are promoted to this rank.
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E-9s have between 15 and 30 years of experience, although few are selected for specific positions, which can exceed 30 years of service. Their titles are Chief Master Sgt. (Air Force), Sgt. Maj. (Army), Master Gunnery Sgt. or Sgt. Maj. (Marine Corps), Master Chief Petty Officer (Navy).
Service members who achieve this rank with 15 years of experience are paid $6,279 per month.
They get their next raise when they turn 16 and take home $6,477 a month.
After 20 years, they'll take home $6,790 — that's $81,480 a year when they reach retirement age.
Some branches allow E-9s to stay in the military for up to 32 years, at which point they earn $8,151 -- or $97,812 per year.
O-1: $41,724
Newly commissioned Navy and Marine Corps officers celebrate during their 2018 graduation from the US Naval Academy.Mass Communications Specialist Chief Elliott Fabrizio/US Navy
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Compared to ordinary soldiers with the same experience, officers earn significantly more money.
A freshly commissioned O-1 – 2nd Lt. (Army/Marine Corps/Air Force), Ensign (Navy) – earns $3,477 a month base salary alone.
O-2: $54,744
A US Marine 1st Lt. takes the oath of office during his promotion ceremony.Cpl. Jered Stone/US Marine Corps
Officers are automatically promoted to O-2 after two years of service. This is a highly-anticipated promotion as it represents one of the largest individual pay rises any civil servant will see during their career. These ranks are 1st Lt. (Air Force/Army/Marine Corps), Lt. j.g. (Marine).
An O-2 earns $4,562 per month.
O-3: $74,220
A US Army Captain awaits a simulated attack during training in Wiesbaden.Paul Hughes/US Army
Officers receive a pay raise after completing three years of service.
Using the Army's average promotion schedule, officers automatically advance to the next rank after four years of service.
New captains and lieutenants with four years of service make $6,185 per month. At this rank, officers receive pay increases every two years.
O-4: $94,692
A Navy Lieutenant Commander speaks with pilots from Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 26 from the USS Ponce while the ship is deployed to the Arabian Gulf in 2014.
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By the time they reach the rank of O-4, military officers have served an average of 10 years in the service. Maj. (Air Force/Army/Marine Corps), Lt.Cmdr. (Marine)
A Major or Lieutenant Commander with ten years of experience takes home $7,891 a month or $94,692 a year. Civil servant salaries continue to increase every two years after additional service.
O-4's salary is capped at $8,805 per month. So if an officer wants to take home more than $105,660 — excluding additional salaries, bonuses, and allowances — he must be promoted to O-5.
O-5: $114,516
Lt. Col. Goldie, the US Air Force's only therapy dog, wears a purple ribbon in support of Domestic Violence Awareness Month in October 2017. Roland Balik/US Air Force
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Officers typically spend at least 17 years in the military before being promoted to O-5.
They'll take home $9,543 a month by their 18-year commissioning anniversary, and then make $9,813 a month. These ranks are Lt. Col. (Air Force/Army/Marine Corps), Cmdr. (Marine).
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