How Much Is Your Military Pay Really Worth?

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Financial posts are some of the most popular on this site, so I figured I would share a great article that summarizes a lot of the financial benefits of being active duty:

How Much is Your Military Pay Really Worth?

Blended Retirement System Opt-in Course Now On-Line

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By Chief of Naval Personnel Public Affairs
WASHINGTON (NNS) — Tuesday, the Navy released NAVADMIN 020/17 announcing the release and availability of the Blended Retirement System (BRS) Opt-In course.

The decision to stay in the current retirement system or opt-in to BRS is an important and irrevocable decision that eligible Sailors must make based on their own individual circumstances. This course aims to help eligible service members make that decision.

All service members who are opt-in eligible must complete the Blended Retirement System training, now available on Joint Knowledge Online (JKO) at: (course #: J3O P-US1332). The training will be available soon on Navy e-Learning.

Active Component (AC) members are eligible to opt-in if they entered military service on or before Dec. 31, 2017, and have less than 12 years of service.

Reserve Component (RC) members, including Full Time Support (FTS) members, can opt-in if they entered military service on or before Dec. 31, 2017, and they have accumulated fewer than 4,320 retirement points as of Dec. 31, 2017.

United States Naval Academy and Reserve Officer Training Corps Midshipmen as well as Delayed Entry Program service members are opt-in eligible if they entered the military on or before Dec. 31, 2017.

Eligible Sailors should have received notification of their opt-in eligibility via email (sent to the email address registered to an individual’s Navy Standard Integrated Personnel System (NSIPS) account). Command administration departments must contact their personnel support divisions to access a list of all opt-in eligible members within their command and then notify all opt-in eligible members within their units.

In order to ensure opt-in eligible Sailors are making the most informed decision possible, a few additional tools have been developed for use. Additionally, an on-line calculator is expected to be released in March to aid eligible members in their decision making process.

The Navy has also developed the Navy Financial Literacy app that is designed to provide Sailors with access to both training and resources, which is especially critical during the transition to BRS. The free app is available for download now at the Google Play and iTunes app stores. To find the app, search “Navy Financial Literacy” in the app stores or in your web browser.

For the most up-to-date information on BRS and links to training go to the Uniform Services Blended Retirement web page at

For complete information on BRS opt-in training requirements and availability see NAVADMIN 020/16 at

For more information, visit,, or

For more news from Chief of Naval Personnel, visit

Official 2017 Military Pay Chart

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Here is the official (meaning I got it from DFAS) military pay chart for 2017:

2017 Military Pay Chart

“Full” 2.1% Pay Raise in 2017

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Here’s an article from Military Times about our pay raise and a PDF of the new pay table:

New in 2017: Expect rigorous debate over military pay and benefits
By: Leo Shane III, Military Times, December 27, 2016

For the first time since 2013, military personnel in January will see a “full” pay raise equal to the expected increase in private sector wages. But it remains unclear whether this is a sign of better benefits and compensation in years to come.

How Congress and the new president treat military pay and benefits will be an issue worth service members’ attention in the year ahead, since the moves will directly affect their families’ finances.

President-elect Donald Trump has already promised to boost military spending, including more personnel and equipment. He has also promised that the country will “take care of the military” better than under President Barack Obama.

Outside advocates hope this means protecting military compensation.

In recent years, Pentagon leaders trimmed expected increases for housing stipends and basic pay to instead redirect hundreds of millions of dollars to modernization and training efforts. Military officials have said it’s a distasteful but necessary tradeoff, given shortfalls in the defense budget.

But troops’ advocates and some lawmakers have said it needlessly burdens troops and their families. They successfully fought a lower pay raise proposal for 2017, and pushed back against plans for a complete overhaul of housing stipends which could have taken away thousands of dollars annually from some troops.

With the new administration they’ll push Trump’s Pentagon to hold personnel costs separate from major weapons purchases, and hope to recoup some of the lost trims in the years to come.