2021 Military Pay Chart!

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New pay rates will go into effect on January 1, 2021, and will be reflected on the January 15, 2021 paychecks.

Please note: This is an estimate based on adding the pay increase to the 2020 military pay chart. However, these numbers should be accurate within $1.00 of the final number

The official pay charts will likely round these numbers up or down accordingly. So the numbers you see here should be within a dollar of the actual numbers the DoD releases.

Here are the pay scales listed in dollars per month for enlistees, officers, and warrant officers:

PAY GRADE2 OR LESSOVER 2OVER 3OVER 4OVER 6OVER 8OVER 10
E-1 < 4 mos$1650$-$-$-$-$-$-
E-1 > 4 mos$1785 $1785$1785 $1785 $1785 $1785 $1785
E-2$2001$2001$2001$2001$2001$2001$2001
E-3$2104$2236$2372$2372$2372$2372$2372
E-4$2330$2450$2582$2714$2829$2829$2829
E-5$2542$2713$2844$2978$3187$3406$3585
E-6$2774$3053$3188$3319$3455$3763$3883
E-7$3208$3501$3635$3812$3951$4190$4324
E-8$-$-$-$-$-$4615$4819
E-9$-$-$-$-$-$-$5637
W-1$3309$3666$3761$3964$4203$4556$4720
W-2$3770$4127$4237$4312$4556$4937$5125
W-3$4261$4439$4621$4680$4871$5246$5637
W-4$4666$5019$5163$5305$5549$5790$6035
W-5$-$-$-$-$-$-$-
O-1E$-$-$-$4261$4550$4718$4890
O-2E$-$-$-$5290$5399$5570$5861
O-3E$-$-$-$6023$6312$6628$6833
O-1$3386$3524$4261$4261$4261$4261$4261
O-2$3901$4443$5117$5290$5399$5399$5399
O-3$4515$5118$55235363$6023$6312$6628$6833
O-4$5135$5944$6341$6429$6797$7192$7684
O-5$5951$6704$7168$7256$7546$7718$8099
O-6$7139$7843$8358$8358$8390$8749$8797
O-7$9414$9851$10054$10215$10506$10794$11127
O-8$11330$11701$11948$12016$12323$12837$12956
O-9$-$-$-$-$-$-$-
O-10$-$-$-$-$-$-$-
PAY GRADEOVER 12OVER 14OVER 16OVER 18OVER 20OVER 22OVER 24
E-1 < 4 mos$-$-$-$-$-$-$-
E-1 > 4 mos$1785$1785$1785$1785$1785$1785$1785
E-2$2001$2001$2001$2001$2001$2001$2001
E-3$2372$2372$2372$2372$2372$2372$2372
E-4$2829$2829$2829$2829$2829$2829$2829
E-5$3607$3607$3607$3607$3607$3607$3607
E-6$4115$4185$4237$4297$4297$4297$4297
E-7$4562$4760$4895$5039$5095$5282$5383
E-8$4945$5096$5261$5556$5706$5962$6104
E-9$5765$5926$6115$6307$6612$6872$7143
W-1$4951$5177$5356$5519$5719$5719$5719
W-2$5310$5537$5714$5875$6067$6193$6293
W-3$5822$6035$6254$6649$6915$7074$7244
W-4$6403$6725$7032$7283$7529$7888$8184
W-5$-$-$-$-$8296$8717$9031
O-1E$5058$5290$5290$5290$5290$5290$5290
O-2E$6085$6252$6252$6252$6252$6252$6252
O-3E$7169$7454$7617$7839$7839$7839$7839
O-1$4261$4261$4261$4261$4261$4261$4261
O-2$5399$5399$5399$5399$5399$5399$5399
O-3$6085$6252$6252$6252$6252$6252$6252
O-4$8067$8333$8486$8574$8574$8574$8574
O-5$8380$8741$9293$9556$9816$10111$10111
O-6$8797$9297$10181$10699$11218$11513$11812
O-7$11458$11791$12837$13719$13719$13719$13719
O-8$13444$13584$14004$14612$15172$15546$15546
O-9$-$-$-$-$16013$16244$16577
O-10$-$-$-$-$16608$16608$16608
PAY GRADEOVER 26OVER 28OVER 30OVER 32OVER 34OVER 36OVER 38OVER 40
E-1 < 4 mos$-$-$-$-$-$-$-$-
E-1 > 4 mos$1785$1785$1785$1785$1785$1785$1785$1785
E-2$2001$2001$2001$2001$2001$2001$2001$2001
E-3$2372$2372$2372$2372$2372$2372$2372$2372
E-4$2829$2829$2829$2829$2829$2829$2829$2829
E-5$3607$3607$3607$3607$3607$3607$3607$3607
E-6$4297$4297$4297$4297$4297$4297$4297$4297
E-7$5765$5765$5765$5765$5765$5765$5765$5765
E-8$6452$6452$6452$6452$6452$6452$6452$6452
E-9$7560$7560$7938$7938$7938$7938$7938$7938
W-1$5719$5719$5719$5719$5719$5719$5719$5719
W-2$6293$6293$6293$6293$6293$6293$6293$6293
W-3$7475$7475$7475$7475$7475$7475$7475$7475
W-4$8521$8521$8691$8691$8691$8691$8691$8691
W-5$9377$9377$9847$9847$10339$10339$10339$10339
O-1E$5290$5290$5290$5290$5290$5290$5290$5290
O-2E$6252$6252$6252$6252$6252$6252$6252$6252
O-3E$7839$7839$7839$7839$7839$7839$7839$7839
O-1$4261$4261$4261$4261$4261$4261$4261$4261
O-2$5399$5399$5399$5399$5399$5399$5399$5399
O-3$7345$7345$7345$7345$7345$7345$7345$7345
O-4$8574$8574$8574$8574$8574$8574$8574$8574
O-5$10111$10111$10111$10111$10111$10111$10111$10111
O-6$12391$12391$12638$12638$12638$12638$12638$12638
O-7$13790$13790$14066$14066$14066$14066$14066$14066
O-8$15546$15546$15935$16333$16333$16333$16333$16333
O-9$16608$16608$16608$16608$16608$16608$16608$16608
O-10$16608$16608$16608$16608$16608$16608$16608$16608

Note: The military pay charts are for all U.S. Armed Forces personnel. Your base pay does not deviate based on the branch of service.

2021 Military Pay Chart Compared to Inflation

The military pay raise for 2021 is the fifth largest in the last TWO decades (when compared to inflation). There have been many times that service members received a decent pay raise, but after factoring inflation it was actually a net loss.

Take a look at this chart, and you’ll see that the effective pay raise this year was almost 1.5%. That is the largest (effective) pay raise since 2010!

YEARPAY RAISEINFLATIONADJUSTED PAY RAISE
20203.11.6051.495
20192.62.440.16
20182.42.130.27
20172.11.260.84
20161.30.121.18
201511.62-0.62
201411.47-0.47
20131.72.07-0.37
20121.63.16-1.56
20111.41.64-0.24
20103.4-0.343.74
20093.93.850.05
20083.52.850.65
20072.73.24-0.54
20063.13.39-0.29
20053.52.680.82
20044.22.271.93
20034.71.593.11
20026.92.834.07
20014.13.380.72
Average2.912.162750.74725

As you can see, this pay raise is more than DOUBLE the average of every pay raise the military has gotten since 2001. It is clear to me, that this pay raise is a big deal for us!

2021 Military Pay Scale pay grade explanation:

  • Enlisted personnel are the pay grades from E-1 through E-9,
  • Warrant Officers are W-1 through W-5,
  • Prior-Enlisted Officers are O-1E through O-3E,
  • Commissioned officers are on the pay grades from O-1 through O-10.

Enlisted Pay Notes

The senior enlisted advisors for each branch of the service may be eligible for a higher pay rating than the E-9 scale for their respective years in service.

These positions include:

  • Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps,
  • Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy,
  • Sergeant Major of the Army,
  • Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force,
  • Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard,
  • Senior Enlisted Advisor to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff,
  • Senior Enlisted Advisor to the Chief of the National Guard Bureau.

These rates will be officially released in 2020 DoD pay charts.

Officer Pay Notes

Prior-enlisted officers may be eligible for a higher pay rate based on time in service and other criteria. The pay scale offers the following note:

*Applicable to O-1 to O-3 with at least four years & one day of active duty or more than 1460 points as a warrant and/or enlisted member. See Department of Defense Financial Management Regulations (DoDFMR) for a more detailed explanation of who is eligible for this special basic pay rate.

 

2020 military pay chart

2021 Military Pay Chart FAQ

When Do I Get Paid?

Members are generally paid on the 1st and 15th of the month unless that day falls on a weekend or holiday. If so, members are generally paid the preceding business day. The following links will take you to the current military pay dates:

When Will I Get a Raise?

If this bill gets approved you will see a pay increase on your Jan. 15, 2021, check. The Jan. 1, 2021, check will come from the final pay period of 2020 so it won’t include a pay increase.

What About Drill Pay?

This pay increase applies to members of the Reserves and National Guard as well.

Why do we get a pay Increase?

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports a X%-percent employment cost index across the national workforce, and the Defense spending bill reflects this data. Military pay only increased by 2.6 percent in 2019.

The last time we got a pay increase of this size was in 2010 when we received a 3.4 percent pay increase. We have received pay increases as low as 1 percent over the past decade.

What should I do with this pay raise?

I recommend that you increase your savings by 3.1% when you begin getting paid based on the 2021 military pay chart.

Last year we received a 2.6% pay raise, and I increased my allotment to the Thrift Savings Plan by 2% in order to save more this year. That will result in around a thousand dollars extra I invested this year!

I highly recommend you pretend that you never got this pay raise in order to maximize your savings and investment funds!

Also, read up on military combat pay if you’re looking at a possible deployment!

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David Pere

David Pere

David is an active duty Marine, who devotes his free time to helping service members, veterans, and their families learn how to build wealth through real estate investing, entrepreneurship, and personal finance!

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