Military Pay

My husband just took a pay cut.

No, he didn’t get demoted, he transferred from his deployment back to a job in Washington DC, where, supposedly, the cost of living is lower.  Every time a military family has a Permanent Change of Station (PCS) move, part of the military member’s pay changes.

I’m not complaining about his salary.  Please don’t misunderstand me.  I wanted to write about this issue because I know many readers of this blog come here to learn more about military life.

Salary is an ever changing aspect of the life of a military family.  We (yes, I say we since I feel like we are both working for his salary) took about a $1000 per month cut in pay the moment Horatio’s feet hit the ground back home.  By my calculations, that’s no chump change, and I can tell you, for sure, that our cost of living has not decreased.  We still have the same mortgage, utility bills, food costs, medical expenses, etc. that we had while Horatio was overseas, but are now working within a smaller budget.

Horatio and I feel very fortunate that he has a job at all, let alone one that he loves.  So, when we put the pay cut into perspective, we know we are quite lucky in the scheme of things.  With so many Americans out of work, a pay cut seems less significant.  But, our soldiers and sailors aren’t exactly rolling in the dough to begin with, so a lower income can really hit hard.

Young enlisted families, especially, are feeling the cuts these days.  A young family of an E-3 (Private 1st Class) who has served our country for 4 years, earns $3666 per month- BEFORE taxes.

When you hear about cuts to the military budget, you should know that much of the cut does not come from weapons and installations.  After all, it would be unethical to make cuts to much needed supplies while we are at war.  It comes directly from the pockets of the men and women who serve.  For example, the military family dental benefits were recently cut significantly and our particular health clinic had to find a new management company and move to a new facility.

So, like much of America, the military families, who make sacrifices in service to our great nation, are feeling the pinch of the economy.  Here’s hoping better times are ahead.


About Commander in Chief At home

Erin is a military spouse and, sometimes temporarily single mom to 4 boys. She's a writer, editor, teacher, and (Autism) mom.
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