Subscribe Now »

Special Holiday Deal

Give the Gift of the

Give one person a magazine subscription for $29.95, and get each additional subscription for just $19.95.

Newsletters

I would like to receive the following free email newsletters:

Newsletter Signup
  1. Bridal Party
  2. Dining Out
  3. Kliman Online
  4. Photo Ops
  5. Shop Around
  6. Where & When
  7. Well+Being
  8. Learn more
Who Makes How Much: Military
Here's what Washingtonians get paid for the work they do By Kimberly Palmer, Sherri Dalphonse
Comments () | Published November 15, 2010

Military pay is determined by rank and length of service—and it’s gotten better in the last decade, largely to attract and keep good people. Since 2002, according to the Defense Department, military pay has risen by 42 percent, housing allowances 83 percent, and the subsistence (or food) allowance 40 percent. That compares with a 32-percent rise in private-sector salaries.

The average junior enlisted member, typically with a high-school degree, earns about $43,000 a year—and that doesn’t include special pay, bonuses, free medical care, and government-paid retirement.

With 40-plus years of experience, the highest-ranking military officer, Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, makes $239,803.20 in base pay.

Here are base salaries for selected ranks.

Private 1st Class (3 years), $23,076.

Master sergeant (30 years), $64,032.

Sergeant major (38 years), $85,152.

Warrant officer (40 years), $105,624.

Second lieutenant, $32,940 to $41,448.

Captain, $43,920 to $71,460.

Lieutenant colonel, $57,900 to $98,376.

Brigadier general, $93,708 to $140,018.

General (20 years), $179,700.

This feature first appeared in the November 2010 issue of The Washingtonian. 

Categories:

People & Politics
Subscribe to Washingtonian

Discuss this story

Feel free to leave a comment or ask a question. The Washingtonian reserves the right to remove or edit content once posted.
blog comments powered by Disqus

Posted at 12:00 AM/ET, 11/15/2010 RSS | Print | Permalink | Comments () | Washingtonian.com Articles