Servicemembers will receive an 11.2% increase in their Basic Allowance for Subsistence (BAS) levels for 2023, DoD announced recently.
Officers will receive $311.68 per month, up $31.39 from 2022. Enlisted personnel will receive $452.56 per month, a $45.58 increase. This is the largest increase in BAS in over two decades.
The BAS increase is prescribed in statute and is automatic based on annual data provided from the Department of Agriculture.
While this increase is important given the soaring costs of food seen across the nation due to inflation, this pay is only meant to offset the costs for servicemembers’ meals. By design, BAS does not cover the cost of meals for family members. This gap for service families highlights the importance of MOAA’s Basic Need Allowance efforts.
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The only part of the regular military compensation (RMC) package designed to account for the increased cost of living for uniformed service families has been the dependent rate for the Basic Allowance for Housing. The recent creation of the Basic Needs Allowance (BNA) provides an opportunity to support families, but modifications must be made to ensure it works as intended.
“DoD leaders have acknowledged the high rate of food insecurity within the armed forces,” said Jennifer Goodale, MOAA’s director of Government Relations for military family and survivor policy. “MOAA is focused on ensuring the Basic Needs Allowance is rolled out in an effective manner to ensure those families struggling with food insecurity will have access to much-needed support.”
The BAS increase is welcomed for the uniformed services community, but more must be done. MOAA remains focused on protecting the compensation packages and ensuring a life of service is recognized and rewarded.
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