Quote from Jean Marie46514
I do not know if military are paid at close to poverty line or not,
but, in the example above, in reply#3,
if the soldier is not married,
and is only being paid that $1,516 per month (PREtaxes being removed)
and has a cafeteria available somewhere on the base, so he won't qualify for that add'l "no cafeteria" allowance,
this is about $18,192 per year, before taxes are removed. Which does seem pretty close to the poverty level...?
but, admittedly, i do not know.
Although this thread was titled Poverty in the Military,
the original post referred to military families, as did the article included in that post. As a result, my post addressed that issue. As you have turned this into an issue with military pay in general, I will address your post.
As you noted, the annual base pay for a single E1 without dependents, living in the barracks is $18,192. Using the 2012 poverty guideline
for a single member household of $11,170 for the District of Columbia and 48 continuous states, $13, 970 for Alaska, and $12,860 for Hawaii, the $18,192 annual salary ranges from 130.2% to 162.8% of the poverty level. As PMFB-RN noted, promotion to E2 is automatic at 6 months if the service member has kept a clean record. This promotion comes with a salary increase of $184 per month, or $2208 per year. The annual salary for an E2 is $20,400. Again, using the 2012 poverty guideline
, this ranges from 146% to 182.6% of the poverty level.
Single service members are typically not paid either the basic allowance for subsistence or housing, as both housing and meals are provided in lieu of these. However, single service members are allowed to reside off base if they so desire. However, if they choose to do so, they will incur all living expenses upon themselves. If they are required to live off base due to lack of available barracks space, then they are paid the basic allowance for subsistence, as well as the basic allowance for housing, although at a somewhat reduced rate.
However, let’s return to your scenario of the unmarried enlisted Marine. If he or she lives in the barracks and dines at the chow hall, it is without any
expense to the service member. As a result, 100% of her or his after tax income is theirs to save, spend, or invest without any regard to monthly living expense.
In addition, the enlisted service member is not charged directly for her of his personal uniforms as they are provided an initial clothing (uniform allowance)
during recruit training. For the Marine Corps male recruits receive $1680.05 and female recruits receive $1744.30. After a set time in service, enlisted service members also receive a basic or standard annual cash clothing replacement allowance. Again, for the Marine Corps this ranges from $403.20 to $608.40, depending upon gender and allowance type. If they are good stewards of their uniforms, this is more than sufficient to maintain and replace items.
There is also no charge to the service member for equipment that might be needed based upon assignment. For example, what we called “782” gear in the Marine Corps (e.g., pack, web gear, etc.) as these items are maintained by the military and issued as needed, although some service members opt to purchase this equipment themselves.