One of the first steps in creating a budget is knowing how much money you have coming in, and when. That’s why it’s important to know when you get paid. In general, military pay dates are easy to remember: you usually get paid on the 1st and 15th of each month. Note: Retired military members get paid once a month.
There are exceptions when those dates fall on a weekend or holiday. In those cases, you would get paid on the weekday preceding that weekend or holiday. So if your pay date would be on Sunday the 15th, you would actually receive your pay on Friday the 13th. (I guess sometimes Friday the 13th can be lucky!).
This same concept applies to military retirees. However, military annuitants (those receiving compensation through the Survivor Benefit Plan), will receive their paycheck the day after a weekend or holiday.
2021 Military Pay Dates
Here are the military pay dates for 2021, including the day you should receive your payment, and the dates your Leave and Earnings Statements (LES) and Net Pay Advice (NPA) should be available through myPay.
|2021 Pay Period||Mid-month Payday||LES Available||End-of-Month Payday||LES Available|
|January||Jan. 15||Jan. 8||Feb. 1||Jan. 25|
|February||Feb. 12||Feb. 5||Mar. 1||Feb. 22|
|March||Mar. 15||Mar. 8||Apr. 1||Mar. 25|
|April||Apr. 15||Apr. 8||Apr. 30||Apr. 23|
|May||May 14||May 7||June 1||May 25|
|June||June 15||June 8||July 1||June 24|
|July||July 15||July 8||July 30||July 23|
|August||Aug. 13||Aug. 6||Sep. 1||Aug. 25|
|September||Sep. 15||Sep. 8||Oct. 1||Sept. 24|
|October||Oct. 15||Oct. 8||Nov. 1||Oct. 25|
|November||Nov. 15||Nov. 8||Dec. 1||Nov. 24|
|December||Dec. 15||Dec. 8||Dec. 30||Dec. 23|
The above military pay dates are applicable to all branches of the military, including the Air Force, Air Force Reserves, Air National Guard, Army, Army National Guard, Army Reserves, Marine Corps, Marine Corps Reserves, Navy, Navy Reserves, Space Force, Coast Guard, Coast Guard Reserves, and the Public Health Service.
The Guard and Reserves are listed with the same pay dates: this only applies to those who are serving in the active Guard or active Reserves. Those who serve as Traditional members of the Reserve Corps may have different pay dates for their drill duty or their AT days.
When Will I Receive My Military Paycheck?
Your Military paycheck will normally be available on your payday. However, it may be available a day or two earlier or later, depending on your financial institution.
For example, some Military Banks offer military deposits a day or two earlier than the actual pay date. This is common with Navy Federal Credit Union (if you use the Active Duty Checking Account) and USAA Federal Savings, among others. Here is the pdf with the NFCU paydays. Here are the dates military paychecks are available through USAA.
Top Military Banks: Here is our list of the top military banks and credit unions. You may consider choosing to bank with one of these financial institutions if receiving your pay earlier is important to you.
How Much is My Military Pay?
Military base pay is based on your rank and your total years of service. Your base pay is the same regardless of your branch of service or which job you perform. Here are the 2020 military pay charts and the 2021 military pay charts.
However, military members are also eligible for certain benefits, such as a food allowance called, Basic Allowance for Subsistence (BAS), Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH), and sometimes other forms of incentive pay, Cost of Living Adjustments based on your location, per diem and travel pay, and other types of compensation.
These different types of payments can make your pay vary from month to month, based on many factors.
Tracking Your Pay and Benefits:
The military gives service members two forms to track and understand their pay and benefits: Leave and Earnings Statements (LES) and Net Pay Advice (NPA). These can be viewed or downloaded from your myPay account. It’s not a bad idea to keep a copy of these forms to ensure the accuracy of your pay and benefits.
Here is the information found on these forms:
- LES: Everything you need to know about your pay and benefits should be found on your LES. It includes your end of month pay information, including gross pay, net pay, state and federal taxes paid, Thrift Savings Plan contributions, other pay & benefits (including BAH, BAS, Per Diem, tax-free pay, Family Separation Pay, Hazardous Pay, bonuses, and other pay and benefits), Days of Leave, and more.
- NPA: Mid-month pay information.
Pay Periods: You get paid for the previous work period. In this case, you get paid on the 15th for work from the 1st – 15th of the month. The pay on the 1st of the following month is for work done from the 16th – the end of the month.
What about partial months? The military considers a month to be 30 days long – this makes it easier for calculating pay and benefits for a partial month of service. So each day of pay is worth 1/30th of your monthly pay and benefits. If you only work part of a pay period you would receive 1/30th of your normal pay and benefits for this period. This is important to know for those times when you PCS, are away on an extended TDY or deployment, or when you separate or retire from the military.