2021 Military Pay Dates – For Active Duty Paychecks

Military members get paid twice a month, on the 1st and the 15th, unless those days fall on weekend a holiday. If so, military members get paid the preceding business day.
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Military Pay Dates - Full Military Pay Schedule

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 PeriodMid-month PaydayLES Available End-of-Month PaydayLES Available
JanuaryJan. 15Jan. 8Feb. 1Jan. 25
FebruaryFeb. 12Feb. 5Mar. 1Feb. 22
MarchMar. 15Mar. 8Apr. 1Mar. 25
AprilApr. 15Apr. 8Apr. 30Apr. 23
MayMay 14May 7June 1May 25
JuneJune 15June 8July 1June 24
JulyJuly 15July 8July 30July 23
AugustAug. 13Aug. 6Sep. 1Aug. 25
SeptemberSep. 15Sep. 8Oct. 1Sept. 24
OctoberOct. 15Oct. 8Nov. 1Oct. 25
NovemberNov. 15Nov. 8Dec. 1Nov. 24
DecemberDec. 15Dec. 8Dec. 30Dec. 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.

Source: DFAS.

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About Ryan Guina

Ryan Guina is The Military Wallet's founder. He is a writer, small business owner, and entrepreneur. He served over six years on active duty in the USAF and is a current member of the Illinois Air National Guard.

Ryan started The Military Wallet in 2007 after separating from active duty military service and has been writing about financial, small business, and military benefits topics since then. He also writes about personal finance and investing at Cash Money Life.

Ryan uses Personal Capital to track and manage his finances. Personal Capital is a free software program that allows him to track his net worth, balance his investment portfolio, track his income and expenses, and much more. You can open a free Personal Capital account here.

Featured In: Ryan's writing has been featured in the following publications: Forbes, Military.com, US News & World Report, Yahoo Finance, Reserve & National Guard Magazine (print and online editions), Military Influencer Magazine, Cash Money Life, The Military Guide, USAA, Go Banking Rates, and many other publications.

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  1. P H says

    Hello, my son is in the MN National Guard and has not received payment for his last two drill weekends. Who does he contact??

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello PH, He should contact his finance office. But this is a question he should really be asking his supervision. He needs to learn how to navigate the military system to ensure he is receiving the full benefits he has earned. Being assertive and proactive is a life skill everyone should have, especially someone who is serving in the military.

  2. Rena says

    This pay chart for Navy Federal is inaccurate when scrubbed against their actual pay dates for active duty on their website and online banking.

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