2023 Basic Allowance for Subsistence (BAS) RatesUpdated: July 11, 2023
On Jan. 1, 2023, basic allowance for subsistence (BAS) rates increased 11.2% for U.S. Air Force, Army, Marine Corps, Navy and Space Force personnel — the most significant increase in over 20 years.
Enlisted military members now receive $452.56 per month, while officers receive $311.68 per month in basic allowance for subsistence. That’s a monthly increase of $45.58 and $31.39, respectively, to account for inflation.
Enlisted members eligible for the BAS II monthly rate receive $905.12 each month.
About Basic Allowance for Subsistence (BAS)
BAS helps servicemembers offset costs for groceries and food-related expenses. New service members are eligible for BAS once they complete their initial entry training.
BAS does not directly compensate service providers. BAS recipients pay for all meals from their allowance, including those that are government-provided. Typically BAS only partially offsets the cost of food, though some assignments may include additional consideration due to relatively high costs. In such cases, a cost-of-living allowance (COLA) may complement BAS.
Special allowances like BAS and BAH (Basic Allowance for Housing) are non-taxable income. You can see these allowances on your leave and earnings statement (LES) with other deductions and expenditures.
BAS vs. BAS II
Enlisted BAS II is a modified BAS rate for those who have made a permanent change of station (PCS) move to serve an unaccompanied tour and who are assigned to single/unaccompanied quarters. BAS II is paid when there are no adequate food storage or preparation facilities and a military dining facility or its equivalent is unavailable.
The BAS II rate is set at double the enlisted BAS rate. The concerned service branch’s secretary must authorize it.
2023 BAS Calculation
The Department of Agriculture calculates BAS rates based on food costs in a given zip code. The price of food is re-evaluated every year based on the latest data. As of November 2022, the Consumer Price Index for food showed cost increases of 10.6% compared to 2021, so it’s no wonder why 2023 BAS rates increased drastically.
The Department of Defense uses a similar methodology to set Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) rates. The major difference between the two? BAS is designed to offset food costs for only the military member, while BAH rates account for housing costs for the military member as well as dependents.
Service members cannot receive BAS under certain conditions, including but not limited to the following:
- While in basic training
- While in officer training, unless they have continuous prior enlisted service
- When in an excess leave status
- When absent without official leave (AWOL) for more than 24 hours, unless the absence is excused as unavoidable
- While taking educational leave not exceeding two years
Yearly BAS Rates for Military Members
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