When it comes to financial benefits, the Navy amounts to much more than a competitive paycheck. Like significant tax incentives. Retirement income. And, of course, comprehensive health-care coverage. When you add it all up, the entire package is tough to beat – from nearly every angle.
In the Navy and all branches of the U.S. Armed Forces, pay is dependent upon rank (known as rate for Enlisted personnel in the Navy) and years in service (see the chart below). Promotions depend on performance and time in service, and an Enlisted Sailor has to earn an increase in rate. In general, you will be eligible for advancement from E-1 to E-2 after nine months, E-2 to E-3 after another nine months, and from E-3 to E-4 after a subsequent six months.
- Military Pay Chart
This graph shows the monthly salary for each of the Enlisted ranks commonly reached in the first four years of enlistment. This graph is based on the pay scale effective January 1, 2012.
Numbers shown are monthly pretax earnings and do NOT include the value of housing or other allowances or benefits.
Taxes can vary; you will be taxed at the rate of your official state of residence, and some states offer special tax rates to military personnel. Housing and food allowances are not taxed.
In certain circumstances, promotions up to E-3 can come faster. One way to accelerate your Navy career is to get others to join. If you refer friends or other acquaintances to join the Navy, you can be eligible for advancement up to E-3. Contact a recruiter for more details.
Officer salaries are based on rank and years in service. The monthly pay for an Ensign (O-1) upon receiving commission is $2,828.40 plus allowances and benefits. This graph shows the monthly salary for typical Officers based on rank and years in service.
When considering salary, be sure to take into account the value of housing and other allowances – plus outstanding Navy health-care benefits – which adds thousands of dollars to the value of your compensation.
In addition, Congress generally authorizes a military pay raise every year to reflect cost-of-living increases.
Enlisted Sailors and Officers enjoy generous vacation time (in the Navy it’s called leave). You can earn up to 30 paid days leave each year. If you don’t take all 30 days in one year, you can accumulate up to 60 days to use in the future.
Housing, Meal and Tax Benefits
Many states offer significant tax breaks to Navy personnel. In addition, each servicemember receives a monthly allowance for housing and food – completely tax-free.
What’s more, in the Navy you may qualify for a VA (Veterans Affairs) home loan, which typically offers better interest rates and qualification requirements than you’ll find as a civilian. Find more information at the VA web site.
These days, a good health plan is increasingly rare. Rising medical costs and skyrocketing insurance premiums can make it difficult to afford quality medical care. In America’s Navy, we pride ourselves in providing world-class medical care to Sailors and their families.
This full, comprehensive coverage is available at all military hospitals and dental facilities.
And if any one kind of specific service is unavailable, Navy servicemembers receive referrals to necessary providers. This also is covered by the Navy health-care plan.
In the case of a medical emergency or concern, visiting your local medical facility is also covered.
This level of high-quality health-care coverage is getting harder and harder to find in the civilian sector. In the Navy, it remains standard issue.
Get more detailed information about Navy health-care coverage.
The Navy provides all its servicemembers with superior life insurance coverage. A $250,000 life insurance policy costs only $16 a month. A $400,000 life policy is only $26 a month.
Consider Your Service Options.
There are different ways that you can commit to serve in America's Navy. Part-time service opportunities are available in the Navy Reserve - offering many of the same great benefits as full-time service.