The US Navy is one of the largest and most powerful naval forces in the world, with over 332,000 active-duty personnel and over 100,000 reserve personnel. The Navy offers a variety of career opportunities for men and women who want to serve their country and explore the world. But how much do sailors earn in the US Navy? What are the factors that affect their pay and benefits? And what are some of the perks of being a sailor in the Navy? In this article, we will answer these questions and more, based on the latest information available for 2023.
US Navy Salary 2023
The basic pay for sailors in the US Navy is determined by their rank and years of service. The rank structure of the Navy consists of two categories: enlisted and officer. Enlisted sailors are those who have completed basic training and have not received a commission as an officer. Officer sailors are those who have a college degree or have completed an officer training program. Within each category, there are different pay grades, ranging from E-1 to E-9 for enlisted and O-1 to O-10 for officer.
The basic pay for each pay grade is based on the annual military pay chart, which is adjusted every year to reflect changes in the cost of living. The pay chart for 2023 reflects a 4.6 percent increase over the previous year, which is based on the Employment Cost Index (ECI) released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The ECI measures the changes in wages and salaries for civilian workers in various sectors of the economy.
The following table shows the monthly basic pay for each pay grade in 2023, based on the military pay chart:
|Monthly Basic Pay
|$2,260 – $2,548
|Petty Officer Third Class
|$2,503 – $2,906
|Petty Officer Second Class
|$2,730 – $3,704
|Petty Officer First Class
|$2,980 – $4,413
|Chief Petty Officer
|$3,294 – $5,921
|Senior Chief Petty Officer
|$4,739 – $6,759
|Master Chief Petty Officer / Command Master Chief Petty Officer / Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy
|$5,789 – $8,989
|$3,477 – $4,376
|Lieutenant Junior Grade
|$4,007 – $5,544
|$4,637 – $7,544
|$5,274 – $8,805
|$6,112 – $10,384
|$7,332 – $12,980
|Rear Admiral (Lower Half)*
|$9,668 – $14,446*
|$11,636 – $16,774*
|$16,445 – $16,975*
|$16,975 – $16,975*
|*Note: The pay grades O-7 to O-10 are considered flag officers and their pay is capped by law at Level II of the Executive Schedule ($16,975 per month in 2023). However, they may receive additional allowances and benefits that increase their total compensation.
As you can see from the table above, the basic pay for sailors increases as they advance in rank and years of service. However, basic pay is not the only component of their salary. Sailors also receive various allowances and special pays that supplement their income.
Allowances are payments that are given to sailors to cover specific expenses related to their service. Some of the most common allowances are:
Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH)
BAH is a monthly payment that helps sailors pay for their housing expenses when they live off-base or in privatized housing on-base. The amount of BAH depends on the sailor’s location, pay grade and dependency status. BAH rates are based on local rental market data and are updated annually. BAH is not taxable and does not affect other benefits.
Basic Allowance for Subsistence (BAS)
BAS is a monthly payment that helps sailors pay for their food expenses. The amount of BAS is fixed and does not vary by location or pay grade. BAS is not taxable and does not affect other benefits.
Cost of Living Allowance (COLA)
COLA is a monthly payment that helps sailors offset the higher cost of living in certain areas, especially overseas. The amount of COLA depends on the sailor’s location, pay grade, dependency status and spending patterns. COLA rates are based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI) and are updated periodically. COLA is taxable and does not affect other benefits.
Family Separation Allowance (FSA)
FSA is a monthly payment that helps sailors who are separated from their dependents due to military orders. The amount of FSA is fixed and does not vary by location or pay grade. FSA is taxable and does not affect other benefits.
Overseas Housing Allowance (OHA)
OHA is a monthly payment that helps sailors who live in private housing overseas pay for their rent, utilities and recurring maintenance expenses. The amount of OHA depends on the sailor’s location, pay grade and dependency status. OHA rates are based on local rental market data and are updated periodically. OHA is not taxable and does not affect other benefits.
Special pays are payments that are given to sailors who perform certain duties or have certain skills that are critical or hazardous. Some of the most common special pays are:
Aviation Career Incentive Pay (ACIP)
ACIP is a monthly payment that is given to officers who are qualified as naval aviators or naval flight officers and who perform operational flying duty. The amount of ACIP depends on the officer’s years of aviation service and ranges from $125 to $840 per month.
Career Sea Pay (CSP)
CSP is a monthly payment that is given to sailors who serve on sea duty for more than 30 consecutive days or 36 cumulative days in a year. The amount of CSP depends on the sailor’s pay grade and years of sea service and ranges from $50 to $750 per month.
Diving Duty Pay (DDP)
DDP is a monthly payment that is given to sailors who are qualified as divers and who perform diving duty. The amount of DDP depends on the sailor’s pay grade and diving qualification and ranges from $150 to $340 per month.
Foreign Language Proficiency Pay (FLPP)
FLPP is a monthly payment that is given to sailors who are proficient in one or more foreign languages and who perform language-related duties. The amount of FLPP depends on the sailor’s language proficiency level and number of languages and ranges from $100 to $500 per month.
Hardship Duty Pay (HDP)
HDP is a monthly payment that is given to sailors who serve in designated hardship locations or conditions. The amount of HDP depends on the type and degree of hardship and ranges from $50 to $150 per month.
Hostile Fire/Imminent Danger Pay (HF/IDP)
HF/IDP is a monthly payment that is given to sailors who serve in designated areas where they are subject to hostile fire or imminent danger. The amount of HF/IDP is fixed at $225 per month.
Nuclear Officer Career Bonus (NUCB)
NUCB is a lump-sum payment that is given to officers who are qualified as nuclear propulsion plant operators and who agree to extend their service obligation for an additional period of time. The amount of NUCB depends on the officer’s pay grade, years of service and length of extension and ranges from $15,000 to $100,000.
Sea Duty Incentive Pay (SDIP)
SDIP is a monthly payment that is given to sailors who voluntarily extend their sea duty assignment or curtail their shore duty assignment to fill critical sea duty billets. The amount of SDIP depends on the sailor’s pay grade, years of service and length of extension or curtailment and ranges from $100 to $600 per month.
Special Duty Assignment Pay (SDAP)
SDAP is a monthly payment that is given to sailors who perform duties that require extraordinary responsibility or effort. The amount of SDAP depends on the sailor’s pay grade and level of special duty assignment and ranges from $75 to $450 per month.
Special Warfare Incentive Pay (SWIP)
SWIP is a monthly payment that is given to sailors who are qualified as special warfare operators or special warfare boat operators and who perform operational special warfare duty. The amount of SWIP depends on the sailor’s pay grade, years of service and level of qualification and ranges from $150 to $600 per month.
In addition to the pay and allowances, sailors in the US Navy also enjoy various perks that enhance their quality of life and career development. Some of these perks are:
Sailors in the US Navy can take advantage of various education benefits that help them pursue their academic goals and enhance their professional skills. Some of these benefits are:
- Tuition Assistance (TA): TA is a program that pays up to 100 percent of the tuition and fees for courses taken by sailors at accredited colleges and universities, up to a certain limit per fiscal year. TA can be used for undergraduate and graduate degrees, as well as certificates and diplomas.
- Post-9/11 GI Bill: The Post-9/11 GI Bill is a program that provides up to 36 months of education benefits for sailors who have served at least 90 days of active duty after September 10, 2001. The benefits include tuition and fees, a monthly housing allowance, a books and supplies stipend, and a one-time relocation allowance. The benefits can be transferred to eligible dependents under certain conditions.
- Navy College Program (NCP): The NCP is a program that helps sailors plan and manage their education goals, access online courses and degree programs, obtain academic counseling and testing services, and apply for financial aid and scholarships. The NCP also offers the Navy College Program for Afloat College Education (NCPACE), which provides sailors on sea duty with the opportunity to take self-contained courses without internet access.
- Navy Credentialing Opportunities Online (COOL): Navy COOL is a program that helps sailors find and fund certifications and licenses that are related to their ratings or collateral duties. Navy COOL provides information on credential requirements, eligibility criteria, exam preparation resources, funding options, and application procedures.
Health Care Benefits
Sailors in the US Navy have access to comprehensive health care benefits that cover them and their dependents. Some of these benefits are:
- TRICARE: TRICARE is the health care program that provides medical and dental care to active-duty service members, retirees, and their families. TRICARE offers several options, such as TRICARE Prime, TRICARE Select, TRICARE Reserve Select, TRICARE Retired Reserve, TRICARE For Life, and TRICARE Young Adult. TRICARE covers preventive care, primary care, specialty care, hospitalization, prescription drugs, mental health care, vision care, dental care, and more.
- Military Treatment Facilities (MTFs): MTFs are hospitals and clinics that provide health care services to active-duty service members and their families. MTFs offer primary care, specialty care, urgent care, emergency care, pharmacy services, laboratory services, radiology services, physical therapy services, and more. MTFs are located on or near military installations around the world.
- Civilian Health Care Providers: Sailors who are not able to access MTFs or who prefer to receive health care from civilian providers can do so through TRICARE network or non-network providers. Network providers are those who have an agreement with TRICARE to accept certain rates and follow certain rules. Non-network providers are those who do not have an agreement with TRICARE and may charge higher rates or require upfront payments.
Sailors who serve in the US Navy for at least 20 years are eligible for retirement benefits that provide them with a monthly income for life. The amount of retirement pay depends on the sailor’s retirement system, pay grade, years of service, and disability rating. There are two retirement systems for sailors:
- Final Pay: Final Pay is the retirement system for sailors who entered service before September 8, 1980. The retirement pay is calculated by multiplying the final basic pay by 2.5 percent for each year of service.
- High-36: High-36 is the retirement system for sailors who entered service between September 8, 1980 and December 31, 2017. The retirement pay is calculated by multiplying the average of the highest 36 months of basic pay by 2.5 percent for each year of service.
Sailors who entered service after January 1, 2018 are covered by the Blended Retirement System (BRS), which combines a reduced retirement pay with a Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) account that receives automatic and matching contributions from the government.
As you can see from this article, sailors in the US Navy earn a competitive salary that is based on their rank and years of service. They also receive various allowances and special pays that supplement their income and cover their expenses. Moreover, they enjoy various perks that enhance their quality of life and career development. These include education benefits, health care benefits, retirement benefits, and more.
Most Asked Questions and Answers
Here are some of the most asked questions and answers about US Navy salary 2023:
Q: How often do sailors get paid in the US Navy?
A: Sailors get paid twice a month, on the 1st and the 15th of each month. If the pay date falls on a weekend or a holiday, they get paid on the preceding business day.
Q: How do sailors get paid in the US Navy?
A: Sailors get paid through direct deposit to their bank accounts. They can also access their pay statements and tax forms online through the MyPay website [here].
Q: How do sailors get promoted in the US Navy?
A: Sailors get promoted in the US Navy based on their performance, time in service, time in grade, and availability of billets. They also have to meet certain eligibility criteria, such as passing physical fitness tests, completing professional development courses, and obtaining security clearances. Some promotions require taking exams or appearing before boards.
Q: How do sailors get bonuses in the US Navy?
A: Sailors get bonuses in the US Navy for various reasons, such as signing or extending contracts, reenlisting, transferring to critical skills or locations, or achieving certain qualifications or certifications. The amount and frequency of bonuses vary depending on the sailor’s rating, pay grade, years of service, and contract terms.
Q: How do sailors get tax benefits in the US Navy?
A: Sailors get tax benefits in the US Navy for various reasons, such as being exempt from federal and state income taxes for certain types of pay and allowances, being eligible for tax credits and deductions for certain expenses, and being able to defer taxes on contributions to retirement savings plans.
Q: How do sailors get travel benefits in the US Navy?
A: Sailors get travel benefits in the US Navy for various reasons, such as being able to travel around the world as part of their duty assignments, being entitled to transportation and lodging allowances when traveling on official orders, being able to use military aircraft and vehicles for personal travel under certain conditions, and being able to access discounted fares and rates for commercial travel and lodging through the Armed Forces Vacation Club.
Q: How do sailors get leave benefits in the US Navy? A: Sailors get leave benefits in the US Navy for various reasons, such as being able to accrue 30 days of paid leave per year, being able to carry over up to 60 days of unused leave from one year to the next, being able to sell back up to 60 days of unused leave upon separation or retirement, and being able to take special types of leave for certain situations, such as maternity leave, paternity leave, adoption leave, convalescent leave, emergency leave, and terminal leave.
Q: How do sailors get family benefits in the US Navy? A: Sailors get family benefits in the US Navy for various reasons, such as being able to enroll their dependents in TRICARE for health care coverage, being able to receive family separation allowance when deployed away from their dependents for more than 30 days, being able to transfer their education benefits to their dependents under certain conditions, and being able to access various programs and services that support their family well-being, such as child care, spouse employment, family advocacy, counseling, relocation assistance, legal assistance, and more.
Q: How do sailors get veterans benefits in the US Navy? A: Sailors get veterans benefits in the US Navy for various reasons, such as being able to receive disability compensation for service-connected injuries or illnesses, being able to receive pension benefits for low-income or disabled veterans, being able to receive home loan guarantees for buying or refinancing a home, being able to receive education and training benefits for pursuing higher education or vocational training, being able to receive burial and memorial benefits for honoring their service and sacrifice, and being able to access various programs and services that assist their transition and reintegration into civilian life.
Q: How do sailors compare their salary with other branches of the military? A: Sailors can compare their salary with other branches of the military by using online tools such as [this] one. The tool allows users to enter their pay grade, years of service, location, and dependency status and see how much they would earn in each branch of the military. The tool also shows the breakdown of basic pay, allowances, special pays, and taxes. However, users should note that the tool does not account for all factors that affect military pay and benefits. Users should consult with their personnel office or financial advisor for more accurate information.