This is the biggest misconception ever!!!
Recently a soldier has been leaving comments on my Youtube videos because he is mad that we “get paid for being married”.

Here is the problem… we do not get paid for being married!
Unfortunately I can’t even get mad at his comments, he along with others are among the small group of people who believe that there is some secret salary soldiers get the minute they say “I do”.

Here is what a soldier does get when he acquires dependents:

* BAH with Dependents Rate: There are 2 types of BAH …with dependents and without. This means if your married you get the BAH rate based on your rank and zipcode with dependents.
If you’re a single soldier and you live off post you get another rate without dependents.
You DO NOT get extra BAH for having more kids, although OCONUS last I checked you do get a little extra per dependent .

Both single and married soldiers receive Travel Allowances when they PCS. Single soldiers get these same things too except for DLA on a PCS. Single soldiers don’t usually qualify for it on the first PCS but a soldier with dependents does. All in all they still get the same thing .

*If you live overseas you do get COLA.
COLA= Cost of Living Allowance
Again COLA is based on rank and where you are located. Once upon a time based on my research I learned that the Army used to give a little extra based on amount of dependents for COLA if you lived overseas. This is not the case anymore to my knowledge.

The soldier then pointed out to me , that if we didn’t get paid for being married then how come there are so many contract marriages?

Well first let me say if you are in a contract marriage and your soldier is in the military then you are a damn fool.

99% of the contract marriages I have come across don’t last as it is. The spouse who entered into this marriage usually winds up having issues receiving money from the soldier for basic necessities such as food and clothing. They usually know nothing about the military and are therefore used by a soldier who takes the BAH and runs with it.

Lastly when you live onpost in most cases housing takes your BAH, so unless you live overseas and receive COLA there is no extra pay that we receive.

I say all this to say do not believe what your friend who had a cousin who had a aunt who knew a soldier tells you…do not believe the hype…we don’t get paid extra for being married!

Don’t forget to share your comments below!

Read Part 2

Hooah & Smooches
Army Wife 101



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Krystel is the mom of two and an Army Wife. In addition to Army Wife 101 she is the Co-Founder of a digital media agency that connects brands with the military market. She has appeared on MSNBC ,FOX LA and formerly was a weekly contributor to HLN's "Raising America". She has written for various outlets including Sheknows and Lifetime and is a big fan of cupcakes and french fries.

50 Comments on Please Stop Saying We Get Paid For Being Married!!!

  1. What is with the misconceptions lately? They seem to be rampant. I’ll just leave it at that before I write a blog post in your comments. And you’re right. Anyone who enters a contract marriage is a damn fool. The only way to survive this life is to marry for love.

  2. That is about as dumb as some chick telling me I was living off the gov’t because I stayed at home with my two young boys. She said the gov’t paid for me to put my kids in daycare.. If that is the case I want the ton of money we shoveled out in daycare costs when I worked in Biloxi. What I made barley covered just the cost of daycare. It made zero sense to work just to cover daycare… people are just ignorant… =/

  3. That is an INSANE way to think. First off, I have been married for 13 years this is our first year married and him in the service, and it has been tons tougher this year than in the other 12! If people are marrying soldiers for money, they are missing the entire concept of marriage!!

  4. In a way yes we do get paid for being married, not monetary wise, but we get the honor of knowing the spouse we love is serving our country. We get paid with the fact that were strong enough to put up with some of the military bull that we have to put up with.

  5. Girl, don’t let that YouTube commenter get you upset. People will ALWAYS share their opinions, whether you asked for it or not. (And most times their opinions are stupid!).LOL Keep Posting!

  6. What is a “contract marriage”? I am still trying to learn lingo. My husband is set for basic training in Nov!

    • Thanks everyone for the input and responses.
      @Christy a contract marriage in the military is when 2 people get married (who really could careless about each )marry so that they can that they can receive the so called extra money which is really nothing more then BAH.
      As I stated in most cases the woman entering the marriage actually wants to be married , and has no clue that her partner is really only marrying her in hopes of gaining additional dollars.

  7. It’s like I’ve said before. IF I GOT PAID TO BE MARRIED TO MY HUSBAND…..I would be making a hell of a lot more money. I would venture to guess that it’s the kind of “job” that most wouldn’t do, even if they were paid to do it. I married my husband because I loved him….is that so taboo? Talk about a horrible way to discredit Soldiers and their families, how pathetic.

  8. That’s one that gets me heated as well. That and people who think that we get “free housing” and the commissary works like a food bank. Really people?

  9. The dependents do still receive cola, but it’s not really all that much extra the biggest part of the COLA is from what the soldier them selves receive.

    This is a great link on extra pays and little tidbits that are helpful.

    But really the only true pay that married soldiers get that single soldiers do not is FSA (Family Separation Allowance). But really the only time they get that is deployments or when it’s over 30 days and the family can’t follow. The rest of the pays single soldiers do get it may not be as much as the married soldiers get but the difference is so small.

    • I dont think you are understanding how this works.. your husbands oconus bah would be 0$ if he was single and grade E6 or below. That unaccompanied rate is there for exceptions to policy only.

  10. HA! And then there’s my other favorite comment: “You knew what you were signing up for when you married him.” I’m onboard with Krystal. People are stupid and the rest don’t get it. Then there’s us. Love your blog! Thanks!

  11. My husband was in Iraq 15 months back in 2003-2004, the only benefit I saw that we received that single soldiers did not was the separation allowance.Which I feel we deserve, especially if there are children involved.

    • You think that you deserve it? That’s fare. But do we single soldiers not have loved ones we miss?

  12. I know this is a little late, but i ran across this while searching for married pay rates and thought I would comment considering there was no single opinion. First married couples DO get paid more for being married, you say so yourself in your own blog, it’s a benefit because I dont know any other job that gives you more of anything for being married. It doesn’t matter how much more, it is more compared to a single person of the same rank. While deployed a married person receives $250 more a month than a single person even though they are the same rank doing the same job. Imagine if you had a job (not saying that you don’t) and a person doing the same thing as you was getting paid more money just because he/she was married. Does that seem fair? Single members have families too;mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, etc… which they are usually away from most of their time while serving, unless they get lucky enough to get stationed near home. I say all that to say this, the military does offer a little extra money for having dependants. Is it a lot? No. But i would rather receive the with dependant rate, the family separation pay, the ability to move off base as an E-3 or even into base housing (anything but the dorms/barracks) all of which i would have…if I just got married. For all of the military wives that do stick around while their husbands are gone for months or years, I have nothing but respect for you all because that has to be tough. Just thought i would share.

    • Thank you for sharing that. I try not to get upset at peoples comments but single soldiers leave people behind too and we also have a right to make exactly the same pay.

    • The reason a married soldier gets that extra $250 dollars is because they generally take care of their “dependent”, a.k.a. their spouse. Imagine your current pay being used for two people instead of just yourself. That would have to cover food, housing, bills, etc. The little extra bit of money is necessary to support the extra person/people who are considered dependents.

      • This is what bothers me, why does the spouse being military automatically equal them supporting you? With a spouse, your household has the potential for TWO INCOMES. What other career gets these extra hundreds of dollars in allowances because the one working says “I have a family at home to provide for.”

  13. This is as bad as those who think we make “extra money” when our spouses are deployed. HAHAHA…. If your spouse is working 7 days per week, 14 hour days, that breaks down to poverty level on the pay scale. There is NO “extra money” when deployed…separation pay & hazard pay are just a payment for the extra 8 days per month they actually DO work. Those “financial wizards” that the Army sends in to talk to us at our deployment briefings are misguided nonsense. Good heavens. People should walk in our shoes before they run their mouths.

    • As a soldier who has been a single soldier and a soldier married to another soldier. You should join the army and walk in our shoes before you get so upset. Married soldiers get many extras that we single soldiers never see. So please join up and walk in our shoes.

    • haha thank you kindred spirit! This has been a secret pleasure of mine to inform my comrades of this and thus ruining their day!

      All hail the unemployed revolution!!!

  14. Army wife 101 needs to rethink this blog:

    First, married = spouse = dependent = BAH with dependents = more money than BAH without dependents

    Second, if you are married, you get the choice to live on post (subject to availability) or off post. A lower ranking enlisted member who is single does not have that choice. So automatically, the married service member has a choice to receive BAH or not effectively giving him more money than the lower ranking enlisted member who cannot receive any BAH because it is dictated that he live in the barracks.

    Third, let’s look at the statement “All in all they still get the same thing .” by using real numbers.

    MAJ BAH with dependents at zip code 66027 = $1,608/month = $19,296 annually
    MAJ BAH without dependents @ zip 66027 =$1,251/month =$15,012 annually
    Weird. $19,296 does not equal $15,012. There is a difference of $357/month or $4,284/year. I would say that is substantially different than “they still get the same thing.”
    Additionally, let’s look at DLA which is equal to 50% of the monthly base pay.
    2LT with less than 2 years, monthly base pay = $2,784. So 50% of monthly base pay = $1,392.
    So, a married 2LT with less than 2 years qualifies for an additional $1,392 merely because he is married.
    Therefore, the statement, “All in all they still get the same thing,” is not true in the slightest. And it is not a misperception that you “get paid more for being married,”

    It is the truth.

    And please do not get me started on the other benefits of being married such as time off for having a child or time off to take/pick up kids to school or avoiding weekend duty because they need to spend time with their family. Don’t get me wrong, these are noble and worthwhile causes, but let’s not try to give credence to a view that there is no benefit to being married/having dependents and it is equal to being a single soldier.

    Lastly, remember getting married was YOUR choice and serving the country was also YOUR choice. Granted, the consequences and daily living of multiple deployments is tough. But think about the single soldier who may not have someone to support them through the tough times and count yourself blessed.

    • Thank you so much for writing this. Seriously, I wasn’t sure if I could handle anymore about how they do not get paid for getting married. I also appreciate you bringing up facts like we have to live in barracks and we do not get to leave or get out of duties.

    • Thank you for including a logical and mathematicaly backed entry on this post. I am currently deployed to the lovely desert vacation center known as Afghanistan. And in contrary oppionion to sounding petty I am dismayed that single soldiers DO NOT recieve FAMILY SEPERATION ALOWANCE! The thought began to as a simple huh too bad i’m not married then festered and grew into cancerous plague of feeling ostricised by Uncle Sam. I’m am just as seperated from my family as any other member of the armed forces who are deployed.

    • I love your post! I am not a solider, but a wife of a solider. I was married to my husband way before he decided he wanted to be in the Army. The benefits àre way better for a married man then for a single solider. I didn’t marry him for benefits though, and when he leaves the army I’m still gonna be with him. The Army really does pay for the comforts of the Soliders wife, and family! I don’t believe in contract marriages tho, and I believe everyone makes there own chooses tho.

  15. Hello,

    I’ve been reading some of your blogs, love them. I also noticed that you haven’t been on lately so we will see how this goes. My finace just receively left for basic training. I don’t know how anything works. I know he gets paid. We paid bills together so had a joint account. He set up direct deposit to this account while he is away. Do you know when that money starts coming in? I’m paying his car loan, insurance, phone, and many others and this information would be important.

    Thank you!

  16. A soldier just got divorce and 6 months later goes into another contract marriage with another soldier. I under alot of young soldier are entering into contract marriage to pay for a car or just to have extra money in their pockets. The one soldier has a child and was served for child support so 11 day before he was deployed he went into a contract marriage with the other soldier. The military supports this behavior? The female soldier that has been married just 6 months prier don’t want the child to have any of the soldier benefits. And has gone the Childs mothers number and has been call and harassing the young lady stating that child will never receive any benefits. The young mother went to the state and it has been 10 months and she has not received any type of benefits for the child. Paternity was establish 10 months ago what can the young lady do?

  17. A soldier just got divorce and 6 months later goes into another contract marriage with another soldier. I under alot of young soldier are entering into contract marriage to pay for a car or just to have extra money in their pockets. The one soldier has a child and was served with child support papers, so 11 day before he was deployed he went into a contract marriage with the other soldier. Does the military supports this behavior? The female soldier that has been married just 6 months prier don’t want the child to have any of the soldier benefits. And has gothen the Childs mothers number and has been calling and harassing the young lady stating that child will never receive any benefits. The young mother went to the state and it has been
    10 months and she has not received any type of benefits for the child. Paternity was establish
    10 months ago what can the young lady do?

  18. Hello my wonderful Son-In-Law takes care of my daughter Jacqueline, right now he is in his first tour in Aphganastan, he has allready done 3 tours in IRAQ, Jacqueline has just finished her first year of Grad-School to be an Optometrist. I can tell you right now straight up, She lives on Ramen noodles and hamburger helper, I would like her to be getting a check from the Army but she doesnt, The only thing the Army does is give Joshua hazard pay and that is an extra 18.00 dollars a month…

    • If he is overseas he should be receiving family separation pay which is $250 a month and hazardous duty pay is about a $100 a month when deployed. While you are correct that he doesn’t receive an extra check, he is definitely getting way more then that . You can look up the hazardous duty pay charts online.

      • She stated that he was her son-in-law and that he was “taking care of her daughter”. So they have almost no real connection in legal terms. The girl isn’t his daughter, wife or any sort of immediate family, and she is an adult. Would he actually get paid more for “taking care of her”…whatever that even means.

        The poster never even stated she was being claimed as a dependent. Just that he was “taking care of her”. That phrase is vague at best. It sounds like he’s just a single soldier sending money back to a college girl that isn’t related to him.

        Oh, and I think it’s totally rad the propaganda you’re spreading about soldiers not earning more for being married. I’ve noticed several blogs like this around where military wives swear up and down it is hearsay. If the goal is to discourage contract marriages, valiant effort. If it is what you believe, then you should stop contradicting yourself by continually stating how much more a military family rakes in per year/month. And claiming it is deserved or earned is silly.

  19. I spent four years in the Army as a single soldier and was deployed for 20 months in that time and I’d like to point out that for lower enlisted soldiers there is a huge gap in compensation between married and single soldiers. Single soldiers live in a small barracks room that they share with another soldier. Married soldiers live in a house big enough to hold their family.

    Single soldiers have their BAS (meal money) stripped away from them and are given a meal card. There is no choice involved they are given a meal card and told that they either need to eat all their meals on post at the defac or pay out of pocket.

    While deployed I didn’t get BAH which effectively meant that I was getting paid about half as much as other soldiers my rank that were married. I understood that married soldiers needed that cash but you have to see how absurd it is to pretend like we were getting anything approaching equal compensation.

    Actually think about the argument you are trying to make. “Single soldiers get enough money to support 1 person and married soldiers get enough money to support four. So yeah, they get about the same”. They don’t. Not even close. That BAH that comes home while your spouse is deployed just doesn’t exist for single soldiers. It isn’t going towards someones rent or towards a house payment it just isn’t there at all.

    I understand why. But don’t insult me by telling me that someone that was receiving twice as much cash as me per month while deployed wasn’t getting paid more than me. Don’t tell me that when I was living in a tiny box in the states while a guy lower ranking than me was given a house we were being equally compensated.

    • I get what you are saying but I will say that when a soldier is living onpost even with his family we don’t actually get BAH. Housing takes that so the only difference is the single soldier is in a barracks and we are in a house. Yes we get family sep pay but hell that goes right back to care packages.

      Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts :)

  20. I have to agree with David, his points about the differences between single/married are completely valid. You’re bank account doesn’t play these games with the terms (Base pay, BAS, COLA,BAH), so we shouldn’t either. Money is money straight up. Married E3s make more money than a single E6, and they all have plenty of money left over for toys at the end of the month, trust us, we see it. The Military is the only job where you are actually paid MORE to be married.

    I don’t know why you would because you can pocket the extra cash if you move off post, but even if you did live on post he’s still making more money for a dependent, all the while single soldier rights continue to be infringed upon.

    There should be NO pay difference between a single soldier or married soldier. It should be equal. I’m not saying drop married pay, I’m saying raise single soldiers. Why? If its equal then it would cut back on contract marriages, and the stupid, young guys that meet a girl and falls in love after a week. The only time pay would be raised is if you have a child. Oh well, I’ll thankfully be out of the dying bureacracy known as the military soon, so that’s just my 2¢.

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  25. The pay difference between married and single (as well as the housing options) isn’t even close. When I was in the service I was a single E-6 with 8 years in and I had an E-4 female who was gay, “married” to an openly gay man for benefits and they lived in a high cost area of central Florida.

    Needless to say she made a lot more than I did and the marriage was a complete sham. While that’s just a story that doesn’t have anything directly to do with what the OP is stating, she is wrong.

  26. I served and I was young, naïve, but totally got lucky. A fellow soldier with more years and experience was talking marriage and babies shortly after we started dating. Turns out he already had a year old baby with another woman, much younger than himself. I guess he had to marry somebody to support the child. I don’t know if I was the Plan B or the child’s mother was the Plan B. I suspect Plan B was me, because he married her shortly after I completed my tour of duty and went home. Just saying, that extra money is extremely alluring for a soldier, especially when extra obligations come along. Having said this, yes I am happy that I got away from the deceit, because he did hide this information from me. I only found out the truth by snooping. Having said all this, let me tell you there are some incredible army wives that I admire. They take on the lion’s share of raising the kids, and are honorable people who truly are an asset. But there are those soldiers who will game the system and take advantage of others. If I had known the truth from the beginning, I’d have grabbed my hat and run.

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