Military Compensation Should Be Changed to Salary System

FPCD-77-20: Published: Aug 1, 1977. Publicly Released: Aug 1, 1977.

Additional Materials:


Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800

Military compensation should help the services successfully compete with other employers for the personnel they require. Study groups and commissions have repeatedly pointed out that the base pay and allowances system is an inefficient way to support this objective and have recommended that it be replaced by a salary system.

Measuring regular military compensation is complicated, and even those individuals being compensated cannot easily determine their pay. The base pay and allowances system is also inequitable. The regular military compensation is greater for married members than for single members of the same grade and length of service. The base pay and allowances system conceals the cost of military personnel through the provision of goods rather than cash and particularly through tax advantage. A salary system would increase members' awareness of their pay; remove inequities in pay; and make the cost of military personnel easier to identify. Suggested methods of converting to a salary system include: (1) developing salaries based on the pay of a designated segment of civilian employees, or (2) developing salaries based on current levels of regular military compensation.

Matter for Congressional Consideration

  1. Status: Closed

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for additional information.

    Matter: The Congress should replace the military base pay and allowances system with a salary system. (Author/SC)


Explore the full database of GAO's Open Recommendations »

Feb 8, 2018

Feb 6, 2018

Dec 21, 2017

Dec 7, 2017

Nov 20, 2017

Oct 26, 2017

Oct 23, 2017

Jun 22, 2017

May 30, 2017

May 18, 2017

Looking for more? Browse all our products here