Perhaps it’s a bit irresponsible to link the world’s military budgets to the decline of civilization. Regardless, there’s no question that most militaries around the world continue to fund at record levels. In the USA, where politics and finances have been particularly turbulent lately, the military will be given a 1.0-1.7% raise for 2014 according to current tables.
President Obama increased military pay scales in December 2012 as per the National Defense Authorization Bill. The 1.7% pay increase was effective on every member of the uniformed forces. However, salaries for enlisted soldiers and for officers follow a slightly different scale. Both members receive a basic pay, which is augmented with allowances, incentives, tax advantages and recoupment benefits. This doesn’t compare that favorably with some other military forces from European countries, these can be checked directly although you’ll need something like a German proxy because of various geo-blocks.
The military pay chart is readily available on the US Undersecretary of Defense, Personnel and Readiness website. The chart lists separate payments for enlisted members and for officers according to rank and years of service. Enlisted officers are referred to as E and are graduated from E — 1 to E — 9. Some branches may have a Warrant Officer rank and this is referred to as W with different W grades from W -1 to W – 5. Similarly, officers are referred to as O with grades from O-1 to O-10. Please note that these pay grades may vary considerably if incentives, taxes, and benefits are added to the basic pay grade. The chart only provides a list of base pay. Members also get drill pay when they are on active duty. Housing allowance is provided to family of members. Unmarried members usually stay in military barracks but standards have changed and each member is allotted a single room with shared or single bathroom. All active duty military members also get a monthly allowance for food called substance allowance. Family separation allowance and combat allowance is provided to military members when they have to travel or are deployed on government work. Some grades also get an annual pay raise which increases the basic salary that is offered.
It’s a good idea to check with the Department of Defense website to get an accurate idea of current pay grades and scales.