Military Pay Charts 2021 Proposed [updated]

military pay chart

2021 Military Pay Charts with Proposed Pay Raise and NDAA Latest

The latest NDAA should be signed any day now and the latest pay raise should take effect starting Jan 1.  However, we have a pretty good idea what the pay raise will be.  As such, we present you with the 2021 Military Pay Charts with the anticipated 3% included.

The 2020 military pay raise was 3.1%.  Earlier this year, the US Department of Defense released a statement on the 2021 proposed military pay raise. President Donald J. Trump requested $705.4 billion to fund the Defense Department.  The Department of Defense has asked for a 3% pay raise as well as for increases to housing and subsistence allowance.  Find the 2021 proposed military pay charts below.

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By Paygrade @ 3.0% increase

The military pay raise can be highly debated each year, but it isn’t as simple as the President or Congress picking a number. The pay raise is tied to the ECI (US Employment Cost Index) that is put out by the Labor Department’s Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The Latest on the NDAA and Military Pay 2021 Increase

SASC NDAA Highlights

Troop Pay Increase

The $750.50 billion dollar Senate budget plan would increase annual pay for troops by 3% for 2021. This increase matches the federal calculation of next year’s projected civilian raises, as well as the amount requested by the White House. Also included in the plan are re-authorizations for 30 different bonuses and specialty pays.

Troop Strength Increase

The plan proposes a total increase of 6,000 troops, with changes to each branch as follows:

  • Active duty Army will increase by 5,000 to a total troop number of 485,000
  • Navy will increase by 6,200 to a total of 346,730
  • Air Force will increase 675 to a total of 333,475
  • The Marine troop number will be decrease by 6,200 to a new total of 180,000

Family Housing Improvements

New hiring authorities would be required to oversee outside housing contractors, and “substandard family housing” would be prohibited. The plan would also require the Defense Department inspector general to audit the medical conditions of those who previously resided in privatized housing to identify any long-term effects that may have resulted from improper housing.

Child-care Availability Improvements

In order to better recruit and retain child-care workers on base, leaders would be instructed to provide improved benefits packages. This would work to increase child-care and day-care availability for troops and their families.

RELATED: Military Gets Free Assistance Finding Child Care

Increased Defense Funding

Long-range assault aircraft and drone funding would be increased with this plan, as well as a 5 million dollar allowance for Army Cyber Mission Forces.


Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, has put forth language in the bill to require monetary totals for military research projects to be made public.

Current Issues

Other proposals that address more recent events include an amendment put forward by Sen. Tim Kaine, D-VA, to prevent military funds or personnel being used “against American citizens exercising their first amendment rights,” and $44 million in funding towards COVID-19 vaccine research currently being conducted by the DOD.

Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., is also planning to add an amendment to hold a review and recommendation process regarding renaming Confederate-named military bases. This is in contrast to Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s, D-Mass., amendment that would require all Confederate-named bases, aircraft, ships, streets, etc. to be renamed within three years without such a process.

The SASC voted to advance the NDAA to the floor with a bipartisan vote of 25-2. Politico reported that there is a possibility the NDAA would take longer to see the floor as police reform has become a more pressing issue.

House Subcommittees’ NDAA Highlights

Troop Pay Increase

The House subcommittees have also included a 3% pay increase for troops.

Increased Defense Funding

The Navy would be authorized to buy eight battle-force ships. This includes what the White House requested, plus an additional Virginia-class submarine.


Representatives Katie Porter, D-Calif., and Francis Rooney, R-Fla., have put forth an amendment that requires all unclassified Pentagon reports ordered by Congress to be made public.

Current Issues

Questions to Pentagon workplace surveys would be added, asking if “racism, anti-Semitism and supremacism” have ever been experienced while on duty. Supremacist, extremist, and criminal gang activity already are tracked when part of a criminal probe, but the bill would require tracking when handled only by administrative means or by commanders. An annual report from each military branch of the gender and race of officers recommended for promotion would also be required.

Related to the recent coronavirus outbreak, included is a requirement for troops to have the necessary PPE and diagnostic equipment for infectious diseases. They would also require a review on the current level of preparedness regarding chemical and biological threats.

End of update.

2021 Pay Raise Could Help Stabilize

Food Insecurity

Military members and their families are at or below the 200% poverty line, Sen. Tammy Duckworth pointed out. Making them eligible for food stamps and free lunch programs for school-age children.

Competitive Pay

Organizations know that if they don’t offer competitive pay, they will soon lose their most talented employees, the same is true for the armed services. The armed forces lose highly trained military members to the civilian sector each year.

Military Pay Raise Tied to ECI (Employment Cost Index)

According to news reports the key government index used as a guideline for civilian wages indicates the military pay increase for fiscal 2021 will be at least 2.9 percent. Earlier reports were that the White House was seeking a 3 percent raise for 2021, but by law, military pay increases are tied to the U.S. Employment Cost Index (ECI) put out by the Labor Department’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), which was released last week.

Stay Tuned for Future Updates. Until then, here is a sneak peek at the projected 2021 military pay — based on the 3.0 percent ECI rate.

2021 Military Pay Charts (projected at 3.0%)

These charts on based on the DoD proposed increase of 3.0%

Enlisted: E-1 – E-3

Projected 2021 Pay Charts (3.0% Increase)

< 2$1,731$1,941$2,041
Over 2$1,731$1,941$2,169
Over 3$1,731$1,941$2,301
Over 4$1,731$1,941$2,301
Over 6$1,731$1,941$2,301
Over 8$1,731$1,941$2,301
Over 10$1,731$1,941$2,301
Over 12$1,731$1,941$2,301
Over 14$1,731$1,941$2,301
Over 16$1,731$1,941$2,301
Over 18$1,731$1,941$2,301
Over 20$1,731$1,941$2,301
Over 22$1,731$1,941$2,301
Over 24$1,731$1,941$2,301
Over 26$1,731$1,941$2,301
Over 28$1,731$1,941$2,301
Over 30$1,731$1,941$2,301
Over 32$1,731$1,941$2,301
Over 34$1,731$1,941$2,301
Over 36$1,731$1,941$2,301
Over 38$1,731$1,941$2,301
Over 40$1,731$1,941$2,301


Enlisted: E-4 – E-6

Projected 2021 Pay Charts (3.0% Increase)

< 2$2,260$2,465$2,691
Over 2$2,376$2,631$2,961
Over 3$2,505$2,758$3,092
Over 4$2,632$2,889$3,219
Over 6$2,744$3,092$3,352
Over 8$2,744$3,303$3,650
Over 10$2,744$3,477$3,766
Over 12$2,744$3,498$3,991
Over 14$2,744$3,498$4,060
Over 16$2,744$3,498$4,110
Over 18$2,744$3,498$4,168
Over 20$2,744$3,498$4,168
Over 22$2,744$3,498$4,168
Over 24$2,744$3,498$4,168
Over 26$2,744$3,498$4,168
Over 28$2,744$3,498$4,168
Over 30$2,744$3,498$4,168
Over 32$2,744$3,498$4,168
Over 34$2,744$3,498$4,168
Over 36$2,744$3,498$4,168
Over 38$2,744$3,498$4,168
Over 40$2,744$3,498$4,168

Senior Enlisted: E-7 – E-9

Projected 2021 Pay Charts (3.0% Increase)

< 2$3,111
Over 2$3,396
Over 3$3,526
Over 4$3,698
Over 6$3,833
Over 8$4,063$4,476
Over 10$4,194$4,674$5,467
Over 12$4,425$4,796$5,591
Over 14$4,617$4,943$5,748
Over 16$4,748$5,102$5,931
Over 18$4,888$5,389$6,117
Over 20$4,942$5,535$6,413
Over 22$5,124$5,782$6,665
Over 24$5,221$5,920$6,928
Over 26$5,592$6,258$7,333
Over 28$5,592$6,258$7,333
Over 30$5,592$6,384$7,699
Over 32$5,592$6,384$7,699
Over 34$5,592$6,384$7,699
Over 36$5,592$6,384$8,084
Over 38$5,592$6,384$8,084
Over 40$5,592$6,384$8,489

Warrant Officers:  W-1 – W-3

Projected 2021 Pay Charts (3.0% Increase)

Pay GradeW-1W-2W-3
< 2$3,309$3,770$4,261
Over 2$3,666$419$4,438
Over 3$3,761$4,237$4,621
Over 4$3,964$4,312$4,680
Over 6$4,203$4,557$4,871
Over 8$4,556$4,937$5,247
Over 10$4,720$5,125$5,637
Over 12$4,951$5,310$5,822
Over 14$5,177$5,537$6,035
Over 16$5,356$5,714$6,254
Over 18$5,519$5,875$6,649
Over 20$5,719$6,067$6,915
Over 22$5,719$6,193$7,074
Over 24$5,719$6,293$7,244
Over 26$5,719$6,293$7,474
Over 28$5,719$6,293$7,474
Over 30$5,719$6,293$7,474
Over 32$5,547$6,104$7,250
Over 34$5,547$6,104$7,250
Over 36$5,547$6,104$7,250
Over 38$5,547$6,104$7,250
Over 40$5,547$6,104$7,250


Warrant Officers:  W-4 – W-5

Projected 2021 Pay Charts (3.0% Increase)

< 2$4,666
Over 2$5,019
Over 3$5,163
Over 4$5,305
Over 6$5,549
Over 8$5,790
Over 10$6,035
Over 12$6,402
Over 14$6,725
Over 16$7,032
Over 18$7,283
Over 20$7,528$8,296
Over 22$7,888$8,717
Over 24$8,184$9,031
Over 26$8,521$9,377
Over 28$8,521$9,377
Over 30$8,691$9,847
Over 32$8,430$9,551
Over 34$8,430$10,028
Over 36$8,430$10,028
Over 38$8,430$10,530
Over 40$8,430$10,530


Commissioned Officers: O-1E – O3E (w/ Prior Enlisted Experience)

Projected 2021 Pay Charts (3.0% Increase)

< 2
Over 2
Over 3
Over 4$4,132$5,131$5,842
Over 6$4,413$5,236$6,122
Over 8$4,576$5,403$6,429
Over 10$4,743$5,684$6,627
Over 12$4,906$5,902$6,954
Over 14$5,131$6,064$7,229
Over 16$5,131$6,064$7,388
Over 18$5,131$6,064$7,603
Over 20$5,131$6,064$7,603
Over 22$5,131$6,064$7,603
Over 24$5,131$6,064$7,603
Over 26$5,131$6,064$7,603
Over 28$5,131$6,064$7,603
Over 30$5,131$6,064$7,603
Over 32$5,131$6,064$7,603
Over 34$5,131$6,064$7,603
Over 36$5,131$6,064$7,603
Over 38$5,131$6,064$7,603
Over 40$5,131$6,064$7,603

Commissioned Officers: O-1 – O-3

Projected 2021 Pay Charts (3.0% Increase)

< 2$3,386$3,901$4,515
Over 2$3,524$4,443$5,118
Over 3$4,260$5,117$5,523
Over 4$4,260$5,290$6,023
Over 6$4,260$5,399$6,312
Over 8$4,260$5,399$6,628
Over 10$4,260$5,399$6,833
Over 12$4,260$5,399$7,169
Over 14$4,260$5,399$7,345
Over 16$4,260$5,399$7,345
Over 18$4,260$5,399$7,345
Over 20$4,260$5,399$7,345
Over 22$4,260$5,399$7,345
Over 24$4,260$5,399$7,345
Over 26$4,260$5,399$7,345
Over 28$4,260$5,399$7,345
Over 30$4,260$5,399$7,345
Over 32$4,260$5,399$7,345
Over 34$4,260$5,399$7,345
Over 36$4,260$5,399$7,345
Over 38$4,260$5,399$7,345
Over 40$4,260$5,399$7,345


Commissioned Officers: O-4 – O6

Projected 2021 Pay Charts (3.0% Increase)

< 2$5,135$5,951$7,139
Over 2$5,944$6,704$7,843
Over 3$6,341$7,168$8,358
Over 4$6,429$7,256$8,358
Over 6$6,797$7,545$8,390
Over 8$7,192$7,719$8,749
Over 10$7,684$8,100$8,797
Over 12$8,067$8,379$8,797
Over 14$8,332$8,741$9,297
Over 16$8,485$9,293$10,181
Over 18$8,574$9,556$10,699
Over 20$8,574$9,816$11,218
Over 22$8,574$10,111$11,513
Over 24$8,574$10,111$11,812
Over 26$8,574$10,111$12,391
Over 28$8,574$10,111$12,391
Over 30$8,574$10,111$12,638
Over 32$8,574$10,111$12,638
Over 34$8,574$10,111$12,638
Over 36$8,574$10,111$12,638
Over 38$8,574$10,111$12,638
Over 40$8,574$10,111$12,638


Flag and General Officers: O-7 – O-8

Projected 2021 Pay Charts (3.0% Increase)

< 2$9,414$11,329
Over 2$9,852$11,701
Over 3$10,054$11,947
Over 4$10,215$12,016
Over 6$10,506$12,324
Over 8$10,794$12,837
Over 10$11,127$12,956
Over 12$11,458$13,444
Over 14$11,791$13,584
Over 16$12,837$14,004
Over 18$13,719$14,612
Over 20$13,719$15,172
Over 22$13,719$15,546
Over 24$13,719$15,546
Over 26$13,790$15,546
Over 28$13,790$15,546
Over 30$14,066$15,935
Over 32$14,066$15,935
Over 34$14,066$16,333
Over 36$14,066$16,333
Over 38$14,066$16,333
Over 40$14,066$16,333


Flag and General Officers: O-9 – O-10

Projected 2021 Pay Charts (3.0% Increase)

< 2
Over 2
Over 3
Over 4
Over 6
Over 8
Over 10
Over 12
Over 14
Over 16
Over 18
Over 20$16,012$16,935
Over 22$16,244$16,935
Over 24$16,577$16,935
Over 26$16,935$16,935
Over 28$16,935$16,935
Over 30$16,935$16,935
Over 32$16,935$16,935
Over 34$16,935$16,935
Over 36$16,935$16,935
Over 38$16,935$16,935
Over 40$16,935$16,935


Please make sure to check back for the more details on your military pay raise and updated proposed military pay charts as more updates become available.





About the author

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Diandra is a military spouse affiliated with the North Carolina National Guard. She has focused her writing on science and medicine in the past, but recently has taken a deeper interest in military-focused topics. Her and her husband Nick currently reside outside of the Washington D.C. area.