Cutting BAH? Let’s Not Lose Our Minds

cuts scissors

By now you’ve probably read the articles circulating in our community that mention that congress is looking at cutting BAH benefits to help meet the budget reduction for DoD. Of course, my first reaction was one of alarm and concern.

I immediately read all I could, and even looked to the insight of my fellow spouses for a similar concern and ideas for solutions. I was floored by what I read. Was there a general agreement that BAH needed to stay just the way it is? Was there a collective cry of angst and a sharing of challenges that we have all felt from time to time?

No, what I saw was a cut-throat free-for-all with everyone pointing fingers and lining up to recommend who to fire or which programs to cut.  I may be the only one that feels this way, but I felt a need to address some of the worst of what I read.

1. BAH is benefit…an increasing benefit with time service and career progression. So no, an E-5 should not get the same pay as an O-5. That’s like saying the shift manager at your favorite retail store should be making as much as the Regional VP. How does that make sense? The average E-5 has served for 4 1/2 years…the average O5, a minimum of 11. And that doesn’t even take into account the financial and leadership responsibilities of both positions.

I’ll say it again, BAH is an increasing benefit that comes when you do your duty, serve your country, and advance in your career. Benefits and pay for a new solider are nothing to shake a stick at. But you have to earn what you get. You can’t expect to be treated like you work at the top of the chain your first day on the job.

2. No, BAH should not be configured base on the number of kids you have. I’m sorry that as a family of eight you are having a hard time making ends meet. The thing is, the same thing would be true if you didn’t have the security and benefits of a job in the military.

My guess is that in the civilian world it would be just as hard, if not harder. It sucks. I get that. I remember how hard it was to make my budget work when I had three kids in diapers. But we figured it out. We sacrificed the dinners out and waited to buy the things we wanted but didn’t need. You don’t get to take a bigger piece of the pie just because you can successfully procreate.

3. Firing all of the “lazy” civilians on post will not solve the problem. First of all, not all civilians are lazy. There are good and bad apples in all career fields. Please don’t lump them all together. Second, many of those civilians are veterans or military spouses. Let’s not cut off our noses to spite our faces, folks.

And even if they are not directly related to the military, civilians are still our fellow Americans. Are we really okay with saying that we deserve a job and stability more than they do?

That’s a pretty scary thought. While our country needs us, we need them as well. As much as we like to think we are self-sufficient, there is not a single one of us that doesn’t rely on our non-military community. I am proud of our Armed Services, but I am just as proud of all the other hard-working Americans out there.

4. Cutting all the programs that you personally don’t use also doesn’t solve the problem. What seems like a waste to you might be necessary and vital to someone else. Are there possibly programs that could be looked at for cutting or downsizing? Maybe.

But the truth is, many, many, so many of these programs are already feeling the pinch of budget cuts. Many, if not all of the services, had already begun cutting budgets and downsizing long before the word sequestration made it into our daily vocabulary. And for every person who says the program isn’t needed, I can find another who insists it is.

There is no quick, easy, painless solution to this problem. We are all going to have to give a little…and it’s going to hurt some, no matter what we do. It will take a little creativity, a whole lot of work, and a greater sense of obligation to our community as a whole to find a viable solution.

 Veronica Jorden is an Air Force brat, former soldier, and proud Army spouse of almost 15 years. She volunteers her time with the Military Spouse Business Association, the Red, White & Blue Pages, and has recently started her own editing and design company focused on independently publishing writers. She lives with her husband and three children in the greater Washington D.C. area.

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35 Comments on "Cutting BAH? Let’s Not Lose Our Minds"

  1. Jacey,

    Yes, not all civilians are lazy and we must never lump their work ethic together. My husband has worked with some AMAZING civilians and has respected their experience and expertise. However, when it comes to civilian employment, its not about fairness. Business is business. If there are civilian jobs in the DOD which could be preformed by military, then the better business strategy would be to cut the civilians. Why? Because we do not have to pay military overtime and there is more accountability for performance in military. This means the job will get done! Furthermore, this prevents the massive reduction to our forces. If we gut our forces before civilians, we will be much vulnerable in the time of war. We can always civilian in the time of war, we can't hire a E6.

  2. Civ pay is less than 5% of DoD budget. Cutting civilians won’t even begin to deal declining budget flexibility. Cutting infrastructure and better acquisition policies would free up funds to absorb reductions to planned increases.

  3. Awesome post- completely on target. Thank you for explaining to others the facts of the matter that are often overlooked.

  4. Why are my posts immediately deleted? Am I blacklisted?

  5. Spot on!

  6. lilredbobcat | August 11, 2013 at 1:21 pm |

    Couldn’t have said it better!!!!

  7. As an army brat vet and disabled vet i wholeheartedly agree. Lets take a few positins here and just see what is going on.
    We hired gate guards to man the entrances to military post who are paid a wage and have benefits including retirement-yet we have military police who are trained and BEING trained to do just this function. Growing up on a military base having military police at the gates you KNEW they were their for your protection.
    Grass trying and clean up was done by the soldiers who were being disciplined and facility engineers. The base never looked overgrown and really. Road work was done by the engineers who laid asphalt, cleared snow, and provided maintenance. That was what the military was and still is training them to do. Doctors where military officers who bones their skills and provided the best care available anywhere. Now they are civilian contractors with poor care and little affected for trips and family members. All of this during the height of the Vietnam war! So tell me, how is that now most ofttth jobs we train our troops to do are being done by contractors and we’re saving money? That’s crap! You don’t save money by training troops to do a job yet the job that they should be doing is actually being done by civilians now. Get a grip and see it for what it is, a massive way to get more contractors jobs at the expense of readiness and training.

  8. Eliminating baseline budgeting will alleviate the problem.

  9. As an Army vet, I have seen the government spend lots of unessary money that should not have been spent…BAH on the other hand should not be given to E4 and E5 who are single and have no dependents. When I went in the military we had two wars going on and at the time with all the soldiers coming in, there was not a lot of room in the barracks. Now with cut backs and the wars ending, BAH should ONLY be given to family’s with children not to anyone that doesn’t. The government needs to use common sense not stupidity.

  10. Chris Urias | August 11, 2013 at 1:47 pm |

    I think that more people need to take a look at how BAH is calculated again. It is not calculated by how many dependants you have. Or how many years in service you have. Smeone who has only their spouse versus someone who has a family if 5 gets the same amount. From a Navy Vet it is based on your pay grade and geographical area. Maybe if spouses wouldn't create drama where it doesn't exist there wouldn't be such a frenzy about this. Does the BAH need to be looked at and re analyzed again… Yes

  11. But it needs to be looked at for an increase because of the increases in Cost of Living. I feel that COLA needs to be instituted because of the rising price of fuel and the housing market.

  12. Funny how the only responses to this post are from people who are not active military. My assumption is that writer is the spouse of an officer as well. I have a child with extensive medical needs and my spouse cannot work due to amount of appointments our son require. You telling us to use common sense but you haven't walked in anyone else shoes. BAH is a benefit that we rely on and some of us have made a decision to join military for the benefits. For example, my son is uninsurable (life or health) in the civilian world due to his condition. Anyway… I "love" the comment about procreation – its easy to sit on your fence and judge others but try walk a mile…

  13. I was thinking about something. Now, this may not be a popular idea, but how about requiring certain ranks, w/dependents, live in on post housing if it is available. Say E-1 through E-6 and 0-1 through 0-3 being required to live on post. And instead of that 0-3 paying twice as much as that E-1 for a house that isn't much different on post , make it a set price for 2, 3, 4 bedroom places etc. I realize there are instillation's where a privates housing is a far cry from a Captains housing, but where we are now for instance, the only thing our housing (field grade) has going for it is they are single family homes, but much of the lower enlisted housing is brand new with granite countertops and built in microwaves and is about the same sq footage as our house. I am not complaining, I love my house, but it's not always greener on the other side. And we pay a bit more for our house too. I don't think there is one perfect solution.

  14. sabrinacking | August 11, 2013 at 10:26 pm |

    1) People are confused as to why if they live on post an E2 with dependents gets the same quarters as an E7 with dependents, one is not any nicer than the other. So why does one rank warrant more BAH than the other if they have to live off post? More than once we have lived on post in housing areas where we our entire BAH is given for the same quarters an E2 pays a fraction of. So if you live on post: equal housing applies, but the second you move off post some sort of classism kicks in. Here is why I hate this. It means almost everywhere you go E7-E9 have a shortage in on post housing so they give you x amount to live on the economy, and all that it does is cause the local landlords to jack the rentals sky high to meet the BAH. The result is, we live in a worse house than we would have on post, and the DoD is spending all that extra BAH for it.
    2) I agree with you on #2. The government isn't responsible for the rabbit factory.
    3) I'd like to see them do away with anything there is already an MOS for, or anything soldiers on extra duty could be utilized to do.
    4) There are way too many programs, period. They need to do some consolidation.

  15. sabrinacking | August 12, 2013 at 8:36 am |

    Ya see, our experience varies. As an E6 we shared a wall with an E3 in a duplex. An E3 who promptly nearly burnt both our houses down when they left macaroni to catch fire on the stove….I think that makes an interesting observation. The housing from post to post varies dramatically.

  16. Your post makes some good points …. however the issues about officer and enlisted pay are not correct. In the old Army (as in 1800's, early 1900's maybe up til the 50's) that was true, but nowadays enlisted men and women work every bit as hard as their officer counterparts and are increasingly just as well educated. Yes there has to be a rank system for the military to work but please do not look down upon others simply because of it, they are not lesser people and without their skills the Army (and other branches) would cease to function. BAH, House sizes, Weight Allowances, etc should NOT all be based on rank.

  17. Only about 13% of active component soldiers are assigned to combat arms/infantry MOS jobs. The rest is support either direct or indirect. If we restructure the force or its infrastructure, there is 87% pool to trim.

  18. James Hinman | August 12, 2013 at 8:58 am |

    My nephew is a recently retired US Marine. He is still at Cherry Point doing the same MOS as a civilian. The company that services the Prowlers are glad to have him. I have no idea what the civilian budget cost are verses the same position military budget costs are. I would assume there is a difference and if it is less expensive to fill in with qualified civilian help, then budget concerns are being met whether we like it or not.

  19. Hah, oh wow. She sounds so condescending it makes me absolutely sick. I cannot believe you posted this, Jacey.

    You don't really earn that much BAH because of climbing the ladder. It is not that much different on the ENLISTED side of things, Officers on the other hand seem to double every rank. If you were to look at the rates here at Fort Carson, an E9(which would be in much longer than your O5) w/ dependents gets $1701 and an E3 gets 1227$. Not a huge change. But really, what does that have to do with anything?

    The BAH debate has to do with cutting a chunk out, and making our service members pay out of pocket. Tell me, since it seems like you're an Officer's wife, are you and your family going to struggle or is a lowly private(which seems you detest lower enlisted service members) who makes a fraction of your spouses pay and less for BAH? I think the person making 6,880$ a month, who gets 2220$ in BAH won't be hard up as the private making 1,516$ with 1227$ BAH. Who makes up the military more, Officers or Enlisted? We all know that answer, so please be less condescending.

    No, the whole debate is to NOT cut BAH to make those in the lower ranks struggle more than they already are. It has nothing to do with 'earning' a subtle change in BAH or TOS, and everything to do with what is in place now. The cost of living has risen, the cost of hosing has too. Not everyone can live on post. Paying more out of pocket means those Soldiers may have to rely on government help like Food Stamps. So, is that better or worse?

    Also, I really don't know where you get your facts about average TOS to make E5, maybe you're pulling it out of the sky, but not everyone in the military gets to E5 that quickly. I know of 4 E5's who've been in for quite longer than your statistic(shortest time is 6 years to E5). They are not terrible people, in fact they are probably the best people my husband has met. Great Soldiers, great leaders.

  20. Perhaps look into something to make living on post more enticing? It's the cheaper option for DoD. The old housing is already all paid for, and the private companies are paying to build the new housing. People don't want to live in it for a variety of reasons (they think there is drama/think they'll make money by living off post/don't want to be around the military all day/etc), and it ends up costing way more for DoD. Maybe allow $100 extra if you live on post, and increasing that with rank? $100 may not sound like a lot, but for an E3 it can do wonders, and it would be a tiny fraction of BAH and a lot cheaper to pay out. A lot of people just hear the "they take all the BAH!" part and turn stupid, and don't even think about the fact that they'll have to spend money out of pocket on utilities come a hot summer or extra-cold winter. They need to market it differently, cause right now "Live on post and forfet your BAH or live off post and receive your BAH!" sounds, on the surface, like a no-brainer. Change it up: "Live on post and have no bills–no utilities changing monthly! Spend less on gas! Be close to resources and fun activities! Get paid an extra $100 a month!" That sounds way more appealing, and costs less in the long run.

    And yes, get rid of a lot of the civilians. My father is retired Army, and has been working for a contractor doing the same job he had in the military. He hates it and it's a giant mess with no accountability. Barely anyone has their CDL license (huge liability), or a lot of the certifications necessary for the job, and there is no "boss." There is a "boss" for each civilian contractor (there are three companies all doing the same thing where he works), a greensuiter "boss", a government civilian "boss, and a liason between all of them who is sort of a "boss." None of them talk to each other, and there's not much point in doing so because none of them have authority over the employees of the other and no one party has any accountability to the other. The guys in charge of the contracted employees have no desire to handle most things, because by reporting bad employees and unqualified employees, the companies risk losing their contracts. It's all just swept under the rug in the interest of keeping their contracts. The government employees hate the contractors because they don't get furloughed, and the greensuiters hate the other two because they're watching military downsizing cost them their jobs while the contractors and government civilians are still there.

  21. Funny thing about that is you never hear about politicians, being considered for pay cuts and their suppose to be there as a represenitive for the people. This is really sad because the people that determine our (The Soldiers) fate, don't have to deploy don't get shot at or IED's blown up on their conoys, or rockets shot at their living quarters or foot patrols, and they don't miss holidays with family because they are defending the intrest of our great nation we sacrafice on a regular what do they sacrafice?

  22. Before you go and cut those civilian jobs, remember THEY provide the continuity when the military relocates you and your family to a new base. They keep the base running when the military is called on to go into battle/deploy. And do you really want your spouse working overtime so that you never get to see him/her when he/she actually is home and deployed to another location? And Perry, don't get rid of the civilians just do a better job managing the contractors…your dad's company in particular. Civilian employees and contractors are different entities. And if your'dad is unhappy, get another job…Walmart is hiring.

  23. Great post, but I have to disagree with BAH should not be based on number of dependents. For example: A family of 2 living off post can live smaller square footage than a family of 5. The larger homes cost more off post, that is just a fact. Yes, there is an option to move on post, if you can get a house. If you have kids in school it is not just as simple as living somewhere temporary until your 1 yr-18 month wait for a home is available. With that being said, I think BAH should flatten out after 5 dependents. It does not make since to say that a family of 2 needs the same BAH as a family of 5. As a family of 2, many times they pocket the extra BAH. If the issue is finding ways to tighten the belt, it could start here.

    Yes, in the civilian world there might be a struggle, but we are not in the civilian world and it is an allowance offered by the military as an incentive. An inventive that the way it stands now, should be reformed if we are pinching pennies. DOD should work something out with the privatized housing partners for on post housing. Families that live on post, should not get any BAH back, but DOD should. A great deal of the homes are substandard and as part of the quality of life campaign many of the new homes are for E1-E5 and not officers who receive a higher BAH. DOD should evaluate that and get money back from the privatized partners, who by the way are living large from this 50 year contract.

    "You don’t get to take a bigger piece of the pie just because you can successfully procreate." This is a crazy statement, especially since you don't know everyone's situation. Trust me families don't procreate for a bigger piece of the BAH pie. That would be absurd, knowing all of the additional expenses that come with having a child.

    The simple fact is by reforming BAH and evaluating if 2 people need a much money as 5, would be a good start to pinching the BAH budget. There are not enough large homes on post to accommodate 5 or more dependents, causing a huge backlog and extensive wait period forcing the families to find off post accommodations.

  24. For people who are enlisted and of lower rank only making so much and having 2,3,4,5,6+ kids how in the world are you going to take care of them without living on government assistance as well. Just think if you were not part of the military how hard it would be to make ends meet without living on base or having healthcare. Stop having babies and get on birth control. "The simple fact is by reforming BAH and evaluating if 2 people need a much money as 5". That's B's and just because people keep having kids and can't afford them does not mean that my husband who has been in for 16 years should make less in BAH because he's hasn't impregnating me 5 or more times. If you can't afford to take care of children then don't keep popping them out.

  25. I don’t have time to read all responses but, those which I did:
    1) I personally only think BAH should be available to people who are Unable to live on base (due to not being available or full) were stationed at NMCSD and the wait list for housing is crazy out here! I also don’t think, regardless of rank, that married couples without children , should be allowed to have 3-4 bedroom homes…..they should be allotted the same amount of “space” as everyone else.

    2) does the thought of losing BAH scare me yes of course, my husband just rejoined to military and we took a $100k + pay cut for him to do so….yes our decision, but Housing was one thing which we justified our decision – nothing in military is a guarantee I know that

    3) I do not think that BAH should only be available to people with kids (as someone with kids) -perhaps everyone should be allotted the same amount regardless of rank/time in service? Yeah I’m an officers wife, who my spouse was enlisted for 7 years – it’s an individual decision to have kids and I don’t particularly think you should be rewarded or punished for doing so! Like BAS it is for the soldier, airman, marine, sailor – why is BAH any different?! Again perhaps if they made base housing a requirement and If you choose not to take it you are free to do so but you don’t get BAH, perhaps it would solve some issues, I also don’t agree w married dual military getting Dual BAH it’s not a wise use of$ I get it if you join because of benefits but this to me isn’t logical –

    4) I get sick of people saying “probably a spouse of an officer” many of the arguments made which this reply is made, have nothing to do with this rather sheer ignorance or arrogance- I could care less if you’re an officer or enlisted what I care about is consideration of people-

    What we all have to remember, these are all “benefits” which can always be taken away- don’t get me wrong, my husbands promotion date is April 24, as would his grade in service pay increase – it will make a HUGE difference if the promotions an increases don’t take place

    I think the haulting of military moves is OK and PCS moves slowing down would be advantageous in my husbands career field at least.

    Just my two cents

  26. This "BAH cut" info came from the Army Times. Since when does anyone take that rag seriously? It's already been cleared up that they sensationalized the story and at no time was any benefit or program listed as being cut or lowered. Yes, budget cuts will be made, but none have been specified. Would help out the anxiety of the military members and their families if those who are writing articles and blogs would do research first.

  27. I posted this to FB earlier, but thought I would share it here as well.

    I want to thank everyone for their comments and even if you hate what I have to say, it nice to see people talking. In writing this post, I didn't mean to sound condescending, and I apologize, as I can see how it might be taken that way. As you might imagine, I was just as ruffled by this topic as everyone else and the tone of my post reflects that.

    Everyone seems to think I must be an officer's wife, living high up on a well-paid pedestal with no concept of what it must be like for the junior enlisted. First, I want folks to know I'm an enlisted wife…my husband came up through the ranks. He was an E3 when we got married…and had just made E5 by the time we had our 3rd child. I was an enlisted brat to two enlisted parents, who started at the bottom and worked their way up over a 20 year career. I know first hand how junior enlisted families struggle, I really do, I've been there.

    Second, I have also worked as a GS employee, in an environment with commanding officers and their families. Officers who understood fully well the struggles their troops facde and then had to make the decision to cut programs or continue them, at the loss or benefit to some or all of those under their command. I promise you those decisions are not made lightly. Life in command is not as easy as some might think. It was only after I had a chance to see first-hand what they have to do, the weight of making decisions, the hardship of commanding and sending troops into battle, did I come to appreciate that their sacrifices, and those of their families, while sometimes different, are in many ways the same and no less worthy of recognition and the compensation they receive.

    My point in writing this post was not to belittle the struggles of any of our military families, but instead, to put out a different perspective…and to get people talking about this potential cut in pay…which will affect ALL of us. The solution is not going to be to throw each other under the bus and demand that others receive less so we can have more.

    When I wrote this, I felt like a single voice for the opposition, thank you to those folks who have show some support for a differing opinion. Perhaps the suggestions I have rallied against will be the very ones put into place. Who knows? I pray they make no cuts to BAH at all! My hope is that when folks read this it will make them think, get them fired up and talking about this issue. But I hope they also realize there are always two sides, and just because we happen to find ourselves on one side it doesn't mean the other side doesn't have value. And decisions made, while they may be beneficial for some, will have a negative impact on others.

  28. Well I am a current active duty member. I currently reside in "on post" housing and have also resided in the barracks as an E4 and below. With the issue of cutting BAH. I will admit that I will struggle financially if for any reason I would have to pay out of pocket for my post housing. I am the only source of income for my family of 4. My bring home pay is $300.00 after taxes and bills (house phone, 2 cell phones, auto insurance, and car payments, as well as my grocery bill. If the government made BAH EQUAL across the ranks E-1 through O-10 as based on zip code the way it is already. The surplus from the higher ranks should level out the difference the lower ranks don't get. Also if post housing is ran/by enlisted personell rather than civilians the government would not have to cut the force or the BAH that they have proposed to do, Because the Bah being paid to the contracted civilians would then become a surplus. Thereby reducing the debt.

  29. You need to redo your calculations on the E5 and 05 . I don’t know if you graduated high school that you can’t get your math right. Thanks for making it look like your a military hater. I deserve my pay and everybody staying late and working like slaves with me everyday.

  30. I don’t know if this was mentioned in the comments, I tried to read them all but some of them just made no sense to me on the points being made. My only real gripe with the current BAH is that two married soldiers receive double the BAH I don’t if this happens in every branch or to everyone, but every dual navy family I have met this is true and they all openly brag about it. This to me is an opportunity to save some money, while it may not be enough it is a start. I’m sorry but there is no reason why a double housing allowance should be awarded. The housing is calculated in order to house a family in your respective area. Giving double that amount because they happened to marry another service member is just not needed. Anyone receiving housing knows that if they got double that amount they would be living quite a different lifestyle. I for one, in san Diego know that an extra 2k a month would leave me with a substantial amount of play money. If housing is meant for that, housing, it should be paid once per family.

  31. I always lived off post, and my BAH over paid any rent I ever had to assume, on post housing is no longer preferred as you can do better off post, always. The other thing here is this, everyone is going to pay for our leaders not realizing that a huge budget crises was coming until it was to late. I would be more concerned about your health care benefits were I you, they have begun what I think will be the demise of TRICARE for retirees and Veterans alike. As a Retired 1SG, my best advice to young Soldiers today with families is, get out when your time is up, have a plan to use your college benefits, i.e. what do you want to do in life, and set about making it happen. The time we have given up, of 21 years, I lost about 8 years of my families lives, is no longer appreciated. When cuts come, we are the first in line, when you are suffering from being wounded somewhere, you will be set aside, like the171k Veterans and retirees that are losing TRICARE Prime, most of which will not be able to afford Standard cost sharing. If yo love it as I did, by all means stay in, just know that your spouse should work to make ends meet, and yo are not in charge, simply because yo are not there, cheers.

  32. There is a slight difference in BAH. If a single service member is receiving it, then it’s BAH own right, if they are married its BAH w/Deps. There is a slight increase if you are getting it at the dependents rate. On most bases there is a housing shortage. You are lucky to get on sometimes. Sometimes I see lower enlisted with what appears to be a bigger a house than senior enlisted, but it’s all in the layout. Unless the house is brand new and you have seen the floor plan, chances are they are same size if you are in the same housing area. Even if you aren’t. Housing tends to be about equal across the board. I’ve lived in mostly older homes, with only one or two having been renovated.

  33. We did a study on BAH after our BAH was cut at Minot when I was active duty. The way it was explained to us, the calculation is based on average rent that someone pays at your "station" in life + 90% of your utilities. In Minot, they took what each rank was living in on base, went downtown, calculated the rent + 90% of utilities. For example, single CGOs were placed in 1-2 bedroom apartments and the BAH was an average rent of a efficiency apartment plus 90% of utilities. CGOs with dependents they took a 3 bedroom apartment and calculated the average rent. O3s and O4s with dependents were expected to live in 2-3 bedroom town homes, and BAH was calculated as such. O5s were expected to live in single family homes, and so BAH was based on the average cost to rent a 3-4 bedroom single family home. I cannot speak as to calculating the cost of BAH for enlisted personnel, because the briefing was only geared to officers (as CGOs were the only group getting a large cut to BAH). I'm fairly certain that the calculation method hasn't changed.

    That being said, I think that BAH should be the same for E1-E3 and O1-O2, E4-E5 and O3, and E6-E9 and O4-O6, to make up for the change in BAH, taxable income should be increased for those that lose money in BAH, but there is no logical reason BAH should be that substantially different for officers/enlisted.

  34. My husband is an E3 and we live in base housing. We don't have kids, but we have 2 dogs who we treat as our children and provide well for. We're both college-educated, so we have students loans, which many other enlisted families don't have. We have to keep to a budget like everyone else and we simply live within our means. We buy almost everything secondhand and we sometimes go cruising around for items on bulk pick up nights. So for those who think BAH should be based on number of dependents, why should we penalized for choosing not to have children? We still have bills like everyone else. If we chose to live off base, we'd have to pay extra for our dogs, one of whom is a big boy, and we would spend a lot more in gas and utilities. Frankly I'm sick and tired of all these really young couples on base complaining about being broke, meanwhile they have a baby and another one on the way. If you can't afford to have kids, then don't have them. It's really that simple. Don't blame the military. And if you're of the mindset that "God will provide," that's fine. Just don't complain if you're still broke.

  35. BAH is not exactly a benefit, if you look at the base pay for military personnel it ROUGH to say the least if you asked them and their families to survive off just that and depending on where you lived (high cost of living). I disagree with the officer comparison however and never really thought about it until now. Officer base pay is much higher than the enlisted, and that is expected due to the rank structure/responsibilities. But that is the only place you should see the difference, not in a housing allowance. Do the officers need bigger houses than their enlisted? have bigger families? no, all this relates to HOUSING. Our housing in theory should be the same!, I am not sure how a Captain in less years than an E-5 earns a large amount more than me in BAH? Base pay yes, but last time I checked we have the requirements and needs for housing. Quick way to cut money is right there, make it proportional to the others rank.

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