Troops to get historic boost in food allowance

  • Published
  • By Karen Jowers
  • Military Times

Military members are set to get an 11% increase in their monthly basic allowance for subsistence beginning Jan. 1, according to information published by the Defense Department.

The new monthly BAS rate for enlisted members will be $452.56, an increase of $45.58 a month from 2022 rates. The new monthly BAS rate for officers is $311.68, an increase of $31.39.

According to Military Times calculations, this is the biggest BAS percentage jump in 21 years — the largest in history of that food allowance’s modern form. Under the program’s reform in 2002, all enlisted members began receiving full BAS, but paid for their meals, including those provided by the government.

Basic allowance for subsistence is intended to offset costs for a service member’s meals. It’s not intended to offset the costs of family member meals.

BAS is linked to the price of food and adjusted each year based on increases as measured by the Department of Agriculture’s food cost index. Inflation has hit food prices hard this year, with the consumer price index for all food increasing by 10.9% from October 2021 to this past October.