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Military Reserve and National Guard Pay

Written by Melissa Zera-Flavell, Spectrum Enterprises

When household members serve in the National Guard and Reserve, they normal receive Drill Pay and Annual Training pay.  The Drill Pay is earned by working (primarily) on weekends and Annual Training is earned at full-time training events. 

The National Guard and Reserve usually perform a minimum of one weekend of drills per month. Compensation for drills is called Drill Pay.  Rank and years of service determine the pay rate.  For example, an E-2 who has been in the service for 4 years earns $231.20 per month.  Each weekend generally counts as 4 days of active duty for pay purposes.  (More specifically, each drill Reserve members perform is paid as one day.  The minimum duration of a drill is four hours, and Reservists usually perform two drills per day – hence four days pay over the weekend.)  Active duty monthly pay for an E-2 over four years is $1,734.00 per month.  The prorated calculation is $1,734.00/30*4 = $231.20.  Monthly pay charts can be found at http://www.dfas.mil/militarymembers/payentitlements/military-pay-charts.html .

In addition to monthly drills, Reservists typically work an additional two weeks per year called (AT) Annual Training.  More often than not, this pay is missed when calculating annual income.  AT pay is considered active duty pay which also entitles them to receive food and housing allowances (BAS and BAH respectively) for that time period. These benefits are also countable. 

Be sure to inquire about  AT pay on any 3rd party income verification forms and look for it on the LES (Leave and Earnings Statement).  See the Military Income blog article for more details on the how to read the (LES).  Depending on the time of year it may be included in the year-to-date.  

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