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2013 BAH Raise of 4.2%, Proposed

Budget Proposal for FY-13 Release

October 20, 2014

December 17, 2012 Update: According to the DoD, the 2013 BAH amounts are released and will take effect January 1, 2013. That average increase is 3.8%; did yours go up or down? By how much?

13 Feb 2012, President Obama released his “Budget of the United States Government, Fiscal Year 2013.” I have taken the liberty to extract the portion within the Defense budget overview that related to our members and families. For 2013, the information for families is limited as compared to past years.

Cares for Servicemembers and Their Families. Keeping faith with servicemembers—which the President has called a “moral obligation”—is a key component of the new defense strategy. The high quality and readiness of our All-Volunteer Force is the Nation’s most important military advantage, so it is critical that military members and their families receive the compensation and benefits that they deserve. The Budget provides a 1.7 percent increase to basic pay in calendar year 2013, the full increase authorized by current law.


Adjusts Health Care Benefits and Initiates Retirement Review. DOD has implemented a variety of internal efficiencies within its medical program and continues to seek cost savings, but it is imperative to better manage the health benefit.

The Budget introduces new TRICARE copays and fees to help constrain the cost of healthcare while continuing to provide high quality care. The Budget includes additional increases to TRICARE
Prime enrollment fees, initiation of Standard/Extra annual enrollment fees, and adjustments to deductibles and catastrophic caps. The Budget also modifies pharmacy copays to encourage
the use of less expensive mail-order and military treatment facility pharmacies. Finally, the Budget includes modest annual fees for TRICARE beneficiaries over age 65 when they transition
to Medicare coverage. These reforms will reduce DOD costs over five years by an estimated $12.9 billion in discretionary funding and $4.7 billion in mandatory savings in the Medicare-Eligible
Retiree Health Care Fund.

The Budget also includes the Administration’s proposal for a Military Retirement Modernization Commission, which, if enacted, will recommend improvements to the military retirement
system. Under the proposal, the President would appoint the Commissioners; DOD would transmit to the Commission initial recommendations to change the military retirement system; the
Commission would hold hearings, make final recommendations, and draft legislation to implement its recommendations; the President would review and decide whether to transmit the Commission’s recommendations to the Congress; and Congress would vote “up or down” on the legislation. The Administration believes that any major military retirement reforms should include grandfathering for current retirees and those currently serving in the military.

Usually, the budget proposal will make specific reference to housing in the budget summary, but this year it does not. You have to look at the actual budget numbers to get an idea. Will Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) increase in 2013? If the housing numbers that are being proposed are any indication, the answer is, no. The budget’ housing number reflects a $35 million decrease over the 2012 estimate.

Update: Thank you to the personnel at the Joint Chiefs of Staff for showing me where the BAH information was described in the budget text! It has a 4.2% raise in BAH and 3.4% raise in BAS for 2013 – interestingly it is the same increase proposed as last years (last years proposal ended up being about two full percent higher than what actually became true).

From the buget proposal:

For the basic allowance for housing (BAH) and basic allowance for subsistence (BAS), the FY 2013 budget request includes a 4.2 percent average rate increase in BAH and a 3.4 percent increase in BAS effective January 1, 2013. However, the actual increases will be based on a “by location” housing market analysis conducted for the Department of Defense and a food cost index prepared by the Department of Agriculture, both of which are measured much closer to the effective date to ensure they best capture the actual cost impact on the service member.

96 Responses to “Budget Proposal for FY-13 Release”

  1. Cory:

    As we prepare to move to Jacksonville, NC because of a PCS move we have quickly come to learn that a large part of the housing expense is the homeowners insurance. In particular the seperate “wind and hail” policy that is required for the area. With that said I’m not sure if those factors are considered when establishing BAH rates for an area. As a new W1 w/dependents and a current BAH rate of $1356/mo we are hard pressed to find a home that will work for a family of 5 and stay within that rate. Who or where can a person find what is considered into the BAH rate for an area? Because even though cost of living may be lower, home prices lower and seem to be declining, rent is rising…especially during summer months when the majority of us are moving, INSURANCE for homes is drastically high and will continue to rise as explained by insurance brokers. This needs to be a factor.

  2. NCCM(Ret):


    This BAH Faq, I hope, will answer those questions.

  3. Cory:

    see this link for rate increase of May 2009.
    Onlsow county, NC, where Camp Lejeune is located took the brunt of the increase at 29.8%. Just ask any insurance broker in the area and you will find the trend that more money is paid out by insurance companies to claims from homes inland than those coastal. It was explained to me that the homes built closer to the coast are built to a higher standard and usually suffer less damages by storms. Yet they still see the largest increase and have the highest “ordered rate.”

  4. NCCM(Ret):


    Many of those rates on that page are comparable to the rates we pay here in the Memphis area – a W-1 BAH here is $1359 w/dep. Our home was $200K (3bedroom/2500sqft), at 5.5% (we bought in 2003) with all the insurance, etc, our payment is about $1600/month. I don’t think I have lived anywhere that BAH covered all of my housing costs.

  5. Cory:

    Thank you NCCM. I’ve not read the FAQ’s. That does answer a lot of questions. I did not realize that the BAH was based on “…BAH reflects the current rental market conditions not the historical circumstances surrounding various mortgage loans.”
    This clearly explains the much lower rate for this area. According to the current “median” rent is $900/mo. Just not if you’re looking for a 4 br, 2ba house for a family of five which I can say from what I’ve seen is going to be on average $1,500 just for rent. Now factor in average utility costs and renters insurance. Maybe around $1,750/mo?

  6. NCCM(Ret):


    I always choose the area I lived based on where the best schools were; if the base has good schools around it, I recommend base housing (if you can get it), but even that depends on how long your tour may be – sometimes buying a house is the right choice, even in this economy (maybe especially because of this economy and current house prices) – around bases, you can usually find a renter because of the rate of turnover. Take a look at the numbers.

  7. Finance:

    It is important to understand that BAH is expected to cover what the DoD has established to be an acceptable house for the rank of the military member. Most of us choose to live in a different housing environment from what the BAH is established off of to include myself.

  8. Enlisted Sailor:


    I understand your frustration however I know for a fact that you can find some really good places I am an E5 and I was renting a four bedroom house with a two car garage for 1200 a month in a gated community (Kernan Forest) I doubt my renters were losing money. In addition I am sure that the navy will remind us all that it is our choice to have children hence the difference in the BAH w/dependents and BAH without dependents. I believe the BAH rates are more then fair for Jacksonville for homeowners but not so much on the side of renting.I know if I get orders here again I will chose to buy before I rent the prices are two good these day.

  9. BM2:

    Well I am going to Everett, Wa and the BAH for me is 1362.00$ You will find house from like 1942 going for well over that. Most apartments for that matter go for what our BAH is. I think they really need to evaluate the area. My BAH rate for my current area (Murfreesboro, TN) is more than Everetts. The thing is that minimum wage here is 7.50$ Everett minimum wage is 9.50$ That should tell you something right off the bat. Very frustrating.

  10. AFWIfe28:

    We are stationed in Tampa and the BAH rate here is a joke.. I would like to know what area they actually survey for because if its right outside of the base (within a 5 mile radius) you literally cannot find a rental for under $1800 and thats if you want to live in a run down old shack from the 1920’s thats a 1 bed 1 bath 600 sq ft. BAH for an E-5 is $1500 and E-6 is $1776….E-5 was actually dropped $50 for 2012 and E-6 was dropped $150. The problem with this is that it was already hard enough trying to cover all expenses with any rental you find, now its almost impossible. We have to live 35 miles out and are still barely able to cover expenses and now we have to spend a ton on gas. Rentals keep going up in price here and by $100’s but they drop our BAH?? How does this make any sense?? We cant even live on base, we have been on the wait list for 5 months and they said it will still be another year. I would love to see what area they survey for their data because I can guarantee its no where near the base… It would have to be over 45 miles away to cover all costs.

  11. Bernie:

    Live on post, you’ll be given room for your five kids and won’t have to complain about not having enough money to pay for insurance and mortgage.

  12. Tyler:

    You are all in the same boat as myself. Take for example, I am stationed at Fort Meade, MD — our E-5 BAH for the area is $1812 w/dep and Andrews AFB, about 45 minutes away is considered a part of DC metro rates getting $2106 w/dep. It is the exact same cost of living in andrews as well as over here in fort Meade. They say we can live on base to make it cheaper, but the waiting list is 90 days for an “OK” army home that was a “renovated” 70’s town house. The area surround Ft Meade isn’t as secure as you would hope; houses on base getting broken into etc. My wife and I decided to live in annapolis, about 30 minutes from there and closer to a naval academy and water that is quite a bit safer. You can argue that we chose a high-cost area but it was a safety thing for us. We pay $1795 a month for rent, (bah is only 1812) and utilities can run us an extra 200+ a month. Even near Ft Meade, rent for a family of 3 does not cover the cost of a 2 or 3 bdr home + utilies that is actually DECENT. The other issue is BAS and food costs up here. WE dont pat no measly 348 a month which is what BAS covers… we pay about 500$ a month to feed a family of only 3! That is buying miniscule junk food and only buying healthy fruits/veggies/ and meal items to hold us over. Where do they get BAS #’s? I understand it is supposed to HELP with the costs, not fully cover them, but that definitely needs to be pertaining to SPECIFIC areas of living just like BAH. My previous duty station, San Antonio, TX got a little bit TOO much BAH but I wouldn’t complain since that covered my utilities and mortgage so it was perfect… but others are banking on that BAH with roomates. In closing, I agree with all of your concern and really hope the next “survey” is done correctly.

  13. NCCM(Ret):


    BAS is a rate based on the service member only and is not intended to cover spouses and/or family members’ food/subsistence costs.

  14. Tyler:

    well that makes sense for BAS then.


    I understand the frustration with the BAH, BAS, and the differences in what we actually spend however, BAH is not designed to cover all expenses. It is actually designed to cover 80% of the costs. And the other 20% is supposed to be the responsibility of the Service Member.

  16. Tyler:


    While I assume your post is true, I don’t understand how the BAH is gauged in different cities when for example, in San Antonio, my BAH covered my mortgage + utilities and most people were making extra money off their BAH–the bah rate for SA was just giving people extra dollars. Whomever did the survey was completely wrong… up here in Ft meade, people STRUGGLE to cover the 80% without using a LARGE part of their take home pay. Some things just don’t add up in whoever makes up these absurd BAH rates. It doesn’t make sense that an E-6 with dependents in Ft meade gets $2211 while an E-5 with dependents gets $1812. To further prove a point, that E-6 almost makes as much in BAH as a E-7 w/dep with a difference of roughly $30 dollars. It’s just frustrating… I think congress doesn’t get it and we need a new group to make decisions.

  17. Joy:

    sometimes families do not have a choice to live on base, we have lived at several bases where the waiting list was over a year so we had no choice but to live off base. For families that are not able to live on base (i’m not talking about the ones choosing to rent or buy a home) I don’t think BAH should pay at the 80% rate. We are currently stationed at McConnell AFB, base housing wasn’t an option when we moved here, by the time our names came up on the waiting list our 4 children had already settled in the off base school for part of one school year and half of another so we choose to stay renting since our 2 oldest had enough changes from 4 different base changes in their life times and were fed up. our BAH is $1301 E-7 with dependents, (we have 4 children) we rent a house within 5 miles of base for $1400, in the winter just to keep the house at 70 we pay $275 per month, in the summer our electric bills to keep the house at 76 is $250 per month, a 12 month average of electricity is $160, heat $120, water $145, trash $25 total of $450. if we choose to buy it would be about the same after property taxes and home owners insurance. so we pay over 1800 per month so $500 from base pay each month.

  18. BAH decreased in 2011:

    In 2011, for Hurlburt/Eglin AFB BAH was $1218.
    In 2012, BAH decreased to $1137.
    Even though rent prices were raised in this area.
    Please, put in a decent raise for Hurlburt/Eglin area for 2013.
    What they don’t realize is Eglin area has cheaper houses for rent around them, but AD who are stationed at Hurlburt have to live around Hulrburt, which is 30 minutes away from Eglin. There are NO cheap houses around Hurlburt, because Hurlburt is on the water, and so are the houses, which makes rent about 2x the amount it is around Eglin area!

  19. Army Soldier:

    Maybe your wives should get a job and help out with the expenses.

  20. NCCM(Ret):

    To all,

    Don’t know if you qualify, but the FAMILY SUBSISTENCE SUPPLEMENTAL ALLOWANCE PROGRAM may help.


    I agree with Army Soldier. Military Spouses definitely should work. If you have more than 2 kids on one income, you are going to struggle anyway.

  22. Air Force MSgt:

    To the “Army Soldier / Tell your wife to get a job”: Telling someone their spouse should get a job is easy for you to say, but you don’t know anything about the circumstances. And in today’s struggling economy, what kind of job is the spouse supposed to get (quite possibly minimum wage) which probably won’t cover the additional expense of child care and fuel/transportation costs. What has to happen is for Congress to acutally do their job which is never going to happen becuase they are never held accountable for their inaction to do the right thing. Unfortunately we (military members and their families) are the ones that suffer from Congressional members ability to continue getting paid for doing virtually nothing! Telling someone their spouse needs to get a job is a narrow sighted view to the real problem.

  23. USN E-5:

    i AGREE with hurlburt and eglin need to raise the bah rates all the house’s are 1100 for the most part if they just raised it to 1300 i’d be happy!!!! be alot better then 1174

  24. Sean:

    I think it is very sad that the O’s can afford large fancy houses and expensive cars while the E side of the house can barely get a low end apartment. Not all units or stations offer on base housing. And a lot of the apartments they base the rates off of are for people with low income so we can live in there anyways. Sad that a man can spend time away from his family put his life on the line but at the end of the day cant even have a decent place to live.

  25. Air Force SSgt:

    Army Soldier,

    I would rather work two jobs than have my wife work to only afford DAYCARE. That would be pointless, and she is home with my kids to make sure they learn the values of our household and not the values of our household plus what their daycare providers teach them. Daycare costs far too much for one kid, let alone two kids.

  26. re: Army Soldier:

    What does two people having to work have anything to do with getting bah? Bah is supposed to pay rent and utilities, if it doesn’t help for your area, what good is it?

  27. re: tell your wife to get a job:

    I have a job, it’s called a sahm. I have one kid, and my tubes tied. If i was to go to work, I’d have to make more money than my husband does in the military to afford daycare and gas for my car. There is no way until after i finish college that would ever happen, unless i was a stripper, and i respect myself and my family, so that is out of the question. Btw, thought i should add i don’t own a coach purse, and i don’t get my hair and nails done but once a year.

  28. 1momof4:

    I am a stay home mom who homeschools our 4 children. I do not think the spouse going to work is necessarily going to solve anything. It stinks that BAH doesn’t cover housing as it should, however there is a simple solution. Occasionally it is necessary to live in a smaller space. We have 4 children & our BAH has never covered all of our housing expenses, anywhere we have ever lived. This includes, Florida, Virginia, North Carolina, Alabama & now Kansas. At our last duty station we lived in a 3 br home & all 3 of our girls shared a room. The quarters were tight but our finances weren’t. Which has made it possible for us to finally buy a house with room for everyone. 2 of my daughters are still sharing a room while we finish off bedroom #5. But this will be the 1st time ever my children have all had their own rooms. Too often we try to live outside our means & then complain when it’s not working instead of finding a solution!!!

  29. 1momof4:

    & just for the record we entered the service enlisted with 2 kids, & my amazing husband has worked very hard to become an officer. We now have 4 kids. I have NEVER worked outside the home. We have had many tight times, but we have never gone without & usually have more than we need. It is called living within your means!

  30. Choices:

    Buy a house. The interest rates are the lowest they have ever been and you all are military and can therefore get a VA loan which means no money down and most the time the seller pays most if not all the closing costs. To pay a mortgage on the home I live in (plus insurance and taxes) is about 2 or 3 hundred less a month than I would pay in rent for this same house. 850 (mortgage) vs. 1050 – 1150 (what it would rent for). Just be smart about it and have a savings account to cover the payment when down the road you PCS and have to rent it out. Have a budget and stick to it. Look at your numbers every month and see where you spend your money. At the end of the day you don’t live somewhere nicer because you choose to spend your money somewhere else. Call USAA and look into it. Or just keep complaining about, paying high rent, and paying for someone else’s mortgage. Whatever floats your boat. You can wait for BAH to solve your housing problem, or you can solve it yourself.

  31. realist1980:

    In all honesty. I have never looked at bah as a means to pay all my living expenses. Most people in my opinion look at the way they choose to structure thier family’s finances i.e. one working member 1 or more children and a stay at home spouse, and rationalize it’s bah rates that’s making ends not meet. Please don’t get me wrong if the choice was mine I would be a stay home mom at least during the day, but the me knowing what my family needs to function warrants that me and my husband work. and for the record I am the miltary member.

  32. Shawna:

    BAH and BAS are benefits that can be increased or decreased as the government sees fit. Even if the spouse works, learn to live within the military members basic pay and you’ll have it made. Forget the big new car payments, buy a reasonable used car. Pay off the credit cards. We are currently in So Cal with a BAH of 2300.00 that we are banking 100% of as we don’t need any of it to cover our bills, groceries and the mortgage. We still have room for fun in the budget too, raised three kids and helped two through college. FTR there’s PLENTY of homes around Lejeune in NC for less than 1500.00, we just spent 5 years there. Try Hubert, or Sneads Ferry. The schools are better and homes are cheap. People are desperate with the drawdown, there’s more homes available than people coming in on PCS. Or live on base, during the summer Officer housing usually doesn’t even have a waiting list.


    Everyone is a victim of circumstances. You can not use that as an excuse. Child Development Centers are based off of income, As an E5 stationed in D.C. My wife (who is a civilian) and I are in the $100,000 bracket at the CDC(of course we make less than this because of housing). We pay 600 a month for child care, which is almost the max. If wives can not find a job making at least 1,000 a month (250 a week), then you are right. Dont even bother looking for a job. Just keep complaining.


    @Realist 1980- I completely agree. 2 incomes are always better than one. Even on the civilian side, one income families tend to struggle. Its not BAH, or BAS, its just life.

  35. Tyler:

    So while you are collecting a nice BAH for the Andrews AFB/DC area $2106, the outer Ft Meade area who has roughly the same cost of living is stuck at $1812. Make sense? Clearly it doesn’t. This is an adjustment that needs to be made, not just in this area, but in all areas that need to be reviewed. I am complaining that the BAH doesn’t match up, not that I am poor and need more BAH to cover my struggling one income family.

  36. Aaron:

    I would agree with Tyler whom the rates in the DC Metro area are ridiculous. I am at Quantico as an E6 with dependants living in a one bedroom with a loft and my rents is $1245 monthly plus an electric bill that runs from $250-300, as there is no insulation in the apartments, and my BAH of 1660 barely covers me. Seriously I have 890 sqft and to find something bigger, and more reasonable is outrageously priced unless I choose to drive further south and fight more traffic which is just not worth the cost of gas, time etc. If I go not 20 miles up the road the same E6 in Belvoir or Navy Yard gets 2487 its unreal! I believe this needs to be evaluated more in depth from military members from each UIC submitted annually to make living conditions better for all across the board.


    yes Im collecting 2106, because I am paying 2200 dollars a month for rent! The BAH makes perfect sense by your own admission. You said yourself that you pay 1795 a month for rent, and your BAH is 1812. Why should you get $2106 for rent when 2 bedroom apartments in D.C. start at $1950? You cant find housing for 1795 in D.C. The way to get around it, is to make Rank!

    Your arguement may sit well in other states. Not the D.C. area. The reason people move to Maryland even though they work in D.C. is because the housing is much cheaper.(its not because they enjoy the 40 mile drive)

  38. YN1:

    So you are asking that the surrounding areas of D.C. get the same amount as D.C. itself? even though people move to the outter edge of D.C. for cheaper houses? you guys are ridiculous. Here is a remedy….move on base and your BAH will cover your rent and utilities.

  39. Tyler:

    Base housing has waiting lists, not to mention are in unsafe areas. Everyday base housing is getting broken into, I can get a better home for my BAH in a nicer neighborhood. Your remedy is not a remedy at all.

  40. re: Sean:

    If you don’t like the situation go ahead and get a commission. Pay rates were on the web before you enlisted.

  41. Tyler:

    I’d rather stay enlisted. Thanks though.

  42. YN1:

    Now you are complaining about waiting list! you waited this long. There is no pleasing you is it. FT Belvior, and Bolling currently do not have waiting list. Another remedy is to make Rank or lower you standards of living……if those 3 choices do not work out for you, here is another one…….get over it!

  43. Tyler:

    When the BAH rates reflect correctly, I will get over it. I don’t have high standards of living in the first place, any lower and I would be living in a studio apartment with two kids, and two dogs. That surely isn’t the remedy when the BAH is not correct for the base.

  44. YN1:

    Tyler, with as much complainging that you are doing I am very surpised that you are an E5.(Really!), your BAH is correct. E5 BAH Primer is based on two bedroom town house prices. E6 is based on 3 bedroom town house prices, therefore you get more money for housing if you make rank. So honestly you really dont have a choice, make rank or lower your standards or get over it. (or get out). When you make E6 you will receiver about 400 dollars more than you get now. Until then, just deal with it. Put as much effort into studying as you do into complaining and you will make FIRST in no time!

  45. Tyler:

    Listen, first of all I am not in the Navy. You don’t know who I am, quit acting condescendingly, everyone is allowed an opinion and this opinion isn’t mine alone, there is a MAJORITY, E-5’s, E-6’s and even SNCO’s that agree with some of the BAH scenarios. Now I don’t know how correct your E-5 BAH primer* is, or where you got that information, but can you provide the source of that information? That would be great and more important then trying to tell someone to quit complaining and go study. E-6 doesn’t come as easy and as soon as Navy does.

    Best Regards,

  46. COMVET:

    Seriously, a bunch of you complain way too much. Majority of us have it way better then most that need to depend on Welfare just to get by in life. If you really “NEED” money so bad, get out and make your own money. If it is really that much of an concern, you can always deploy as long as you possibly can. I know someone is going to post something up about being separated from your family for so long, well hey, if you want to live pretty comfortable, sacrifices need to be made to achieve some things. That is way life has always been, unless you had the great luck of being born with a silver spoon, but if that was the case, majority of you wouldn’t even be in the Military in the first place.

  47. YN1:


    Its apparent why you have not made E6. I AM VERY SURPRISED that you are an E5 in any other branch, because at the NCO level is where you handle problems, not complain about them. So from a service member to service member, “Place as much emphasis on getting promoted as you do in complaining and you will make E6 in no time” BAH Primer is what DFAS uses to determine what type of housing each paygrade receives, and from the looks of it, its RIGHT! for a two bedroom town home for an E5. link below

  48. YN1:

    Comvet-I absolutely agree. I dont see the purpose in people complaining about everyday things. The military as a whole is an adjustment. Deal with it, make rank, or get out.

  49. Thankful:


    I’m not going to bash on you like some others, but I too work @ Ft. Meade, and you really have no reason to complain. Quit looking at what others are getting and be thankful for what you are getting. What really stood out to me is that you live in Annapolis, by the Academy no less. Are you serious? That is one of the most expensive places to live around here, besides Columbia and Howard County. You definitely need to re-evaluate your standards of living and better research the surrounding areas. Take a look into Catonsville, Glen Burnie, even more on the outskirts of Severn, your commute will probably end up shorter, and you can find a decent home to buy or rent. As for safety, besides right off post, in the Pioneer City area, and of course, Baltimore City, most areas are safe around here. Some crime occurs everywhere, no where is going to be completely void of it. Good luck.

  50. Deb:

    Well. Try having to move to Long Island. Our BAH in Jan went down 300 and we moved here in July. Most expensive utilities in the country. Lost my job cause we had to move and even though I am federal employee, this gvt has done nothing to help me get a job. So, what else is there to say?

  51. Tyler:

    Hi “thankful”, I actually am renting at a great low price, snagged a good bargain–no need to re-evaluate my standards as they are actually on par with that BAH primer that other person posted. I am going to give all of this a rest because just like some of us agree, some of us disagree and like everything thats just the way it is. Waste of time. Good luck.

  52. Whiners:

    You realize that we are some of the richest people in the world? People live on a dollar a day. Own one car for a family, lower your expectations for marble countertops, bike places, stop buying expensive crap, don’t run the A/C lower than 76-78 in the summer or heat higher than 68 in the winter, etc.

    This is not hard. We are so spoiled as Americans.

    Also, not our problem that you had five kids. Your choices are your own.

  53. lavern:

    I agree with the ‘GET A JOB” community. If you could not afford to take care of the kids then you should have tied your tubes sooner. SAHM is not a job. Go out and get a real job and help support your family or stop complaining. The military BAH rates are very accurate FOR RENT, not for anything else. They arent meant to support your dreams of living in a 5 bedroom house because YOU choose to have 5 kids before you could afford them. Stop blaming the military, if your husband wasn’t in the military what do you think you would have then? Nothing!!!

  54. YN1:

    @Lavern, I completely agree. people need to live within there means. @Tyler I understand your frustration but man get over it. BAH is not based off of what YOU PERSONALLY ARE PAYING FOR RENT. You chose to move to a high cost area, now deal with it.

  55. Tyler:

    @YN1, drop the subject already as I have. Missing the whole point of any of my statements, and not seeing it from another perspective. You are stuck in your own personal bias. The area is not high cost at all, like I said in my posts which you really didn’t read at all. It’s over, and we will see what next month comes to. I will laugh if the BAH rises more than 50$ in this specific area.

  56. YN1:

    @tyler, why will you laugh if the BAH rises. In theory it should. Annapolis is higher cost than Fort Meade as you stated in your own words. This is definitely not personal…at all. I hope the BAH does go up, but most of all, I hope you learn to take other peoples opinions with a grain of salt, its not always a personal attack because someone does not agree with you. Lastly, I hope you advance/promote, that is more important than any BAH raise congress can set.

  57. Air Force MSgt:

    @YN1, you say “take it with a grain of salt” but none of you had any problems laying the critism on pretty thick. You and the rest of Tyler’s critics are pretty quick to judge him and his decisions, but I can guarantee that you or I don’t even come close to knowing all of the circumstatnces. I see a lot of people in this forum that are quick to jump on the “bandwagon of criticism”. The real root of the BAH problem is the lack of thorough analysis/studies for the surrounding DC/Annapolis/Ft Meade areas. You people need to use your voices/opinions to attack the real problem and not just one person.

  58. Tyler:

    I couldn’t say it any better MSgt. I make choices that do not put me in financial disarray as YN1 seems to perceive and let unto others. I have an honest complaint of the BAH system in the DC/Ft Meade area. Yes, I chose to live in Annapolis, but the rent isn’t what you assume as high cost and I don’t really need to defend myself. My family is happy, and we are doing well. Like MSgt said, the analysis of the area needs to be more thorough. I think the DC BAH diameter just needs to extend to cover Ft Meade or at least come to half of the difference between E5 BAH/w Dep in MD 20755, and Andrews AFB. This makes just a tad more sense to me to do it that way. I am grateful for the BAH and what we do receive, of course, I don’t take any of for granted. I am looking consistency in the BAH system. BAH will go up, but I just hope they bring the differentials closer. Unfortunately I was on the defense most of these posts and my words probably didn’t hit the right notes.

  59. Tyler:

    “come to half of the difference between E5 BAH/w Dep in MD 20755, and Andrews AFB” — This was just an example between these two places using this specific rate.

    E5/W Dep: Ft Meade 20755 Andrews AFB: 20762
    $1812 $2106

    My idea of a bit closer: $1959 — Just my thoughts all.

  60. Air Force MSgt:


    Exactly where are you stationed; Annapolis, Andrews, or Ft. Meade?

  61. Tyler:


    Ft Meade.

  62. YN1:

    @MSGT. You say the problem stems from lack of thorough analysis for the surrounding areas, when it proven that those areas are significantly cheaper than D.C. (which is why people who work in D.C. choose to live there). Additionally, you stated that YOU nor I know his circumstances. May I remind you that this is a forum and there is no way for ANY of us to know any personal circumstances of anyone. That is where the “grain of salt” comment came from. He has to take it with a grain of salt because we don’t know his personal circumstances. What is being evaluated is what he puts in black and white. If by your own admission “you don’t know his circumstances” then you should not be defending him at all! The real problem to YOU MSGT is a “lack of analysis”. The real problem is people receiving BAH for a lower cost area and complaining about it. So therefore MSGT. WE HAVE ADDRESSED THE REAL PROBLEM! not by your standards though….of course

  63. Air Force MSgt:

    @YN1, So if you admit to not knowing all of his circumstances then why are you and everyone else judging him so harshly and trying to assume YOU know everything that he is doing wrong. And it is not lack of analysis on my part. I spent over a year looking for a place to buy around the Ft Meade area and it’s just about as expensive to live around here as it is in surrounding D.C. area. Don’t tell me I haven’t conducted any analysis…I’ve done plenty. I actually found some cheaper houses closer to D.C. than where I ended up buying but the commute would have been pure stupidity. Like the all caps shouting by the way…That’s Mature on your part! Let’t me know not to take anything you have to say seriously at all. Quit trying to pull crap out of your backside and feeding it to everybody!

  64. YN1:

    @MSgt. I never said that the problem was “lack of analysis done by you”. what I said was “to you the problem is lack of analysis”. Meaning that it is a problem in your opinion (attention to detail will serve you greatly in this conversation….trust me). That is not the problem for the rest of us so we do not need to address it. The problem in my book (opinion), is no matter how thorough, accurate or fairly the studies are done, there will always be someone complaining, therefore that is what I am addressing. Additionally, “pulling crap from my backside”? Really? Everything I told him can be verified. BAH Primer for E5 is based on a median for 2 bedroom townhomes in your area. (fact). E6 primer is based off of a median for three bedroom townhomes (fact) Median meaning HALF of the 2 bedroom homes will be more than your BAH if you are an E5. Etc, etc. Higher ranks get higher BAH (fact), so therefore it is beneficial for you to work on getting promoted instead of complaining (fact). It seems as if you don’t know the difference between “crap from someone’s backside” and facts. I may be wrong but I’m pretty sure the home you found “closer to D.C” is not actually In D.C, probably still Maryland, or Northern Virginia correct? Anyway the BAH PAY is not perfect, but the determination is accurate because it is based off of a median of rentals cost that are reported so our BAH is actually in the Middle of the highest and lowest average FACT!. One last thing, don’t act as if it is the same cost of living for D.C as it is in Fort Meade, Fort Meade (where I was stationed), is significantly cheaper than D.C (where I am currently stationed).

  65. Re: YN1:

    You do realize you this is ignorant to argue about…
    I live in FL, and the BAH PAY is far from accurate here. Do a random search on townhomes near 32541, 32548, 32547, 32569, etc… And then look up E-4 to E-6 BAH PAY. And then you tell me how fair the BAH Pay is! :) have a good day, talking down to people, cool story bro.

  66. E-5wife:

    If BAH is suppose to cover your housing expense then it should. If you were to live on base you would just have to pay for cable phone internet and that’s how it and should be when you live off base. Unless you are wanting to find a home to buy or rent that is way outside your means. I have 5 kids living in a 3 bed 2.5 baths, make do and use all my BAH to cover just about everything. We chose to buy a home knowing it would be cheaper and then if some how we would have to PCS we would make some money out of renting it out. I can understand how BAH is not always accurate in some places but it is manageable. And for some people who say wait to live on base. Not always the best thing for larger families. We are in North Cali and the 4 bed 2 bath homes was less than 1200 sq ft. with no garage or storage areas. We tried it out for 8 months and it was terrible. And for the other people that says for spouses to get a job. lmao!! If I was to get a job we would actually be spending more money than saving. That may not always be the case for some families that don’t have as many kids but you cant jump the gun and tell spouses to get a job. And for the people that says to get sniped or tie your tubes and stop having so many kids is horrible. I have 5 kids due to being a blended family. Before you jump down on people think before you speak. Glad to see our own Military Members on here attacking one another rather than coming together as a United Family!!

  67. Air Force MSgt:

    @YN1. So you say your stationed in D.C., but is that where you actually live? That is the problem with BAH. You are allowed to claim the BAH zipcode of your current duty location, but you do not have to live in that zipcode to receive it. So DoD personnel stationed in D.C. can collect higher BAH while still really living off the economic environment of Maryland or Virginia. You and I both know this is what the majority of people do. So, when I say I found homes closer to D.C. that were cheaper, that is what I mean by the D.C. area, and yes, southern MD and northern VA is considered the D.C. area. If you do some research on the zipcodes in BAH you will find that the rates reflect this. If you are living right in D.C. as oppossed to the outlying areas then you are not very smart with the money that the government is giving you. Median price analysis is a lousy way to do comparisons for BAH determinations because it lumps high crime areas that military personnel shouldn’t have to live in. I’m not complaining, but let’s get real about what is really going on with BAH! Sorry about the backside comment, but I don’t appreciate people yelling at me which is what you did when you typed in all CAPS.

  68. YN1:

    @Msgt…Actually yes I do live in D.C. my rent is 2200 a month and my BAH is 2487.(So is not that far off). My wife is a working spouse (actually she makes more than me), so we do not fully depend on BAH or my income.(basically what I’m saying is that we can afford to live IN D.C.) so the money government gives me is just a supplement. Civilians have what is called “locality pay” for D.C. area as well. (It’s similar to BAH). Even without my spouse working my BAH would cover rent and utilities. If it could cover my expenses not the yes…I would have moved to a cheaper area…like Maryland or Virginia (Woodbridge). I know you are allowed to collect BAH based on where you are stationed, not where you live, so when I was stationed at FT Meade, I would have been an idiot to move to Annapolis or D.C.- that’s creating a problem.

  69. Tyler:

    YN1, you clearly keep assuming Annapolis is extremely expensive. Idiocy doesn’t involve someone moving to Annapolis(thanks for targeting that remark towards me.) I don’t know when you PCS’ed to DC, but if you check the rent in let’s say, Colombia, it’s equal to or more expensive than Annapolis. You don’t know the Ft Meade area anymore it seems. I can take a poll and find that a majority of military members will have concerns about the BAH they are receiving to live here. Go figure, you and your wife have a comfortable living arrangement, good on you. I can see why you can sit on the sidelines and make comments. That’s ok. Nothing good will come out of any of these posts as long as it keeps up like this. Everything I looked for, 2br/3br, doesn’t matter — they are overpriced all over Ft Meade and I searched pretty hard with the amount of time I had to find a place this summer. I found the best price and deal in Annapolis.

  70. YN1:

    @ Tyler the comment was not directed at you. perhaps there is a factor that is being overlooked. 2012 BAH is based off of 2011 numbers, and 2013 BAH will be based off of 2012 numbers, so BAH is going to increase, but then again so will rent.(its always going to seem to be a step behind). As far as the comfortable life comment, I joined the Navy as an E1 got married as an E3 (while my wife was going to school and did not have a job). We learned to get ahead by going for cheaper housing when we had ONE INCOME. Its all about adjustments. My point is the surveys for the D.C. area is as accurate as they are going to get for the time and surrounding areas are cheaper than D.C. FT Meade is significantly cheaper. Perhaps on your next tour you can get stationed closer to D.C. and keep your housing in annapolis. D.C. BAH is always going to be signifantly higher than FT Meade.

  71. TODAY!?:

    Supposed to have the new 2013 BAH results today, right? I have read on multiple Web Sites that today is when they will announce the new calculations… 11:35am CST my time… Maybe they’ll get around to sharing the information we all seek by the end of the week.

  72. NCCM(Ret):


    Last year it wasn’t released until the 15th of December; I would not expect to see it till mid-month at the soonest for this year.

  73. Tyler:

    Yea, should be released around mid-month pay., what NCCM said.

  74. Amanda Golden:

    Here is the underlying problem in my opinion:

    The Services have agreed to housing standards that allow members to receive a BAH that correlates to what civilians who earn comparable amounts would pay for housing.

    First of all, service members are grossly underpaid to begin with when you consider the scope and breadth of what the average soldier, sailor, airman or marine is expected to do in comparison the job expectation of his or her civilian counterpart.

    Secondly, unlike civilians, service members do not choose where they are stationed; the service component’s mission requirements largely dictate it. While most service members’ pay reflects a the middle class income in places like Mobile, AL or Minot, ND; it would be comparable to the poorest earners in places like the DC Metro and Los Angeles, CA. That is not the right standard to use.

    And good for you, Tyler, for saying so.

  75. Amanda Golden:


    “The original BAH law stated that the allowance could cover no more than 80% of calculated housing costs. Accordingly, the average service member had at least 20% in out-of-pocket expenses subtracted from their allowance calculation. In 2000, the Secretary of Defense committed to reducing the planned average out-of-pocket expense for the median member to zero by 2005.” (Defense Travel Management Office)

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