Troops to get historic increase in food allowance

Service members are set to receive an 11% increase in their basic monthly subsistence allowance from January 1, according to information released by the Ministry of Defense.

The new BAS monthly rate for registered members will be $452.56, an increase of $45.58 per month over 2022 rates.

The new BAS monthly rate for agents will be $311.68, an increase of $31.39.

According to Military Times calculations, this is the largest percentage increase in BAS in 21 years – the largest percentage increase in BAS in the history of the modern form of this food allowance. Beginning in 2002, as part of BAS reform, all enlisted members receive full BAS, but pay for their meals, including those provided by the government.

The Basic Living Allowance is intended to offset a member’s meal expenses. It is not intended to offset the meal expenses of family members.

The BAS is tied to food prices and is adjusted annually based on increases in food prices, as measured by the US Department of Agriculture’s Food Cost Index. Inflation has hit food prices hard this year, with the consumer price index for all foods increasing by 10.9% from October 2021 to October 2022.

Karen has covered military families, quality of life and consumer issues for Military Times for over 30 years, and co-authored a chapter on media coverage of military families in the book “A Battle Plan for Supporting Military Families”. She previously worked for newspapers in Guam, Norfolk, Jacksonville, Florida and Athens, Georgia.

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