BAS is meant to offset costs for a member's meals. This allowance is
based in the historic origins of the military in which the military
provided room and board (or rations) as part of a member's pay. This
allowance is not intended to offset the costs of meals for family
members. Beginning on January 1 2002, all enlisted members get full BAS,
but pay for their meals (including those provided by the government).
This is the culmination of the BAS Reform transition period.
Because BAS is intended to provide meals for the service member, its
level is linked to the price of food. Therefore, each year it is
adjusted based upon the increase of the price of food as measured by the
USDA food cost index. This is why the increase to BAS will not
necessarily be the same percentage as that applied to the increase in
the pay table, as annual pay raises are linked to the increase of
private sector wages.
2014 BAS Rates: