OSD Military Compensation Web Site  

How to Read a Pay Table

To find your pay in a pay table, you need to know your 1) years of service and 2) pay grade. Years of Service is seen in the first row and Pay grades are in the leftmost column. Your pay is in the cell that is the intersection of Years of Service and Pay grade.

Years of Service is the number of years you have spent on active duty. Years of Service can be adjusted for breaks in service and time spent in the Reserves or in a Delayed Entry Status. On your pay statement (leave and earnings statement), there is a "pay date" - subtract this date from the current date to determine your years of service. Select the column that is nearest, but not over, the your number of years of service.

Paygrade is the grade level you are entitled to be paid at. It normally relates to your rank in accordance with the following table.

Officer
Pay Grade
Rank
O-1/O-1E
Second Lieutenant / Ensign
O-2/O-2E
First Lieutentant / Lieutenant Junior Grade
O-3/O-3E
Captain / Lieutenant
O-4
Major / Lieutenant Commander
O-5
Lt Colonel / Commander
O-6
Colonel / Captain
O-7
Brig General / Rear Admiral Lower Half
O-8
Maj General / Rear Admiral Upper Half
O-9
Lt General / Vice Admiral
O-10
General / Admiral / General of the Army / General of the Air Force / Fleet Admiral
Warrant
Pay Grade
Rank
W-1
Warrant Officer
W-2
Chief Warrant Officer
W-3
Chief Warrant Officer
W-4
Chief Warrant Officer
W-5
Chief Warrant Officer
Enlisted
Pay Grade
Rank
E-1
Private / Airman / Seaman Recruit
E-2
Private / Airman / Private First Class / Seaman Apprentice
E-3
Private First Class / Airman First Class / Lance Corporal / Seaman
E-4
Specialist / Corporal / Senior Airman / Petty Officer Third Class
E-5
Sergeant / Staff Sergeant / Petty Officer Second Class
E-6
Staff Sergeant / Technical Sergeant / Petty Officer First Class
E-7
Sergeant First Class / Master Sergeant / Gunnery Sergeant / Chief Petty Officer
E-8
First Sergeant / Senior Master Sergeant / Master Sergeant / Senior Chief Petty Officer
E-9
Sergeant Major / Chief Master Sergeant / Sergeant Major / Master Chief Petty Officer

In a few situations, your rank will not equate to your paygrade. For example, if you have been frocked before your official promotion date, you are paid based upon your previous rank until your official promotion date. Additionally, officers who have spent 4 or more years as an enlisted member or warrant officer, have three unique pay grades-O-1E, O-2E and O-3E. These scales are higher than the corresponding O-1, O-2 and O-3 scales.

Progressing in years of service leads to longevity pay increases, which are frequently referred to as "fogies." Promotion also leads to pay increases by moving you to a higher row on the pay table.

Return to Top arrow

Close Window arrow


This web site is published by the
Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness