Most soldiers assigned to Fort Stewart will see as much as a 5 percent increase in their basic allowance for housing, while soldiers at Hunter Army Airfield will see about a 3 percent increase in their BAH, according Sgt. 1st Class Sean Cullinane, 24th Finance Company. He said the BAH for some officers will decrease, however.
“If (those officers) are here already, they’ll keep the same BAH they have and not get the new lower rate,” explained Cullinane, noting that some newly arriving warrant officers and captains receiving BAH at the “with dependents” rate and some general officers receiving BAH at the “without dependents” rate actually will see a small decrease. “If they’re new here though, they’ll get the new BAH rate when they in-process.”
Cullinane said BAH is determined by the office of the Secretary of Defense from housing data collected throughout the year in each military housing area; the data is analyzed for the costs of rent, renter’s insurance and utilities, including electricity, heating, water and sewer. He said BAH rates depend on where the service member lives, his or her rank and whether he or she is supporting family members.
Cullinane suggested that soldiers who are pending reassignment and want to know the BAH rate for their new duty station can use the BAH Calculator found online at www.defensetravel.dod.mil/site/bahCalc.cfm. The soldier need only check the year then enter the zip code of the new duty station and his or her rank, he said.
In addition to an increase in BAH, Cullinane said soldiers will see an increase in their subsistence allowance and a very slight increase in their base pay. Subsistence allowance is meant to cover the cost of food for service members who do not have access to military dining facilities. The proposed increase in base pay for active duty military, retirees and disabled veterans was 3.6 percent, but Cullinane said the actual increase is less than 2 percent for 2012.