25 Finance Military Terms

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Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH)

This is a monthly allowance provided to military members to help with the cost of housing. It is based on the location of the duty station, rank, and family status.

Basic Allowance for Subsistence (BAS)

This is a monthly allowance provided to military members to help with the cost of food.

Combat Zone Tax Exclusion (CZTE)

This is a tax benefit for military members serving in designated combat zones, which allows them to exclude some of their income from federal income tax.

Special Pay for Hazardous Duty (HAZPAY)

This is a special pay provided to military members who perform hazardous duties, such as serving in a combat zone.

Imminent Danger Pay (IDP)

This is a special pay provided to military members who are serving in designated areas where they are in danger of being attacked or engaged in combat.

Family Separation Allowance (FSA)

This is a monthly allowance provided to military members who are separated from their families due to deployment or other military duties.

Cost of Living Allowance (COLA)

This is an allowance provided to military members to help offset the increased cost of living in certain high-cost locations.

Thrift Savings Plan (TSP)

This is a retirement savings plan for federal employees, including military members, that is similar to a 401(k) plan.

Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP)

This is a life insurance program provided by the Department of Defense that provides financial support to the surviving family members of a deceased military member.

Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance (SGLI)

This is a low-cost group term life insurance program provided to eligible military members.

Veterans Affairs (VA) Home Loan Benefit

This is a home loan program provided by the VA that provides special benefits to eligible military members, including low-interest rates and no down payment requirements.

Transition Assistance Program (TAP)

This is a program that provides support and resources to military members who are transitioning out of the military into civilian life.

Military Retirement System

This is the retirement system for military members, which provides a pension after 20 years of service.

Military Pay Chart

This is a chart that shows the base pay for military members based on their rank and years of service.

Overseas Housing Allowance (OHA)

This is an allowance provided to military members who are stationed overseas to help with the cost of housing.

Pay for Performance (PFP)

This is a system of bonuses and incentives provided to military members based on their performance.

Per Diem Allowance

This is a daily allowance provided to military members to help with the cost of food and incidental expenses when they are traveling on official business.

VA Disability Compensation

This is a tax-free monetary benefit provided to eligible military members who have a service-connected disability.

Educational Assistance Program

This is a program provided by the Department of Defense that provides financial assistance to eligible military members for their education and training.

Leave and Earnings Statement (LES)

This is a monthly statement that shows the pay and benefits received by a military member, including their base pay, allowances, and deductions.

Traditional Reservist (TR)

Meet the backbone of the Reserve-side of Air Reserve Component forces. Once called “weekend warriors,” these Citizen Airmen are required to serve one weekend a month and two extra weeks a year in uniform in the job of their choice and training. Like all Airmen, TR’s attend the same basic training and technical schools as their active-duty counterparts. Since 9/11, TR support of global operations has been instrumental in manpower and mission success. Without their cost-effective skill and experience, American achievement abroad and stateside could never be fully realized.

Individual Ready Reserve (IRR)

By contract, all Airmen, enlisted and officer, have an eight year Military Service Obligation. Contracts might specify only four or six-year active commitments, but if a member leaves after that active commitment and prior to their contract end, they are transferred to the Individual Ready Reserve and subject to being called up during national emergencies. Other contractual obligations beyond eight-year MSO may keep the member in the IRR longer. The Career Intermission Program provides select airmen the opportunity for a one-time temporary transition from active duty to the IRR to meet professional or personal needs outside the service while providing a mechanism for seamless return to active duty.

Air Reserve Technician (ART)

Air Reserve Technicians are a marriage of TR members and civil the same organization, as a civil service employee, for the same boss doing the same mission every day. Since TRs are only at the unit consistently one weekend a month, ARTs manage operations between drill weekends and other major events. Many wear their uniforms every day, but are managed via the civil service payscales, rule sets and benefits schedules. ARTs spend lots of time planning drill weekends to get the most from TR participation.

Active Guard-Reserve (AGR)

Active Guard-Reserve status is available both for Reservists and Guardsmen, and is designed specifically to create active-duty level continuity within limited base-specific jobs. AGRs enjoy full active duty benefits for limited contract periods, including medical and financial benefits. They are mostly non- employable, and are subject to renewal based on the AGR contract. They are often coveted positions due to their benefits, but unlike normal TRs, are more subject to the needs of the service, much like active duty.

Individual Reservist (IMA and PIRR)

Individual Mobilization Augmentees and Participating Individual Ready Reservists are Reserve members assigned to active duty or reserve units. They fulfill point-related requirements like TRs, but create custom schedules with their units of assignment. Instead of performing their drills one weekend a month, they might combine them with portions or all of their annual tour, or fulfill them on an as-needed basis, per the needs of their unit. The IR program can be very rewarding for members but requires Airmen who are capable of managing themselves, as they often operate without the typical failsafes as other active Reserve units.

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