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Military base pay is calculated based on two variables: a member's rank and corresponding pay grade, and the total amount of completed military service. A Major in the Marine Corps is a field-grade officer in the pay grade of O-4. All military members earn base pay, and some members are entitled to special pay rates and allowances. The following pay estimates are based upon the 2011 Pay Charts for the Military, as set forth by Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS).
The base pay for a Marine Corps Major with less than two years of military service is $4,221.90 per month, and that amount increases at the two year mark to $4,887.30 per month. A Major with three years of military service earns $5,213.40 per month, while a Major with more than four years of military service earns $5,286.00. At the six year mark, a Major earns $5,588.70 per month. A Major with more than eight years of military service earns $5,913.30 per month, and a Major with over ten years of service earns $6,317.40 per month. A Major with over twelve years of military service earns $6,632.10 per month, while a Major with more than 14 years of service earns $6,851.10. Marine Corps Majors with over 16 years of service earn $6,976.50 per month. At 18 years of service, the pay for this pay grade tops out at $7,049.10 and remains the same for the rest of the member's career, unless and until they are promoted to the pay grade of O-5.
Military members may choose to live on the military installation in government-provided housing. If housing on-base is not available, or the Marine chooses not to utilize this benefit, they may live off-base and receive a monthly stipend to help offset this cost. This stipend is entitled Basic Allowance for Housing. BAH is based upon the nearest city to the member's permanent duty station. BAH rates vary, but the lowest monthly amount is paid to Marines in Youngstown, Ohio in the amount of $924 per month, while the highest amount of BAH is paid to members stationed in San Francisco, California, in the amount of $2,850 per month. In addition to BAH, all Marine officers receive an extra allowance entitled BAS (Basic Allowance for Subsistence) to help with the cost of meals. The current BAS rate is $223.84.
Marine Corps Majors who serve in medical and dental career fields can earn an additional $666 per month, as well as an extra $500 for being board-certified as medical professionals.
Marine Corps Majors are entitled to additional pays while deployed to combat zones. These entitlements consist of Hazardous Duty Pay of $225.00 per month, Hostile Fire Pay of $225.00 and $250.00 in Family Separation Allowance, if the Major is married or has children.
Based in Oklahoma, Maggie O'Leary has been writing professionally since 2001. O'Leary has served in the United States military since 1997 and is a two-time OIF veteran. She has been published in several local military and civilian newspapers and national media outlets including "The Washington Post" and CNN. O'Leary has a Bachelor of Arts in history and legal studies.