Military members are set to get an 11% increase in their monthly Basic Allowance for Subsistence beginning Jan. 1, according to information published by the Defense Department.

The new monthly BAS rate for enlisted members will be $452.56, an increase of $45.58 a month from 2022 rates.

The new monthly BAS rate for officers will be $311.68, an increase of $31.39.

According to Military Times calculations, this is biggest percentage jump in the BAS in 21 years — the largest percentage increase in the BAS in the history of the modern form of that food allowance. Beginning in 2002, under the BAS reform, all enlisted members get full BAS, but pay for their meals, including those provided by the government.

The Basic Allowance for Subsistence is intended to offset costs for a service member’s meals. It’s not intended to offset the costs of meals for family members.

The BAS is linked to the price of food, and is adjusted each year based on the increase in food prices as measured by the U.S. Department of Agriculture food cost index. Inflation has hit food prices hard this year, with the Consumer Price Index for all food increasing by 10.9% from October 2021 to October 2022.

Karen has covered military families, quality of life and consumer issues for Military Times for more than 30 years, and is co-author of a chapter on media coverage of military families in the book "A Battle Plan for Supporting Military Families." She previously worked for newspapers in Guam, Norfolk, Jacksonville, Fla., and Athens, Ga.

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