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Pay and Benefits

Overall, the pay, compensation and benefits of Academy graduates are above average compared to the earnings of both public and private college graduates, starting when you graduate and continuing to retirement.

Although few join for the pay and benefits, it’s true that members of the military enjoy an uncommon degree of financial and medical security.

Expect steady progression in pay based on:

  • Time in service
  • Promotion
  • Cost of Living Adjustments

Every branch of the military, including the Coast Guard, uses the same pay structure.

Calculate Your Pay

All officers are compensated with Base Pay, a Housing Allowance and Subsistence Allowance. The value of your Housing Allowance depends on the cost of housing where you are stationed.

Curious? Calculate your earning potential.

Pay Calculator

Retirement Benefits

The military is one of the few employers in the United States to offer a true pension. This means that after you complete 20 years of service and retire, you receive a monthly annuity (payment) for the rest of your life.

Under the Blended Retirement System, you can also elect to save for retirement starting just 60 days after you enter military service. Whether or not you choose to contribute to this Thrift Savings Plan, the Coast Guard will contribute to it. If you do contribute, the Coast Guard will deposit matching contributions up to a combined total set aside of 10% of your base pay each month.

You also have options for how to collect your retirement pay – as either a monthly annuity, or as a lump sum and reduced monthly annuity.

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Medical and Dental Benefits

As a cadet and officer, your medical and dental needs are met with no premiums or out of pocket expenses. Eligible dependents are fully covered while you are on active duty.

If you separate rather than retire from the Coast Guard, your medical and dental benefits end. When you retire, you have the option to enroll in Tricare, an affordable military medical and dental plan. Out-of-pocket expenses are possible depending on the coverage you elect and your family’s needs.

Later in life, when you are eligible for Medicare and have Part A and B coverage, Tricare for Life serves as a wrap-around plan, normally eliminating potential out of pocket expenses.

Other Benefits

As a member of the military you enjoy many benefits not available in the civilian sector.

  • The Post 9/11 GI Bill - an educational benefit that covers the cost of college. May be transferred to eligible dependents
  • Tax-free housing allowances
  • Mortgage loans through the Veterans Administration
  • 30 days of vacation per year
  • Space-A Travel – free flights between military bases
  • Discounts and special offers from businesses