Uniform and Clothing Allowances

Uniforms are typically issued to enlisted members upon initial entry into the service or an allowance is given them to purchase required uniforms. The DODFMR VOLUME 7A, Chapter 30 addresses officer uniform allowances. Officers of the Armed Forces of the United States may be entitled to an initial uniform allowance and/or an additional active-duty uniform allowance as reimbursement for the purchase of required uniforms and equipment upon initial entry into the military. 

Enlisted members are paid a clothing replacement allowance annually unless they are engaged in an officer training program or are attending an academy preparatory school. The basic allowance begins accruing after six months of service and is paid at the end of their service anniversary date. The basic clothing replacement allowance is replaced with the standard cash clothing allowance upon completion of 36 months of service and is paid at the end of the anniversary month. The various services determine the amount paid for the basic and standard allowance. Any accrued clothing replacement allowances will be paid upon separation or retirement. 

In addition to other uniform clothing allowances authorized, an enlisted member may also receive a supplementary clothing allowance upon assignment to a special organization or detail requiring additional uniforms or special uniform items. The various services determine the rates payable.

Another clothing allowance is for civilian clothing when a member is directed by competent authority to an assignment requiring the wear of civilian clothes for more than half the time while performing official duty. This allowance is payable to enlisted members for stateside and overseas assignments but to officers only when assigned to a permanent duty station outside the United States. Different rates are payable depending on if the assignment is for a permanent duty station, temporary duty of at least 15 consecutive days within a 30-day period, and a temporary duty rate for duty of 30 consecutive days or longer. 

Other uniform allowances exist for enlisted members entering into specified officer training programs, for Navy members E-6 and below upon assignment to certain Navy bands, upon promotion to Chief Petty Officer, or appointment as a Limited Duty Officer. 

Clothing allowances are not subject to income taxes or FICA withholding and change annually. Specifics can be found in the DODFMR VOLUME 7A, Chapter 29 and applicable service regulations.

Military Pay & Entitlements Series
1. Introduction
2. Basic Pay
3. Basic Allowance for Subsistence (BAS) – Food Allowance
4. Basic Allowance for Quarters (BAH) – Housing Allowance
5. Common Deductions
6. How to Read Your Leave and Earnings Statement (LES)
7. Uniform and Clothing Allowances
8. Cost of Living Allowance (COLA)
9. Special and Incentive Pays
10. Additional Special and Incentive Pays
11. Overseas or Station Allowance
12. PCS and Travel
13. Special Situations

Military Pay & Entitlements Series – Printable Version of the Whole Series

Explore More with My Military Lifestyle and Finances!