The Army Reserves provides a means for you to serve your country in the Armed Services while remaining in a civilian role until you are needed for active duty. During this time you are required to attend training sessions to improve your skills and stay current on all relevant military training. Your salary in the Army Reserves is based on several factors including how many days a year you train.
Soldier Drill Pay
A solider in the Army Reserves is required to attend weekend drill sessions once a month and an annual two-week training session. Pay for weekend drill sessions and annual training is based on years of experience with the Armed Services and individual rank. For example, as of April 2011 a private first class with less than two years experience earns $3,575 annually while a staff sergeant with at least six years of experience earns $5,781 annually. At minimum, a soldier in the Army Reserves drills and trains for about 40 days a year.
Officer Drill Pay
Pay for an officer in the Army Reserves is based on the same criteria of rank and years of service which determines a reservist soldier's salary. As of April 2011, a second lieutenant with less than two years experience earns an annual salary of $5,754. A major in the Army Reserves with at least six years experience earns an annual salary of $11,550. An officer may be asked to perform extended duties including conducting training sessions for soldiers which may require more time than the standard time allotment.
Army Reserve Bonuses
A person who possesses desirable skills may earn a one-time bonus for enlisting in the Army Reserves, according to the Go Army website. A soldier possessing civilian skills in a critical area, including foreign language proficiency, may earn a civilian skill bonus of up to $20,000 through the Army Civilian Acquired Skills Program when he enlists for at least a six-year commitment with the Army Reserves. A soldier who does not possess skills in a critical area may still earn a one-time enlistment bonus of $20,000 if he chooses to enlist for at least a six-year period and completes special Army Reserve training.
Cost of Living Increases
A soldier or officer in Army Reserves may be called to active duty at any time. When a soldier or officer is called to active duty, her salary is raised to the appropriate level for a soldier or officer occupying her rank. The soldier or officer's benefits also include immediate enrollment in the Armed Service's Tricare Prime health insurance. While on active duty the Army pays for a reservist's meals, uniforms and housing costs.