Army captains are not only responsible for defending the U.S., but also for leading other officers and enlisted staff to perform that duty. Their jobs can be extremely hazardous as they face fire from enemy combatants. The government rewards this bravery with compensation that is commensurate with rank and experience.
The U.S. Army uses the same pay table as all members of the military, with the latest being effective as of January 1, 2011. This table divides rank into pay grades for enlisted, warrant officers and officers, with salaries increasing according to experience. Captains are designated Grade O-3 (or Officer 3). At over eight years of experience, they receive basic pay of $5,449.20 per month. In comparison, captains with six to eight years of experience get $5,188 per year, and those with over 10 years make $5,617.80 per month.
Drill pay accrues to U.S. Army captains who are in the reserves rather than on active duty. It requires two weeks a year, plus one to four weekends a month of training. The actual monthly pay depends on the number of weekends. For example, captains with more than eight years of experience who undergo one drill weekend a month get $181.64 per month. Those who choose four drills receive $726.56. As a comparison, captains with six years of service who choose four drills get $691.84 per month, while those with 10 years receive $749.04.
Army officers and enlisted personnel receive special allowances, if they choose not to take advantage of the free room and board offered on army bases. For captains, housings allowances are paid at $922.20 per month for those without dependents or $1,094.40 per month for those with a family. Subsistence allowances for food costs $223.84 per month or up to $1,100 per month for those with families. Officers do not get the clothing allowance that is available to enlisted personnel.
Army captains get incentives and special pay for duty that goes beyond ordinary performance or responsibility. For example, those who fly get monthly aviation career incentive pay of $125 for two years or less, or $840 for over 14 years of service. Captains are paid $175 a month for hazardous duty as aviation crewmembers. Captains who are medical officers get $958.33 per month for more than eight but less than 10 years of service, and a special incentive for certain professions such as $36,000 for cardiology or $20,000 for pathology.