United States Code
USC most recently checked for updates: Feb 19, 2020
Basic allowance for subsistence
Except as provided in paragraph (2) or otherwise provided by law, each member of a uniformed service who is entitled to basic pay is entitled to a basic allowance for subsistence as set forth in this section.
An enlisted member is not entitled to the basic allowance for subsistence during basic training.
The monthly rate of basic allowance for subsistence to be in effect for an enlisted member for a year (beginning on January 1 of that year) shall be equal to the sum of—
the monthly rate of basic allowance for subsistence that was in effect for an enlisted member for the preceding year; plus
the product of the monthly rate under subparagraph (A) and the percentage increase in the monthly cost of a liberal food plan for a male in the United States who is between 20 and 50 years of age over the preceding fiscal year, as determined by the Secretary of Agriculture each October 1.
The monthly rate of basic allowance for subsistence to be in effect for an officer for a year (beginning on January 1 of that year) shall be the amount equal to the monthly rate of basic allowance for subsistence in effect for officers for the preceding year, increased by the same percentage by which the rate of basic allowance for subsistence for enlisted members for the preceding year is increased effective on such January 1.
For purposes of implementing paragraph (1), the monthly rate of basic allowance for subsistence that was in effect for an enlisted member for calendar year 2001 is deemed to be $233.
The allowance to an enlisted member may be paid in advance for a period of not more than three months.
The Secretary of Defense, and the Secretary of the department in which the Coast Guard is operating, may pay an enlisted member the basic allowance for subsistence under this section at a monthly rate that is twice the amount in effect under subsection (b)(1) while—
the member is assigned to single Government quarters which have no adequate food storage or preparation facility in the quarters; and
there is no Government messing facility serving those quarters that is capable of making meals available to the occupants of the quarters.
Unless entitled to basic pay under section 204 of this title, an enlisted member of a reserve component may receive, at the discretion of the Secretary concerned, rations in kind, or a part thereof, when the member’s instruction or duty periods, as described in section 206(a) of this title, total at least 8 hours in a calendar day. The Secretary concerned may provide an enlisted member who could be provided rations in kind under the preceding sentence with a commutation when rations in kind are not available.
The Secretary of Defense may authorize a member of the armed forces who is not entitled to the meals portion of the per diem in connection with an assignment in a high-cost duty location or under other unique and unusual circumstances, as determined by the Secretary, to receive any or all of the following:
Meals at no cost to the member, regardless of the entitlement of the member to a basic allowance for subsistence under subsection (a).
A basic allowance for subsistence at the standard rate, regardless of the entitlement of the member for all meals or select meals during the duty day.
A supplemental subsistence allowance at a rate higher than the basic allowance for subsistence rates in effect under this section, regardless of the entitlement of the member for all meals or select meals during the duty day.
The Secretary of Defense, in consultation with the Secretaries concerned, shall prescribe policies regarding use of dining and field messing facilities of the uniformed services.
A member of the armed forces who is undergoing medical recuperation or therapy, or is otherwise in the status of continuous care, including outpatient care, at a military treatment facility for an injury, illness, or disease described in paragraph (2) shall not be required to pay any charge for meals provided to the member by the military treatment facility.
Paragraph (1) applies with respect to an injury, illness, or disease incurred or aggravated by a member while the member was serving on active duty—
in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom or Operation Enduring Freedom; or
in any other operation designated by the Secretary of Defense as a combat operation or in an area designated by the Secretary as a combat zone.
The Secretary of Defense shall prescribe regulations for the administration of this section. Before prescribing the regulations, the Secretary shall consult with each Secretary concerned.
The regulations shall include the specific rates of basic allowance for subsistence required by subsection (b).
(Pub. L. 87–649,
Sept. 7, 1962, 76 Stat. 470; Pub. L. 89–444, § 2(2), June 9, 1966, 80 Stat. 198; Pub. L. 93–419, § 3(1)–(5), Sept. 19, 1974, 88 Stat. 1152; Pub. L. 96–513, title IV, § 411, Dec. 12, 1980, 94 Stat. 2905; Pub. L. 98–94, title IX, § 908(a), Sept. 24, 1983, 97 Stat. 637; Pub. L. 98–525, title VI, § 605, Oct. 19, 1984, 98 Stat. 2537; Pub. L. 98–557, § 17(d), Oct. 30, 1984, 98 Stat. 2868; Pub. L. 99–145, title XIII, § 1303(b)(5), Nov. 8, 1985, 99 Stat. 740; Pub. L. 102–25, title VII, § 702(b)(1), (c), Apr. 6, 1991, 105 Stat. 117; Pub. L. 104–106, div. A, title VI, § 602(a)–(c)(1), Feb. 10, 1996, 110 Stat. 356, 357; Pub. L. 105–85, div. A, title VI, § 602(a), Nov. 18, 1997, 111 Stat. 1771; Pub. L. 105–261, div. A, title VI, § 604(a), Oct. 17, 1998, 112 Stat. 2037; Pub. L. 106–398, § 1 [[div. A], title VI, § 603(a), (b)], Oct. 30, 2000, 114 Stat. 1654, 1654A–144, 1654A–145; Pub. L. 107–107, div. A, title VI, § 604(a), Dec. 28, 2001, 115 Stat. 1133; Pub. L. 107–296, title XVII, § 1704(c), Nov. 25, 2002, 116 Stat. 2314; Pub. L. 107–314, div. A, title VI, § 603, Dec. 2, 2002, 116 Stat. 2566; Pub. L. 108–136, div. A, title VI, § 604, title X, § 1045(b)(2), Nov. 24, 2003, 117 Stat. 1499, 1612; Pub. L. 109–163, div. A, title VI, § 607(a), Jan. 6, 2006, 119 Stat. 3288; Pub. L. 109–364, div. A, title VI, § 603(a), Oct. 17, 2006, 120 Stat. 2245; Pub. L. 110–181, div. A, title VI, § 614(h), Jan. 28, 2008, 122 Stat. 149; Pub. L. 110–417, [div. A], title VI, § 602, Oct. 14, 2008, 122 Stat. 4483.)
cite as: 37 USC 402