Active duty Army soldiers prepare for new payment schedule

Published: Sep. 29, 2022 at 2:02 PM CDT
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LAWTON, Okla. (KSWO) - There will now only be one payment schedule option for active duty soldiers, which starts on October 1.

“When soldiers are financially solvent and financially independent, then they’re better able to focus on their mission,” said Daniel Farrell, a financial readiness specialist at Fort Sill.

Farrell said this is the main reason the Army is modernizing its pay schedule, to make sure all of its soldiers are paid on the same days twice a month.

Before 1990, all active duty soldiers could only get paid once a month, but that changed when the Defense Joint Military System started.

Debra Heylin is a veteran who’s worked in finance for over 30 years, both in and out of the Army.

“Once DJMS came in they gave the soldiers options to get paid once or twice a month. The majority of the soldiers elected to be paid twice a month. And a small handful, as you can tell by the number, elected to be paid once a month,” said Heylin.

Today this change will only impact 11,000 soldiers in the Army. They will be paid the same amount, but it will be split into two payments instead of one starting with the new fiscal year on October 1st.

“Soldiers that I’ve talked to that have once a month, they feel they can better budget their money better because the majority of their bills come out at the end of the month,” Heylin said.

Though, Farrell said many soldiers later realize being paid twice a month is actually more stable.

“They were already thinking about doing that anyway because they were struggling come towards the end of the month before their paycheck hit,” Farrell said.

With the change starting soon, Fort Sill is setting up support for soldiers through accredited personal financial counselors and adjusted spending plans, part of the Financial Readiness and AER Program, and even an app.

All of this is meant to help support soldiers financially so they can focus on what matters.

“Being a retired soldier myself, that is true because if you’re out in the field or if they’re deployed if you’re worrying about your family not having food on the table or being able to pay their bills, you’re not focusing on your mission. So our job is to make sure soldiers are paid properly so they can do their job, and we’ll do our job and take care of them and their family members,” Heylin said.

The pay change will only affect active duty Army soldiers, not those in the Reserves.

For more information from the Army on the recent pay change, click here.