To help pay for a uniform and other clothing costs, service members may be given a clothing allowance if appropriate clothing is not furnished.
There are four basic types of clothing allowances:
- Initial Clothing Allowance
- Clothing Replacement Allowance
- Extra Clothing Allowance
- Clothing Maintenance Allowance
Initial Clothing Allowance
Officers of the Armed Forces of the United States are entitled to an initial uniform allowance of $400.00. This is normally paid upon first entry onto active duty.
Enlisted members get an initial clothing issue in basic training. The initial clothing allowance amounts listed below are for purchase of special items such as physical training clothing and handbags for female recruits.
Clothing Replacement Allowances
Clothing Replacement Allowances are for replacement of required uniform items based on normal wear.
Basic Clothing Replacement Allowance is paid after 6 months of active duty and then yearly for the next 2 years.
Standard Clothing Replacement Allowance begins after 3 years of active duty, and is paid at the end of the service member’s anniversary month.
Special Clothing Replacement Allowance is paid to Navy E7 - E9 every year. Navy Chiefs also get a Special Initial Clothing Allowance when advanced to E-7.
Extra Clothing Allowances
These are additional to initial and replacement allowances. Extra Clothing Allowances cover unusual circumstances, such as when assigned to special details or duties.
Clothing Maintenance Allowance (Enlisted Coast Guard Only)
The Coast Guard pays enlisted members a monthly Clothing Maintenance Allowance. The Basic Allowance is paid during the first 3 years of active duty and the Standard Allowance is paid thereafter.