Military service members get increase in allowance for housing

soldier returnsWhile President Obama is preparing to send more military personnel to Afghanistan with the new year, for those servicemen and women who are remaining in the United States, the Department of Defense has announced an increase in 2010 for what is known as the Basic Allowance for Housing.

The BAH is available to uniformed service members and their families on permanent duty within the 50 states who require civilian housing when government quarters are not provided, according to the Department of Defense.

The amount of compensation is based on rank, location and whether or not the service member has dependents.

For the coming year, says the DOD, the Basic Allowance for Housing rates will go up an average 2.5 percent over 2009's rate.

Because rental rates are lower in many parts of the country than they were last year at this time, the BAH increase for 2010 is not as high as in some previous years.

If you are in the military and want to know what the new rates are for your rank and location, click here to be taken to a DOD chart you will find helpful.

Charles Feldman is a journalist, media consultant and co-author of the book, "No Time To Think-The Menace of Media Speed and the 24-hour News Cycle."

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