All military members receive a “clothing allowance” upon joining the military. This clothing allowance allows military members to purchase the uniforms that they need, in the correct sizes and styles that they need. This also allows military members the opportunity to budget and save on the needed uniform items because the Department of Defense knows that the cost of uniforms, boots, medals, and more can add up very quickly. If you are considering joining the military or if you simply are wanting to know more about what the experience looks like, you may find yourself wanting to know more about these kinds of allowances. Below we will discuss how much you get with military clothing allowances.

How are military clothing allowances paid out?

Military clothing allowances are paid out in four different categories that separate the items a military member will need to own once joining the service. These categories are as follows:

  1. Initial – This allowance is only paid once and has some exceptions.
  2. Replacement – This allowance is paid out once a year on the anniversary month of the initial allowance.
  3. Maintenance – This allowances is paid out once every three years and only to active duty
  4. Extra – This allowance is sometimes referred to as the “Civilian Clothing Allowance.” If an assignment requires specialized clothing, the allowance will go to covering it.

A chart showing the breakdowns of the initial clothing allowances given to military members upon joining the military can be found here.

According to, “Supplementary Clothing Allowances are authorized for certain enlisted members when assigned to special duties, organizations, or details that require additional quantities or special clothing items that are not normally required by most enlisted members of their branch of service. These duty assignments are generally high-visibility roles. With the exception of maternity uniforms, Supplementary Clothing Allowances may not exceed 30 percent of the current value of the Standard Initial Clothing Allowance.”


If you have any questions or concerns about your clothing allowances, contact Armed Forces Benefits Network to have all of your questions answered and your concerns listened to. We are here to help you!