By Anna Kim
It’s been decided that the military clothing allowance 2022 for women will decrease, while the allowance for men will increase in 2023. This comes as a surprise, as women's military uniforms are typically purchased more than men's uniforms. This change is said to be happening due to inflation.

Suggested read:

The Army’s New Tactical Bra Will Be the Pinnacle of Defense Support

Women’s Military Clothing Allowance 2022

Exactly how much is the military clothing allowance? Soldiers receive an annual clothing allowance in order to maintain or replace their uniforms. While the men’s allowance will increase from $509.11 to $517.34, the women’s will decrease from $561.78 to $507.48. While prices can depend on what stores the uniforms are bought from, generally speaking, women’s uniforms are $3.02 cheaper than men’s uniforms.

Types of Military Clothing Allowances

Clothing allowances exist to cover uniforms and clothing costs. Four types of clothing allowances exist.
  • The

    Initial Clothing Allowance

    is for both officers and enlisted military members. They are given an allowance upon enlistment or entitlement to a certain uniform.
  • The

    Clothing Replacement Allowance

    is for enlisted members to replace required uniforms. This allowance is given annually, and the amount depends on how long that person has served.
  • The

    Extra Clothing Allowance

    is for enlisted members to buy specific uniforms or additional uniforms for certain types of duty. It can also be used when members need civilian clothing. This allowance has no impact on the initial clothing or clothing replacement allowances.
  • The

    Clothing Maintenance Allowance

    is only given to enlisted members in the Coast Guard. The allowance is given once a month.

The Military’s Pink Tax

Women are subject to what some call the “Pink Tax” for their uniforms. This tax basically means that a woman’s military uniform costs more than a man's, and this high cost is not covered by their clothing allowance. In fact, women in the military have been subject to many uniform changes throughout the years, such as having to buy new items, which usually come out of their pockets. These costs can go up to $8,000 over a 20-year career, which is double that of what men pay for their uniforms, according to the Government Accountability Office.

Why the Change?

The allowance was determined by Army planners after the Defense Logistics Agency predicted uniform prices for the next fiscal year. This was done through data received in June; however, the calculations, which are determined by the costs of goods, do not always match the market, as market prices are subject to fluctuations. The factors that determine these calculations are the cost of uniform items, future inflation estimates, tailoring, and undergarments that might be needed for certain women’s military clothing.

The Need for Women’s Uniforms

Compared to men, women typically need more uniform items. Certain items include maternity uniforms, bras, and skirts for dress uniforms. One military uniform that’s in high demand is the hot weather uniform. It was first introduced in 2019 and remains popular in colder areas, such as Alaska. This uniform is compact and can dry very quickly compared to other uniforms. A lot of women also lean towards the unisex hot weather uniform. Although it was actually designed to fit men’s bodies, women usually get it tailored to fit better. With the decrease in the women’s military clothing allowance 2022, it’s clear that they’ll have to spend more of their own money to finance their uniforms. Disparities continue to exist in the military, even with something as simple as uniforms.

Read next:

Top 10 Most Annoying Military Uniform Items Troops Hate Wearing

The appearance of U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) visual information does not imply or constitute DoD endorsement. | Photo by Airman 1st Class Elijah Van Zandt | 341st Missile Wing Public Affairs




Get the latest news and military discounts