COLA Up, Some Housing Allowances Down for USCG


Diana Gish/KMXT

Members of the military who are stationed in Alaska receive a “Cost of Living Allowance” or “COLA” in addition to their regular salary. “COLA” pay helps make up for the price of goods and services in high cost of living areas. While some federal employees are facing the loss of this supplemental income, that’s not the case for the Coast Guard in Kodiak.

Chief Warrant Officer Jeff Pilkington is the family housing officer at the Kodiak base. He says that for those stationed in Kodiak, “COLA” is actually going up.

(USCG Housing 1 “I know for … person to person.”)

The base amount of COLA pay is around 300 dollars per month. Kodiak is one of 14 military locations in Alaska where the Cost of Living Allowance has increased.

(USCG Housing 2 “Every year we … year to year.”)

Another type of supplemental pay for qualifying members of the military is the “B-A-H” or “Basic Allowance for Housing.” In the coming year, the “B-A-H” will go down for some people stationed in Kodiak. Pilkington said that it’s not a result of budget cuts but a result of normal market price fluctuations.

(USCG Housing 3 “Is not going … different pay scales”)

While the 2010 rates will be lower than the 2009 rates, they’ll still be higher than they were in 2008.

Pilkington said that the largest decrease in “B-A-H” rates will nine percent.

(USCG Housing 4 “The most significant … sector of course.”)

Pilkington said that the housing allowance changes are Alaska-wide.

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