The U.S. Marine Corps was formed in 1775 as the "Continental Marines." They have fought in every major war, conflict, police action or other military skirmish since before there was a United States of America. The Marine Corps is a branch of the U.S. Navy but training methods and insignias differ. A Marine is not a sailor. Yet, pay grades among the military branches are linked.
Basic monthly pay increases with time served, but there are some exceptions. A Marine Private First Class, or E-2, earns slightly less than $1,700 per month (as of July 2011). This never changes whether he serves 10 years or 40 years. Higher ranked Marines like a Captain, or O-3, earn about $5,000 per month up to the fourth year of service, then it increases a little more than $100 per year until after the 18th year of service where it remains static at just under $6,500 per month. Whether either of these ranks is married or single, this base pay remains the same.
Single Marine BAH
The basic allowance for housing (BAH) to live off of the military base differs among regions. It is static with regard to time served. A non-married E-2 gets a BAH of about $700 per month in Auburn, Alabama or Bowling Green, Kentucky. Yet, in Charlottesville, Virginia, the BAH is close to $1,000. In San Francisco, California, it is almost $2,000. The single O-3 gets a BAH of about $1,000 in Auburn, or Bowling Green, but more than $1,400 in Charlottesville and over $2,600 in San Francisco.
Married Marine BAH
BAH is really the increase in pay that a Marine with dependents is allotted. This is for the spouse, the number of children does not affect the BAH. There is some disparity. The married E-2 in Auburn earns more than $900 per month. It's only a little more than $800 in Bowling Green. It's almost double for the E-2 in Charlottesville and San Francisco at more than $1,200 and $2,300, respectively. The married O-3 earns about $1,450 in Auburn, but less than $1,200 in Bowling Green. Again, the BAH is close to double from right at $1,600 to almost $3,100 in Charlottesville and San Francisco, respectively.
There are other forms of pay like imminent danger pay, also known as combat pay, and family separation allowances. These, however, are static because the combat pay is due to the Marine as a fighting member of the military. Family separation could be a spouse or parents. These compensations are about $250 per month each.