What is BASD in the U.S. Army?

If you’re thinking about enlisting in the U.S. Army, you may come across the term “BASD.” An acronym for “basic active service date, it lives up to its namesake by revealing the specific date on which an Army soldier began his or her service. While many soldiers ignore this number, you should always be conscious of your BASD because it can affect other things like retirement. To learn more about BASD in the U.S. Army, keep reading.

Does BASD Ever Change?

Some people assume that BASD changes, decreasing as you get closer to retirement. In reality, though, a soldier’s BASD never changes. It’s a fixed, absolute date that defines when he or she began service. So, regardless of when a soldier is planning to retire (or allowed to retire), his or her BASD will never change. It remains the same throughout the soldier’s service.

Why BASD Matters

If BASD is only a date, conventional wisdom may lead you to believe that it has little-to-no impact on your service. The truth, however, is that BASD affects many elements of an Army soldier’s service. First and foremost, it’s used to calculate soldiers’ active duty retirement. Generally speaking, soldiers who’ve accumulated at least 20 years of active service are eligible for retirement. To determine whether or not a soldier meets this criteria, however, you must look at the soldier’s BASD.

In addition to active duty retirement, BASD is also used to calculate a retired soldier’s pay. According to the U.S. Department of Army Retirement Services, retired pay is calculated by looking at the soldier’s BASD and PEBD.

Retired pay is calculated using your basic active service date (BASD) and pay entry basic date (PEBD),” explained the U.S. Department of Army Retirement Services.

Furthermore, BASD is used to determine when an Army soldier is eligible for promotion. Going from Private E-1 to Private E-2, for instance, requires six months time-in-grade (TIG), while going from Private E-2 to Private E-3 requires four months TIG.

The Bottom Line…

Hopefully, this gives you a better understanding of BASD in the U.S. Army. To recap, it’s an acronym for “basic active service date,” revealing the exact date on which an Army soldier officially began his or her service. It’s more than just a date, however. It determines when a soldier can retire, how much he or she is paid upon retirement, promotion eligibility and more.