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COLA Policy

What is COLA?

COLA is paid to help members maintain purchasing power when assigned to high cost OUTCONUS areas. The cola system compares the cost difference for goods and services (excluding shelter expenses) purchased in an OUTCONUS area to similar purchases in CONUS. COLA compensates members when the cost of these goods and services is higher in the OUTCONUS area.

Who is Authorized COLA?

COLA is authorized for the member and all command sponsored dependents. Command sponsored dependents are dependents who are with the member prior to execution of PCS orders, or dependents acquired after the execution of PCS orders who are approved by the members commanding officer (note: acquired dependents who are bonafide resident of the OUTCONUS area.

How Do I Get Command Sponsorship for an Acquired Dependent?

In order for a member to receive command sponsorship of an acquired dependent the member must run a request chit through their commanding officer. When the chit is approved the member will turn the chit in along with the supporting documents to report a change in dependency status (IE: marriage certificate, birth certificate for a child not born to the member, court appointed guardianship for a minor).


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