The cost effectiveness of giving all airmen basic allowance for subsistence versus a meal card

Document Type



Master of Science (MS)


Hotel and Food Service Management

First Advisor's Name

Mickey Warner

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Michael Kobasky

Date of Defense



Research was conducted to determine if it was cost effective for the United States government to pay all airmen in the Air Force basic allowance for subsistence (BAS) in lieu of issuing them a meal card. A test was conducted at Little Rock Air Force Base, Arkansas, to determine eating patterns and habits of those airmen presently on basic allowance for subsistence. It was assumed that if airmen were given BAS, their eating habits would be similar to those already on BAS. A 30 day observation period revealed that if all airmen on a meal card were given BAS, approximately 30,190 fewer meals per month would be eaten in the enlisted dining facilities. As a result, a cost savings would result to the government, and could possibly offset the additional cost of basic allowance for subsistence. All calculations proved that there would indeed be a substantial savings to the government, however, not enough to totally offset the cost of paying the additional BAS. The study proved negative, however, valuable information surfaced which will aid in achieving the Air Force goal of an all BAS program sometime in the near future.



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