Mid Charge


10-Year Member
Oct 20, 2006
How does "mid charging" work? I understand that you get paid $800 or so, but only get to pocket $100 and the rest is used as held pay and some of the held pay can be used to mid charge. What I am confused about is how much of that held pay you will actually get. Do you get the same amount if you mid charge $0 or $500? Are you allotted so much per month and once that month has passed, the held pay is gone? Thanks.
Until Kamikazi shows up to answer this definitively, I am going to take a swing by assuming you're talking about what used to be called the Mid Store Charge Card.

At any rate, if everything is somoewhat similar to ages past, what you are given is a "credit card" that you can purchase things with in the Midstore, including uniforms, books, and all the other stuff they sell.

While it is true that, especially as a Plebe, you see practically nothing of your actual paycheck, some of it is "saved" in an account with your name on it. After a period of time (in my day it was two years), you get back whatever is in that account.

So, if you're smart, you can get quite a whopping piece of change back. If you're stupid (as I was), you can go a while without getting paid at all until the amount of your previous charges are paid off. For me it was two months.

So be smart: don't blow your money on stuff you don't need. While I can definitely see you NOT doing this as a Plebe, during your 3/C and 2/C years, you will be "required" to purchase additional uniforms that in many cases you don't need (how many SDB blouses do you really need? Two? They issued us FOUR, and they WEREN'T CHEAP). You may elect to buy your books used, which will save you a bundle. Etc., etc.

Please take this answer with a grain of salt. I am going on memory and a lot has changed, but the jist is still valid from what I've heard. Kamikazi and Jadler (who are actually there now) can provide MUCH better answers.
Marine, glad you brought up the subject. My son, a plebe, has only used his mid charge account for books. It seems I read somewhere that refunds are issued twice a year. As far as we know, my son has not received a refund of unused funds for the first semester. Are the plebes funds handled differently?
I'll take a shot, using a similiar program. This is from CGA though, so it may be different.

We received our normal stipend, of which we saw more of each year as we progressed. What we didn't see was on an Academy account, and was used to purchase books, uniforms, etc. It was on our "White Card", which could be used at the cadet book store, especially for new shorts/shirts.

My senior year, near the end, the White Card accounts were closed, and that money, very near the end, was deposited into a checking account. The amount depended on how much "extra" stuff we purchased with our White Cards. The remaining amount was deposited in my Navy Federal checking account, which when I closed that had about $1,300.00 in it, most of which had to have been from the White Card account, and all of which I did not know existed...but that was a good day when I found out that much was left over.

I realize this isn't exactly what your looking for, and I'm am not really aware how close the two are, but I was going to take a shot for you.
Here's the dope. It's pretty similar to what everyone's described above.

Each midshipmen gets payed around $890. Plebes get $100, Youngsters get $200, and 2/C get $300 deposited into their accounts each month as pay. There is also the average of $300-$400 (depending on your class year) deductions taken out each month to pay for all the random stuff (uniforms, loans, laundry, taxes, life insurance, other random services). Any of your original pay that is left is rolled over into a "held pay" account.

This held pay account goes up and down throughout the year. Some months, you might be issued a bunch of uniforms that actually costs more than you make so they tap into the fund. Otherwise, you can expect it to grow at a pretty steady rate.

This is where the Mid Store card comes in. It is basically a charge card that taps right into the money that would normally go into your held pay account. So if you charge a lot to it, you have less held pay. If you don't use it at all, you will get more held pay. The card can only be used for school material or uniform purchases (books, school supplies, uniform items, etc). You can't charge your Red Bull and candy bar on it.

Held pay is released at the end of every semester. It really varys from person to person depending on how much you charge on your card and what your initial deductions were like (like some states charge taxes and others don't). The most I've ever received is about $1200 at the end of a semester.

As a 1/C, we don't have held pay accounts. We get everything that isn't deducted. It's both good and bad. We don't have a constant paycheck. Depending on whether they issued us any uniform items or other random deductions, I could make $600 one month and $300 the next.

Would you please comment on the matter of "mandatory" issues post-Plebe-Year?

When I look back and see how much stuff was issued to us (mostly extra unifomrs and such) that we didn't really need, it makes me wonder how much money was blown on that. I eventually got the hint and stopped taking those things I didn't feel I needed and never got in trouble for it, but I wish I'd done it sooner.

Since it directly impacts the Held Pay amount, I think it would be interesting to see how that works nowadays.

Z, we don't really have the option of not receiving issues. We just get them and the pay gets deducted.

Well, they now issue you the "core textbooks." Any mando class that everyone takes is considered at core class (physics, leadership, chem, etc.) and those books are issued. You can't shop around for those books nor try to return them without proof that you dropped that class. They come at relatively high prices and that money just gets taken out of your paycheck.

Besides that, there have been the random uniform items such as Mess Dress Whites for Ring Dance, and Brooks Brothers SDBs since Plebe year. Those were expensive. However, if you are going USMC option, you can return the SDBs at the end of 1/C year as long as you didn't write you name in them. One thing that really got a lot of us mad was a mando reissue of our white watch belts end of 2/C year. The Supe mandated them because after 3 years, they looked kinda dingy, but the thing was, as rising 1/C, most of us were going to wear swords anyways...And the current belts could still be dry cleaned!