Defense Budget Request Restores Full Funding for Commissaries
• WASHINGTON — Unveiled on May 23, the White House’s proposed budget request of $639.1 billion for the Department of Defense (DoD) for fiscal 2018 would restore full funding for the Defense Commissary Agency (DeCA), a recommendation that was subsequently taken on board by the House Armed Services Committee (HASC) in its markup of the Defense Authorization bill for 2018.
In general terms, John Roth, performing the duties of DoD comptroller, said funding for the department’s budget — which is made up of $574.5 million in base funding and $64.6 billion for Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) — is “required to continue to rebuild warfighting readiness and will restore program balance by fixing the holes created by previous budget cuts.”
Based upon the number of transactions, slightly more than half of commissary shoppers are active duty service family members, and nearly 39 percent are retirees. Other eligible patrons make up the remaining 11 percent.
Among those cuts, the Budget Control Act (BCA) and sequestration are believed to have wrought untold damage on defense programming, according to DoD leaders. The BCA and sequestration have “done more damage to our readiness than the enemies in the field,” Secretary of Defense James Mattis said in answer to a question about sequestration from Sen. Lindsay Graham (R-S.C.) during a Senate Appropriations defense subcommittee hearing on May 22. ...
HASC NDAA Markup Changes Little in Resale Programs, Increases Troop End Strengths
• WASHINGTON — Although the House Armed Services Committee (HASC) Military Personnel Subcommittee markup of resale provisions in the Defense Authorization bill for 2018 shows little change from the resale reform course the subcommittee set during the latter years of the Obama administration, it did move to restore full funding for commissary activities and also authorized an increase in end strength across the service branches that may have the side-effect of providing the resale customer base a small shot in the arm several years down the line.
Led by Chairman Mike Coffman (R-Colo.) and Ranking Member Jackie Speier (D-Calif.), the subcommittee released its proposals on June 22, emphasizing “supporting and protecting our warfighters with the care and benefits they need, deserve, and have earned.” ...
Congressional Advocates Seek to Preserve Patron Benefit from Adverse Reform Measures
• WASHINGTON — Has it arrived in time, will it pass, and if so, will it have teeth are questions on the minds of some military benefit advocates regarding the Military Patron Protection Act (MPPA), which was formally introduced on June 8, by Rep. Walter Jones (R-N.C.) and Rep. Tim Walz (D-Minn.).
The pair introduced the act, H.R. 2850, to safeguard commissary benefits as a variety of reforms race ahead, redefining commissary assortments, pricing and the way savings are measured.
If approved, the MPAA would bring about increased oversight of the commissary and defense resale reforms permitted by the fiscal year 2016 and 2017 National Defense Authorization Acts (NDAA).
The legislation would also create a Military Resale Patron Advisory Commission to bring the views of servicemembers, veterans, and their families before the Department of Defense (DoD) and Congress regarding major reforms to commissary and exchange benefits. In addition, the MPPA would require reporting on user-fee funds with regards to any appropriations that are needed to support the full defense resale system. The funds could potentially offset more appropriated funds (APF), causing servicemembers, veterans and families to be negatively affected in other areas such as exchange and morale, welfare and recreation (MWR) programs. ...
Exchanges Announce Early Veterans Online Shopping Eligibility Opportunity
• DALLAS — The Department of Defense’s (DoD) military exchanges will be joining forces to honor the service of all of America’s Veterans beginning this Veterans Day, marking the first expansion of exchange shopping privileges in nearly 30 years. On Nov. 11, the exchanges will welcome home potentially 13 million honorably discharged Veterans with the “Veterans online shopping benefit (VOSB),” a lifetime online shopping benefit.
To help accomplish this more successfully, exchanges will be engaging the help of veterans who register early as “beta testers” via VetVerify. org, in advance of the official launch on Veterans Day 2017. The website will serve as a single point of entry for Veterans to verify eligibility to shop all the exchanges’ online stores.
VetVerify.org is a shared services verification site serving all the exchanges that uses information from official government records for Veteran Sailors, Marines, Coast Guard members, Airmen and Soldiers. ...
AAFES Appoints Fair, Anstey to Key VP Roles
• DALLAS — In a personnel move becoming effective this month, the Army & Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES) named William “Rick” Fair as its regional vice president (VP), Korea/Guam, in the Exchange’s Pacific Region.
In another personnel move, effective in June, Judd Anstey, director of Corporate Communications in the Exchange’s Executive Group, was promoted to Corporate Communications VP.
Fair previously served as area manager, Korea/Guam, in that region, and, according to AAFES, that position has been changed to a regional VP billet. During his AAFES career, Fair has served in numerous executive leadership positions, including as general manager (GM), Camp Humphreys, Korea, and Fort Knox, Ky., and as senior master planner in the Real Estate Directorate. ...
DeCA Names Shaffer Deputy Director, Acquisition Management
• FORT LEE — In a personnel move that became effective on April 30, Michael G. Shaffer is the new deputy director of Acquisition Management for the Defense Commissary Agency (DeCA). Shaffer follows Richard A. Deiter, who left the agency in December 2016 for an assignment at the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA), Richmond, Va.
For the past five years, Shaffer served as Enterprise Acquisition Division chief and will continue to provide oversight to that division until the agency selects his successor. In addition to serving as the deputy director of Acquisition Management, Shaffer also has secondary oversight of the Resale Contracting Division and primary oversight of DeCA’s overseas contracting operations and IT contracting division.
In announcing Shaffer’s appointment, Larry Hahn, director of Acquisition Management, said, “Mike’s … long history of dedication to his customers and commissary patrons has provided him with a broad base of knowledge that will serve him well.” ...
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AAFES Partners With Army, Air Force
to Support Relief Funds
• DALLAS — As the Army and Air Force mark their respective birthdays this year — the Army from June 14 to 18 and the Air Force from Sept. 14 to 18 — Exchange shoppers continue to donate at Army & Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES) registers to support servicemembers and their families in need. The proceeds of these donations are directed to either the Army Emergency Relief or Air Force Assistance Funds. And for every $5 donated, shoppers received a coupon for $5-off a $25 purchase.
“Organizations such as the Army Emergency Relief Fund rely on the generosity and kindness of others,” said former AAFES Board Chairman Lt. Gen. Raymond V. Mason, USA (ret.), director of the Army Emergency Relief Fund. “Working with the Exchange is a game changer and will benefit countless Soldiers and their families for years to come.”
The program kicked off with the Army’s birthday, where coupons received for donations were redeemable in store or online from June 19-25 (for the Army’s June 14-18 birthday celebration). ...
AAFES Named ‘Best for Vets’ Employer
• DALLAS — The Army & Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES) was chosen as a 2017 Best for Vets Employer by Military Times, recognizing the Exchange’s efforts to recruit and retain Veterans in its worldwide workforce.
This marks the fourth consecutive year the military publication has recognized the Exchange, which was ranked at No. 55. The annual list — which was topped by banking and financial services company First Data — evaluates companies’ culture, veteran recruiting and policies, as well as accommodations for members of the National Guard and reserves.
“The Exchange is family serving family, and part of that is providing opportunities to those brave enough to answer the call of duty,” said Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Luis Reyes, the Exchange’s senior enlisted advisor. “Veterans know our shoppers better than anyone, and their experience is invaluable.” ...
• FORT LEE — Defense Commissary Agency (DeCA) employees and patrons enlist to fight the war against hunger by participating in the annual “Feds Feed Families” campaign. Since 2010, federal agencies including DeCA have supported this initiative as a way to help food banks and pantries around the country stay stocked during the summer months — when the need increases and the donations decrease.
From June 1 through Aug. 31, DeCA employees and patrons at over 150 commissary collection points are taking part by donating nonperishable items and personal hygiene products.
“This serves the communities around the commissaries,” said Randy Eller, who manages DeCA’s Feds Feed Families program. “Our patrons and employees show by their participation how much they value their communities. These donations are just one of the ways they help.” ...
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Based on information about payments made by the Navy Exchange Service Command to vendors and suppliers, E and C News determined that 237 vendors provided $1 million or more in products and services to Navy exchanges worldwide during fiscal 2016. The following list of million-dollar vendors, ranked by fiscal 2016 dollar volume, compares ranking where possible with fiscal years 2015 and 2014. This list was compiled by rolling up payments made to suppliers. In some cases, in which each of two or more divisions of a single company did more than $1 million in business with NEXCOM, the divisions are listed separately and are marked with an asterisk (*). In others, sales from each of two or more divisions/subsidiaries have been combined into a single total. ...