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Highlights of the August 2015 Issue


Ruark Named Military Deputy to USD (P&R), AAFES Board Chair Cox Reassigned


• WASHINGTON — In two personnel moves having a bearing on military resale and morale, welfare and recreation (MWR), Lt. Gen. Robert R. Ruark, USMC, was selected as military deputy to the under secretary of defense for Personnel and Readiness (USD, P&R) on July 24. Ruark had been serving as the director of logistics (J-4) on the Joint Staff. He succeeds Lt. Gen. Michael Linnington, USA.

The Department of Defense (DoD) also announced on July 30 that Lt. Gen. Samuel Cox, USAF, is being reassigned from deputy chief of staff, Manpower, Personnel and Services at Air Force Headquarters in the Pentagon to commander, Eighteenth Air Force, Air Mobility Command, Scott AFB, Ill. Cox is chairman of the Army & Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES) Board of Directors and is also a member of the board of directors of the Defense Commissary Agency (DeCA). ...

Commissary Price Hikes Camouflaged in BCG For-Profit Proposal


• BETHESDA, Md. — To commissary benefit advocates, the Boston Consulting Group’s (BCG) recommendation to “normalize” commissary savings using commercial variable pricing practices could be considered as a euphemism for cutting patron savings — including on key categories known for their consistently high levels of savings. These, along with what BCG described as “a safe, secure and convenient place to shop for groceries,” have long been regarded as key elements in making the commissary “worth the trip,” for many military families and retirees.

BCG’s near-final draft of its “Military Resale Study” lays out a complex, sometimes recursive labyrinth of proposals predicated on the adoption of variable pricing, private label, NAFI conversion of workforces, in-sourcing of existing contractedout functions, varying phases of back and front office consolidations, and sales of beer and wine in commissaries, among other ideas.

At the same time, its overall direction mirrors Department of Defense (DoD) recommendations previously dismissed by Congress, and appears to clash with recent reports and studies by the Military Retirement and Compensation Modernization Commission (MCRMC), the RAND Corporation and Business Executives for National Security (BENS). These latter organizations have either called for maintaining existing levels of commissary benefit service and savings or have highlighted the perils of price increases of even the smallest increments.

In presenting its thesis, BCG posits what it calls a series of “win-win” and other opportunities — including using a portion of patron surcharge dollars to help cover operating expenses — as vehicles for generating profits it believes could partially offset overhead that is currently funded with appropriated funding (APF). At the same time, it recognizes multiple decision points that involve levels of risk, including many that beneficiary advocate groups have said represent a high probability of scuttling the patron benefit. ...

H2-Oh! AAFES Water Plant Receives Perfect Audit Score


• GRUENSTADT, Germany — A recent audit of the Army & Air Force Exchange Service’s (AAFES) water plant here earned a 100-percent score on its annual NSF International audit. AAFES noted that of approximately 800 NSF audits conducted annually around the world, only around 10 percent receive a perfect score from the company, which provides quality audits for the food storage and distribution sector. ...

AAFES’s Anstey Appointed Executive Administrator to CEO


• DALLAS — Judd Anstey, long-time senior public relations manager for the Army & Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES), was recently appointed executive administrator to Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Tom Shull in the Executive Group (EG). Anstey succeeded Denise Hunter in his new position this month. Hunter became credit business development manager in the Finance and Accounting Directorate (FA), also effective this month. ...

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