Highlights of October 2013 Issue
President Talks Up Commissaries as Store Closings Curtailed
MCB CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. — As President Obama addressed personnel at the base here — honoring the sacrifices
made by servicemembers and vowing to end across-the-board sequestration budget
cuts that have impacted military life — he brought the issue of commissaries to the
The commander-in-chief addressed nearly 3,000 Marines, Sailors and military family
members during his visit to this Marine Corps base, and spoke about the painful
realities wrought by sequestration. ...
DeCA Director and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Joseph H. Jeu hailed
the DoD's Aug. 6 move to curtail furloughs of its civilian workforce from 11
to six days. “This is welcome news for us all,” said DeCA Director and Chief
Executive Officer (CEO) Joseph H. Jeu.
“We recognize the disruption that furloughs presented to our patrons as
far as access to their commissary benefit. We also understand the economic
hardships many of our employees faced with the pay they lost during the
furlough period.” ...
DoD to Take 'Candid' Look at Commissaries, Hearings Expected
WASHINGTON — Acting Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness
Jessica Wright said Department of Defense (DoD) officials would take a “candid” look at whether commissaries
should operate without taxpayer subsidies. Sources familiar
with the matter indicated to E and C News that military resale
leadership expected to have a window in mid-to-late October
during which they might testify before Congress.
Wright said that whether the taxpayer subsidy for commissaries is eliminated depends
on whether DoD can achieve the expected savings. “It needs to produce the results we
think it's going to produce,” she said. “The service is going to still be provided. It may be
Pentagon's Dempsey, MCRMC's Higgins Study Rising Retirement Costs
WASHINGTON — The Department of Defense (DoD) and the Military Compensation and
Retirement Modernization Commission
(MCRMC) are simultaneously looking
at ways to contain a Military Retirement
Fund for which spending is anticipated
to double within 20 years, according to
Department of Defense (DoD) officials.
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
Gen. Martin Dempsey, USA, told servicemembers
at Yokota AB, Japan, that that level of spending, coupled
with the rising cost of servicemembers' pay and benefits, is too
high. “Manpower costs are becoming overwhelming,” Dempsey
said. “They will overwhelm modernization and training if we are
not careful.” ...
Based on trends, only about 17 percent of servicemembers stay in for 20
years, he said. While those currently serving will still have the option of retirement
at 20 years, the new enlistees could see retirement programs with benefits
after 10, 20 or 30 years of service, he said.
“We want to make it so individuals have more choice at the front end,” he said.
“If you are a young fellow you might be able to say 'I would like that program
better than the one I've got.'”
McMasters Named DeCA Central Area Director
FORT LEE — Ronald R. McMasters, former chief of the
Defense Commissary Agency's (DeCA)
Store Operations Group, was named the agency's
Central Area director. He succeeds Randall
L. “Randy” Chandler, who was recently
named the agency's sales director (see E and
C News 9/13). ...
“Ron has a proven track record of knowledge,
expertise and dedicated service in virtually
all levels of store operations,” said Keith
Hagenbuch, executive director of the Store
Operations Group. “I know he will serve this
agency well as an area director.” ...
DeCA's Simpson, Standard and Jones Report to New Positions
FORT LEE — The Defense Commissary Agency (DeCA) announced
further changes to its executive staff
involving three long-time agency veterans.
As the agency extended its recent round of organizational
refinements, Mark L. Simpson was named
Change Management Officer, Gordon J. Jones was appointed
director of Business Development, and Teena
Standard was chosen as executive officer to DeCA
Director/Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Joseph J. Jeu.
These moves, effective Aug. 11, are designed to
further the agency's vision of delivering a modern
benefit that is relevant to commissary patrons, Jeu
“Despite the changes inherent with ongoing budget
reductions, we are determined to support our
men and women in uniform and their families by
providing the best commissary benefit possible,” Jeu
said. “We are careful to ensure that all our leadership
selections support that mission.” ...
DeCA Names Perry CIO as IT Mission Shifts
FORT LEE — Jeffrey C. Perry, chief technology officer for
the Defense Commissary Agency (DeCA),
was named the agency's chief information officer
(CIO), effective Aug. 25. Perry had served as
acting CIO for the Information Technology (IT)
Directorate since the June 1, 2012, retirement
of Janet Haase. Along with his new position, he
will continue to serve as chief technology officer
AAFES Appoints Bowers, Weaver to VP Roles in Store Ops, Strategy and Strategic Communication
DALLAS — The Army & Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES) recently
named Joyce Bowers as vice president (VP),
Store Operations and Andrew Weaver VP, Strategy and
Both Bowers and Weaver have each served in a number
of executive capacities for the exchange service during
their AAFES careers. Bowers' positions include chief,
Change Management (Retek); VP, Equal Employment Opportunity
(EEO); and most recently VP, Strategic Corporate
WRNNMC Bethesda Wins 2013 Design-Build Project Award
VIRGINIA BEACH — The Design-Build Institute of America (DBIA) announced that the Navy Exchange Service
Command (NEXCOM) replacement project at
WRNNMC Bethesda, Md., was selected as a National
Merit Award Winner for 2013.
“NEX Bethesda was chosen for this award out
of a highly competitive group of design-build projects
from across the nation,” said Rear Adm. Robert
J. Bianchi, SC, USN (Ret.), the exchange service's
chief executive officer. “It is an honor for the NEX to
be recognized along with many other civic buildings
across the country.” ...
DeCA Streamlines Acquisition Management With Resale Contracting Merger
FORT LEE— The Defense Commissary Agency (DeCA) merged its acquisition management
and resale contracting functions, a move that reorganizes the Resale
Contracting Directorate from the Sales, Marketing and Policy Group to the
Infrastructure Support Group, as a division within the Acquisition Management
Directorate. The provisional realignment was put in place on Oct. 6.
Lawrence “Larry” P. Hahn will continue in his current role as director of
Acquisition Management, however, the position of director, Resale Contracting,
which had been held by John P. Lavinus III since October 2011, will
now be restructured as deputy director of Acquisition Management. Lavinus
retired Aug. 31.
“The consolidation of these two directorates reduces overlapping activities,
improves oversight and makes a more efficient, streamlined and strategically
organized function,” said Joseph H. Jeu, DeCA director and chief executive
officer (CEO). ...
DeCA Store Operations Chief Joyce Chandler Retires
FORT LEE — The Defense Commissary
Agency (DeCA) recently announced the retirement of Store Operations Chief Joyce Chandler, effective Sept.
30. Her successor had not yet been named as this issue went to press.
Most recently Chandler, who as of mid-July had been chief of the Perishables Division in the Sales Directorate (SD), was detailed as chief of Store Operations for a three-month period, which was scheduled to have ended this month.
Resale Continues Support for 'Feds Hire Vets'
In addition to its latest outreach efforts to hire
veterans into management positions, the Army
& Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES), together
with the Defense Commissary Agency (DeCA); the
Navy Exchange Service Command (NEXCOM); the
Marine Corps Semper FIt and Exchange Services
Division; the Coast Guard Exchange (CGX) and the
Veterans Canteen Service (VCS), continues to be
part of an ongoing effort to recruit and hire veterans,
with Feds Hire Vets. ...
AAFES's Ockenfels: Exchange Welcomes Veterans with 'Open Arms"
FORT LEE —Col. Thomas Ockenfels, USA, chief of staff for the
Army and Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES),
said veterans are welcome with “open arms” at the
exchange service after AAFES was recognized by
U.S. Veterans Magazine for its part in putting those
who have protected American freedoms back to work.
The Exchange is among the organizations named
to the publication's 2013 “Best of the Best” list,
published in the magazine's summer issue. The Exchange
made the cut in the “Top Veteran-Friendly
Companies,” “Top Supplier Diversity Programs” and
“Top Government and Law Enforcement Agencies”
“It's essential to the Exchange's mission to welcome
our veterans with open arms, and that extends
to their families as well,” Ockenfels noted. “This recognition
further validates our efforts toward providing
veterans and their families with solid, rewarding job
and career opportunities, and we are honored that
U.S. Veterans Magazine considers us one of the 'Best
of the Best.'” ...
MCX Names New Buyers for Health, Beauty and Cleaning, Beverages, Junior Wear and Military Clothing
QUANTICO — The Semper Fit and Exchange Services
Division, the entity that oversees
the Marine Corps Exchange (MCX), announced
effective Aug. 25 that William
Van Hoorn was its new buyer handling the
health, beauty and cleaning area.
Four other buyers also either recently
changed responsibilities or joined the
Joe Cella succeeded Kelly Knuuti as
buyer of non-alcoholic beverages and
spirits, while Danielle Cannata, a former
assistant buyer, follows Alison Linaine as buyer responsible
for juniors, activewear, intimate apparel,
hosiery, outerwear and swimwear.
In addition, John Gallo, the former young men's
and activewear buyer, now handles military clothing
and Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) troop support,
and was succeeded in his prior area by George Bridgforth
AAFES Names Williams Chief of Public Affairs, Command Liaison
DALLAS — The Army & Air Force
(AAFES) recently announced
Lt. Col. Antwan
C. Williams, USA, as its
chief of public affairs and
command liaison. He succeeds
Lt. Col. Tom Shrader,
Coming to the exchange
service from his former
post as chief of Public Affairs,
Current Operations, at U.S. Army South at Fort
Sam Houston, JB San Antonio, Texas, Williams has
had a wide and varied career since enlisting in the
Army Reserve in Baton Rouge, La., in 1987. ...
DeCA 'CLICK2GO' Test Sees Basket Sizes Jump to $70
FORT LEE — As the Defense Commissary Agency announced
revisions to its new “CLICK2GO” online ordering/
curbside pickup program, it also reported a
jump in average basket sizes ordered through the
program of more than 12 percent.
Thus far, through Aug. 23, DeCA is reporting that
sales have totaled nearly $38,000 with 439 patron
transactions. To date, the average order — which pulls
product from its brick and mortar stores — has been
just over $70. The agency's average order is about $62. ...
Read more IN THE NEWS ...
More than $6 billion a year is
committed to breast cancer
research and awareness, and the
companies that supply products to
military exchanges and commissaries
rank among the most ardent
supporters of this cause, approaching
it not as a marketing opportunity
but as a corporate commitment.
Whether it is support for Susan
G. Komen for the Cure, the
Breast Cancer Research Foundation
(BCRF) or the National Breast
Cancer Foundation (NBCF), industry
devotes millions of dollars each
October — and also throughout
the year — to education to raise
awareness, and to valuable funding
Along with financial contributions,
industry creates innovative
packaging displaying the distinctive
pink ribbons and other pink-themed
looks to products and programs to
keep Breast Cancer Awareness
month top of mind among patrons
and all who can help further the
cause and make a difference. ...
Read more Passion, Response, Dedication Drive Support of Breast Cancer Awareness and Research ...
DeCA Deputy Director and Chief Operating Officer (COO) Michael Dowling
Defense Commissary Agency
(DeCA) Deputy Director
and Chief Operating Officer
(COO) Michael Dowling has seen
changes of almost every type involving
the commissary system during his career
in the military and resale.
The DeCA COO is not one to look at
things from a limited perspective, and
his responses often mirror the 360-degree
approach that is increasingly part
of DeCA's business philosophy.
In this exclusive interview, Dowling
discussed the pace of innovation and
change; pushing inventory to stores to
meet forecasted demand; and illuminates
some of the ways DeCA's future enterprise
business system promises to unlock
efficiencies all along the supply chain.
Above all, however, he's focused on
translating all these transformations
into a win/win/win scenario for the interconnected
whole — industry, commissary,
and their ultimate reason for
being — the patron. ...
'We work very hard to demonstrate that what we do is part of the benefit, that it's relevant, that we are meeting customers' needs, that customers take advantage of it, as evidenced by the $6 billion in groceries they purchased last year.'
— DeCA Deputy Director and COO Michael Dowling emphasized.
Read the complete Improving the Benefit for Patrons and Partners ...
AAFES Chief Operating Officer (COO) Mike Howard
During his seven-year tenure as chief operating officer (COO) of the Army & Air Force
Exchange Service (AAFES), Mike Howard has been a catalyst for significant improvements
to the Exchange's capability to serve its customers; whether Stateside where
sales savvy is critical, online where innovation is essential, or overseas in some of the world's
most daunting theaters of conflict. No matter the fiscal climate, troop movements or trends, Howard
is confident in the Exchange's powers of adaptation to patron needs, and its strong focus on
serving its customers better and more efficiently.
In this exclusive interview with E and C News, Howard brings readers up to date on the Exchange's
latest initiatives and objectives in delivering meaningful value and service to its worthy
patrons, no matter where they are stationed.
'Our partners understand the
military business and resale
industry. Furthermore, they
are constantly looking out for
Soldiers, Airmen and their
families; they share our vision
and are deeply committed to
the Exchange mission.'
— AAFES Chief Operating Officer (COO) Mike Howard
Read more 'Making Our Customers' Lives Better ...
NEXCOM Chief Operating Officer (COO) Michael Good
Navy Exchange Service Command (NEXCOM) Chief
Operating Officer (COO) Michael Good is not one to
mince words. Although he is proud of how the exchange
service has continued to register many positives during the
recent challenging economic period, he also emphasizes
that NEXCOM must adapt to the marketplace, anticipate
new consumer patterns and trends, and remain the top
shopping choice for Navy patrons in a very competitive
In this exclusive interview with E and C News, Good
outlines the ways NEXCOM continues to evolve in
alignment with Navy initiatives and priorities, while still keeping the spotlight on patron needs
'We are Navy, which means being aligned to Navy leadership priorities. We
recognize that the 21st Century Sailor and Marine initiative is important to fleet
readiness, which we have tailored our “A Better You” program to support. This
program offers a variety of products that promote “A Better You” throughout the
store. As I discussed, we receive over 1,200 customer contacts each week, and our
customers are not bashful about telling us how we can be better. And, our local
management is directly connected with the installations’ commanding officers.
We are all advocates for the Sailors!'
— NEXCOM Chief Operating Officer (COO) Michael Good
Read more Retail 'Readiness' ...
Capt. Robert McKenna, USCG, Commanding Officer, Coast Guard Community Services Command (CGCSC)
The old saying “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your
life” neatly describes Capt. Robert E. McKenna, USCG, the commanding officer of
the Coast Guard Community Services Command (CGCSC). Since coming to this command
in summer 2011, McKenna has seen a revitalized Coast Guard Exchange (CGX) form under his leadership, with a new direction exemplified in its new stores, and a new
creativity in leveraging its services to Coast Guard customers.
In this interview with E and C News, McKenna shines a bright searchlight on a
range of subjects from the valuable work of the Deployable Support Exchange team, to
morale, well-being and recreation programs, and the rollout of CGX's “Fit Forward”
'“We have really focused … on seeking new initiatives
to help drive efficiencies as well as keeping a
“weather eye” … to stay on top of trends.'
— McKenna said about CGX’s recent strategies.
Read more CONTRIBUTING TO THE COAST GUARD MISSION ...
Here is a quick look at who in the Department of Defense is responsible for military resale, morale, welfare and recreation (MWR), and associated activities.
Read more DoD & Congressional Staff Members ...
Operating 489 exchanges and 246 commissaries, as well as hundreds
of smaller convenience stores, package stores, troop stores and
other facilities, the military resale system is to be found wherever
U.S. Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines or Coastguardsmen fly the flag,
providing essential quality-of-life support for servicemembers and their
families. These pages present statistical information — demographic,
geographic and financial — on the military resale system and its customers.
Read more Military Resale Market Demographics ...
Exchange Sales: Direct Sales, FY 2012 In Millions
Read more Exchange Sales ...
As of June 30, 2013, there were 1,207,746
U.S. military personnel stationed in the
United States or its territories (down 1,366
from June 30, 2012): 470,517 Army personnel;
287,925 Navy; 173,398 Marine Corps; 275,906
Air Force. A total of 69,990 were posted in Europe
(down 8,734 from 2012): 32,584 Army; 5,953
Navy; 941 Marine Corps; 30,512 Air Force. East
Asia and the Pacific (primarily Japan and Korea**)
quartered approximately 79,918 U.S. armed forces
(down 2,077 from the number reported for June
2012): approximately 22,678 Army; 20,631 Navy;
15,785 Marine Corps; 20,824 Air Force. Excluding
Afghanistan, Kuwait and Djibouti, an additional
4,838 troops were stationed in Africa, the Middle
East and South Asia (down 304 from 2012), and
more than 36,000 elsewhere in the world.
Read more Military Resale Market Demographics Where They Serve...