Highlights of June 2014 Issue
Two Surveys Demonstrate Steady Improvement in MCX Customer Satisfaction
QUANTICO — Results from two recently completed surveys
demonstrate that the Marine Corps Exchange
(MCX) is continuing a trend of steady improvement
Each year, the MCX takes part in the American
Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI), a retail-industry-
wide survey administered by an independent,
In the 2013 ACSI survey, the MCX exceeded
the industry average with an overall customer satisfaction
score of 83, which is significantly above
the industry average of 77 and tied with civilian
retailer Nordstrom as the industry leader. Read More MCX Customer Satisfaction ...
Senate Spotlights Commissaries, Quality of Life
WASHINGTON — A restoration of DeCA's full funding for
2015; a provision authorizing the Defense
Department (DoD) to purchase any
commercial item, including generic items,
for resale in commissaries; and a survey
of servicemember preferences regarding
military pay and benefits were three of the
more notable provisions affecting military
resale in the Senate Armed Services Committee's
(SASC) recently proposed version
of the 2015 National Defense Authorization
Of significant concern to many servicemembers,
DeCA personnel and commissary suppliers, has been
the clouded fate of commissary funding for 2015 and
beyond. The House Armed Services Committee's
(HASC) markup of H. R. 4435 suggested a $100-million cut in lieu of DoD's call for a $200-million
efficiency reduction in 2015 (see E and C
News 5/14). Going further, the SASC's June 2
report accompanying what it has dubbed the
“Carl Levin National Defense Authorization
Act For Fiscal Year 2015” (S. 2410) after the
chairman, who retires at the end of this session
of Congress, said it declined to support
DoD's proposal —“ calling it “a change that
could significantly impact commissary savings
that servicemembers and their families
depend on.” Read More Senate Spotlights ...
ASD (R&FM) Vollrath Retires,
Barna Leads Team
WASHINGTON — Frederick E. Vollrath, the assistant secretary of defense for Readiness and Force
Management (ASD, R&FM), retired on June 15 after more than 40 years of
government service. Vollrath, a former Army lieutenant general, held the R&FM
position since April 18, 2013. Among other duties, he has been responsible for
all matters related to civilian and military personnel policy, including the Defense
Commissary Agency (DeCA).
Stephanie Barna, SES, his principal deputy, took over the R&FM position upon his retirement. As
this issue went to press, the President had not yet submitted his nomination to fill the post. Read More Frederick E. Vollrath ...
HASC Staff Member Wada
Nominated as Army Assistant
Secretary for M&RA
WASHINGTON — On May 1, President Barack
Obama nominated House
Armed Services Committee
(HASC) Professional Staff
Member Debra Wada to be the
assistant secretary of the Army
for Manpower and Reserve Affairs.
If the nomination makes it
through the Senate approval
process, Wada, who has served
as the professional staff member for the HASC's
Subcommittee on Military Personnel since 1999,
would succeed Thomas Lamont, who left the position
after four years in September 2013.
Read More Debra Wada ...
MCX Interim Director
QUANTICO — David J. Turner was
appointed interim director
of the Marine Corps
Fund (NAF) Business
and Support Services Division (known internally as
MR), the body overseeing
the Marine Corps Exchange
(MCX), effective June 1.
The search for a new director
to succeed William C. Dillon, who retired
on that same date, is expected to take two to
three months to complete.
Read More MCX ...
DeCA Names Taylor
Category Manager, Pet
Food and Household
FORT LEE — The Defense Commissary Agency (DeCA) recently
completed the latest reorganization of its
category manager lineup with the naming of James
“Jim” Taylor as category manager responsible for
Pet Food and Household. Read More James “Jim” Taylor ...
AAFES Makes Consumables Buying Personnel Changes
DALLAS — Army & Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES)
Merchandising Directorate (MD) officials announced
several shifts among its buying personnel in
the Consumables Division affecting candy, beverages,
health and beauty care (HBC), military clothing (MC),
and one appointment in the Main Store Hardlines Division
affecting outdoor living (ODL), among other areas. Read More Consumables Buying ...
NEXCOM Kicks Off
'Red, White and Navy Blue'
VIRGINIA BEACH —In celebration of servicemembers and their families, the Navy
Exchange Service Command (NEXCOM) kicked off its “Red,
White and Navy Blue”-themed savings events in all its stores
worldwide, beginning in late May on Memorial Day weekend. The
initiative offers exceptional pricing on everyday summer items. Read More NEXCOM Savings Program ...
DeCA Demo Highlights BFY
Grocery Section Assortment
FORT LEE — The Defense Commissary Agency (DeCA) recently
launched a demonstration project where
specific stores in its worldwide commissary roster
will undergo a product rearrangement that highlights
healthy choices in their respective grocery
departments... Read More DeCA Demo Highlights ...
EDINA, Minn. — On May 20, Brig. Gen. Dennis W. Schulstad, USAF
(Ret.) presented military food distributor SpartanNash with the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve
(ESGR) Patriot Award during a ceremony at the military
food distributor's offices here.... Read More SpartanNash Patriot Award ...
Military Kids with
VIRGINIA BEACH — Since 1997, the Navy Exchange Service Command
(NEXCOM) has been offering students
a chance to help pay for college through its A-OK
Student Reward Program. The program offers all
qualified students a chance to participate in a quarterly
drawing for monetary awards of $2,500, $1,500,
$1,000 or $500, for a total of $5,500 per quarter ... Read More A-OK Student Reward Program...
AAFES Recognized As 'Best for Vets' Employer
DALLAS — The Army & Air Force Exchange
Service (AAFES) was selected
a “Best for Vets” employer for
2014 by Military Times. The military
publication recognized the
Exchange on its “Best for Vets:
Employers” list for the exchange
service's commitment to providing
job opportunities to veterans,
naming it No. 31 among the top
59 employers for veterans. This
marks the first time the Exchange
has received this recognition. ... Read More "Best for Vets' Employer ...
DeCA Names 2013 Best Commissary Award Winners
FORT LEE — Each year, the Defense Commissary Agency
(DeCA) recognizes select military commissaries
worldwide with its Best Commissary Awards for
exceptional service and dedication in delivering the
commissary benefit. The honors continue a tradition
that is at least 50 years old — dating back long
before DeCA''s inception— that spotlights overall
excellence in commissary operations and service ... Read More Commissary Award Winners ...
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — On May 21, military food distributor SpartanNash honored World War II heroes and
their families in a commemorative event, which was organized in conjunction with
a Leadership Gift by the Spartan Stores Foundation, to support members of the Holland
American Legion Band''s trip to France and the Netherlands to commemorate the 70th anniversary
On June 6, 1944, more than 150,000 Allied troops landed along a 50-mile stretch of the
French coastline on the first day of the invasion known as D-Day that shaped the course
of history. By nightfall on June 6, more than 4,400 Allied soldiers had lost their lives, and
the ensuing Battle of Normandy claimed 209,000 Allied casualties. The D-Day assault on
the German forces there, however, was pivotal in bringing World War II to a conclusion.
Today, with the number of living World War II veterans dwindling rapidly, SpartanNash
hosted this event so that the enduring memories of the men and women who served in that
war are not forgotten.
Among the honored guests
participating in the commemoration
were four World War II veterans, including Bill Hill,
who fought in Normandy; Navy Recruiter Petty Officer
1st Class, CS1, Arthur Hoskins, USN; Tech Sgt. Jose
Guzman, USAF; Sgt. Steven E. Broomfield, USA; and
Gunnery Sgt. Kenneth L. Bruce Jr., USMC. ...
Read more SPARTANNASH HONORS WORLD WAR II VETERANS ...
The following list, derived from information furnished by the Army && Air
Force Exchange Service (AAFES), identifies 740 suppliers doing more
than $1 million in business with the exchange service in fiscal 2013.
The number of million-dollar companies is somewhat lower than it was on
the fiscal 2012 list, and the club continues to be an exclusive one. Its membership
list is an honor roll testifying to quality merchandise and sustained performance.
Read more FISCAL 2013 AAFES MILLION-DOLLAR VENDORS ...
Vitamins, minerals, other supplements (VMS)
and energy bars continue to generate substantial
sales for Defense Commissary Agency
With strong brands and alternative forms of triedand-
true products in these traditional segments fueling
growth, VMS dollar sales volume is expected
to remain significant in the commissary Health and
Beauty Care (HBC) segment.
VMS SALES ACTIVITY
LaRue Smith, category manager responsible for
Baby and Healthcare in the headquarters-based Sales
Directorate (SD), reported that through April 26,
DeCA fiscal 2014 CONUS VMS sales were $17.7
million. In OCONUS, sales during this period were
$2.1 million. This sales volume does not include
energy foods and energy bars. ...
VMS SALES PROJECTIONS, PROMOTIONS
Smith told E and C News that forecasted
DeCA CONUS dollar volume is $33 million
through September 2014, while DeCA
OCONUS VMS dollar volume is forecast
to be $4.0 million through the end of the
With the move to a healthier lifestyle,
Smith said that DeCA is linking sales and
promotions of these types of products with
consumers’ growing focus on health.
“Nature Made is promoted monthly, and
sampling programs are being utilized to get
consumers to try Nature Made Adult Gummies,”
he explained. “These programs will be
available for Nature Made Vitamelts as well.”
Smith said promotional displays featuring
healthier products are built at store level by
the broker community, with 10 percent of
vitamins being promoted off-shelf.
Promotions also include in-store coupon
pads, which he said “are used heavily,” along
with free-standing insert (FSI) drops.
Read more ENERGIZED FOR A STRONG 2014 FINISH ...