DoD

November 27, 2013

Resale chiefs emphasize value of Exchange benefits

WASHINGTON — When looking for savings in light of budget cuts and sequestration, don’t take arbitrary chunks out of the military exchange services that provide important morale and quality-of-life benefits to service members and their Families, the executives who oversee them urged Congress this week.

“At the very time of our community’s greatest need, these funding cutbacks pose great risk to the programs and services which our military members and their Families depend on for resilience,” Rosemary Freitas Williams, deputy assistant secretary of defense for military community and family policy, said in testimony before the House Armed Services Committee’s Military Personnel Committee Nov. 20.

“Perhaps more than ever, the members of our military community need to count on the resolve and commitment you have so consistently displayed over the years for the very programs they continue to depend on so heavily,” she said.

Williams emphasized the value of the three military exchange services: The Army and Air Force Exchange Service, Navy Exchange Service and Marine Corps Exchange Service.

Although independent “resale” entities, they partner where it makes sense with a keen eye on improving efficiencies and reducing costs, retired Navy Rear Adm. Robert Bianchi, CEO of Navy Exchange Service Command, told the panel.

“Unlike other government programs, we operate as a true business,” he said.

The exchanges operate primarily with nonappropriated funds. But troubling in this fiscal climate, Bianchi said, are projected cuts to the limited congressionally approved appropriated funds generally used for overseas support. “We are concerned about potential reductions in appropriated fund support to our program,” he told the panel.

Thomas Shull, director and CEO of the Army and Air Force Exchange Service, shared Bianchi’s concern about potential reductions to a service he said directly supports military members, their Families and deployed forces.

That support is compounded, Shull explained, through dividends the exchanges contribute to other morale, welfare and recreation programs. By lowering overhead by $100 million during the past 17 months alone, AAFES has boosted that dividend by about 10 percent, he reported.

William Dillon, director of the Marine Corps Exchange, called the exchange service “a vital part of the overall non-pay compensation package” for Marines and their Families.

Collaborating with the other services whenever possible and leveraging industry partnerships is reducing costs and expanding efficiency to improve this benefit, he said.

“We measure our success by our ability to provide unparalleled customer service, premier facilities and valued goods and services at savings, while also returning a significant dividend to the Marine Corps community,” he said. “With Marine Corps Exchange, Marines and Families can rely upon a high-quality product at a fair, competitive price and know that the proceeds are reinvested in the community.

The presidents of the Armed Forces Marketing Council echoed the exchange executives in emphasizing the importance of the exchange benefit.

Joseph Jeu, director and CEO of the Defense Commissary Agency, also testified during the hearing, sharing his concerns about the impact of budget cuts and sequestration.

Protecting quality-of-life programs for military members and their families is “not just a readiness issue and resilience issue,” Williams summed up. “It’s also a national security issue and moral imperative.”




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
Maci Hidalgo

Army makes significant strides in energy programs

Maci Hidalgo Steven Lyman, a worker with Triad, a company working on the utility-owned solar array at Fort Huachuca, welds a part onto a support shaft for a solar panel at the 68-acre solar array park adjacent to the Thunder Mo...
 
 

Fort Huachuca showcases energy audit program

October is Energy Awareness Month and it is an appropriate time to describe the programs and services available to those responsible for managing Fort Huachuca’s various facilities. As part of the Army’s Net Zero Program, Fort Huachuca personnel are working to both reduce its energy consumption and to produce more of what people do use...
 
 

Ebola Virus Disease outbreak — know the facts

Ebola Virus Disease, previously known as Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever, was originally discovered in 1976 in what is now known as the Democratic Republic of the Congo and since its first discovery has appeared sporadically through Africa. It is still unknown how the first human became infected; but, it is suspected the first person was infected...
 

 
Dr. Randal Schoepp

Dempsey says combating Ebola a national security priority

Dr. Randal Schoepp Soldiers working at the Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland-based 1st Area Medical Laboratory, prepare to leave to set up laboratories to support Operation United Assistance, the U.S. response to the Ebola outb...
 
 

Nominations sought — Lt. Gen. Sidney T. Weinstein Award for excellence In Military Intelligence

Nominations are being accepted for the 2015 Weinstein Award through March 4, 2015. To be eligible, a candidate must be a Military Intelligence officer of the rank of captain in the Active Army, Army Reserve or Army National Guard. He or she must have performed actions which positively promote, impact, advance and bring honor to...
 
 
Maci Hidalgo

Six retirees honored Oct. 17 during ceremony on Brown Parade Field

Maci Hidalgo Members of the 40th Expeditionary Signal Battalion deliver flowers to spouses and Family members during the Fort Huachuca installation retirement ceremony on Brown Parade Field Oct. 17. Flowers were given in recogn...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin