This message contains images. If you don't see images, click here to view.
Advertise in this news brief.



Text Version   RSS   Subscribe   Unsubscribe   Archive    Media Kit |  ALA Business Resource    

Home   About   Membership   Forums & Meetings   Government Affairs   Members Only January 09, 2015


 




PRESIDENT'S MESSAGE

DoD braces for political battle over military pay
By Andrew Tilghman, Military Times Staff Writer 4:36 p.m. EST December 30, 2014
The Pentagon is bracing for one of its biggest political battles in years as a blue-ribbon commission on military compensation and retirement nears the end of its two-year study and moves closer to releasing its proposals for change by Feb. 1.

An internal document obtained by Military Times reveals the Defense Department is setting up a rapid-response plan that will scrutinize the commission's potentially controversial proposals and send a recommendation to President Barack Obama within 60 days, or by April 1.

DoD leaders have no idea what the independent commission will propose to Congress, so they have tapped a team of high-level officials to review, analyze and prepare a formal response to influence a potentially historic vote on Capitol Hill.

The stakes are high; the commission's report is likely to set off a far-reaching debate about the future of the military compensation system, with a basic structure that has changed little over the past century.

In some ways, the Pentagon is eager to support big changes that might cut personnel costs and reduce long-term defense spending and save money for investments in research and new weapons systems.

At the same time, military officials worry that sweeping changes to military compensation — such as radically changing the current retirement system — could devastate recruiting and retention and threaten the long-term health of the 41-year-old all-volunteer force.

The report from the Military Compensation and Retirement Modernization Commission will include detailed legislation that members of Congress may immediately begin debating, revising or potentially putting to a vote.

The commission's recommendations likely will include contentious proposals, such as replacing the military's 20-year cliff-vesting retirement model, creating new incentive pays or eliminating some in-kind benefits that service members receive in the form of installation-based services.

As the Pentagon and the White House begin facing pointed questions about how the proposals might impact readiness, defense officials will launch an intensive internal review that ultimately will inform Obama's official position.

From Feb. 2 through Feb. 6, several Pentagon "working groups," as well as a team from the RAND Corp, think tank, immediately will begin to analyze the proposals, according to the internal DoD document.

Separate "working groups" will study topics that include "pay and retirement," "health benefits" and "quality of life benefits," according to the four-page PowerPoint, dated Dec. 18.

The working groups will mostly include officers at the O-6 level from each service and civilians at a similar pay grade.

Specifically, the analysis will focus on the potential impact on recruiting and retention and will aim to "develop the DoD response for Presidential consideration," according to the document.

From Feb. 9 to 13, the working groups will convene at an "off-site location" for further analysis.

From Feb. 17 to 19, members of the working groups will brief their services' senior leaders on the status of the Pentagon's official response.

By Feb. 26, senior leaders, including the undersecretary for personnel and readiness, will receive a draft of the formal response.

By March 6, the Joint Chiefs will vet DoD's official position on the commission recommendations. At the same time, Pentagon civilian leaders will reviewing it in a process led by Deputy Defense Secretary Robert Work.

By March 13, the defense secretary will approve or reject a final version of the Pentagon's response. It's unclear at this point if that will be outgoing Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel or his successor, Ash Carter, who is likely to be confirmed by the Senate in early 2015.

From there the official response will go to the White House, where it will face further review.

The DoD plan aims to have Obama provide formal recommendations to Congress by April 1.



Military pay commission poised to issue recommendations
Read the Full Story
The Hill, Kristina Wong
A congressionally appointed commission studying military pay and compensation reform is preparing to issue recommendations in the coming weeks, a spokesman for the panel said recently.


Carter hearing delay could mean more focus on pay, benefits
Read the Full Story
Military TimesLeo Shane III
A delay in Defense Secretary nominee Ash Carter's Senate confirmation hearings could result in extra attention being focused on the future of military pay, benefits and retirement rules.


Europe reorganization announced ... some bases to close:
Those of you who attended the 2014 ALA Congressional Caucus were apprised of these proposed actions during the presentation by DUSD (I&E) John Conger during his discussions on infrastructure in DoD.

RAF Mildenhall to close amid other Europe consolidations
Read the Full Story
Stars and Stripes, John Vandiver
A major U.S. Air Force base in the United Kingdom and 14 other installations scattered across Europe will close as part of sweeping reorganization of forces on the Continent, the Pentagon announced.


DoD announces European infrastructure consolidation actions and F-35 basing in Europe
Read the Full Story
U. S. Department of Defense , Press Release
The Department of Defense announced the consolidation of some U.S. infrastructure in Europe, including the return of 15 sites to their host nations.


DeCA hit with supply chain disruptions ... stock availability impacted:

Empty commissary shelves in Europe, Pacific
Read the Full Story
Military Times, Karen Jowers
Troops and families in some areas of Europe and the Pacific have been frustrated by empty shelves in commissaries over the last few weeks - empty for different reasons.



Patrick B. Nixon
President, American Logistics Association




WASHINGTON UPDATE


Pentagon meets resistance on benefit cuts
The Hill
The Pentagon is planning another push to whittle down benefits for troops when it submits its 2016 budget to the White House in February over fierce opposition from military groups and some in Congress.
Share this article:   Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
READ MORE


In 2015, Army will lose nearly 20,000 soldiers in drawdown
Army Times
The Army stands to lose 18,200 soldiers in the drawdown plan for 2015, through attrition and reduced accessions, but also with retention screening boards that may lead to soldiers being forced out.
Share this article:   Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
READ MORE


Blunt-force military cuts need revisiting
The Wall Street Journal (tiered subscription model)
With new congressional leadership stepping into key defense oversight committees and subcommittees, this is the right time for Congress to address budget sequestration and its effects on military personnel. Balancing the nation's budget on the backs of those in the uniformed services is unacceptable.
Share this article:   Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
READ MORE


MARK YOUR CALENDAR

Specific information on upcoming ALA events is posted regularly on the ALA website. To learn more about each event, please click the following links:

Date Event
March 17-18, 2015 2015 ALA Exchange Impact Workshop
April 30 - May 1, 2015 2015 Commissary Roundtable
Oct. 26-28, 2015 68th Annual Convention


COALITION UPDATE


Lobbyist Ryan gears up for military benefit fight
POLITICO (login required)
To understand the impact the president of the Military Officers Association of America might have during this year's looming debate over military pay and benefits, just look at his role in last year's repeal of the short-lived cut to veteran pensions. MOAA is "going to have a lot of influence" in the looming showdown, according to Center for American Progress senior fellow Lawrence Korb.
Share this article:   Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
READ MORE


Military veterans among Congress' newest class
Stars and Stripes
Several veterans are among the 71 new lawmakers in Congress this year. Martha McSally is a retired Air Force colonel and the first female fighter pilot to carry out a combat mission. Other new lawmakers include two former Marines and a former soldier, all of whom served in Iraq.
Share this article:   Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
READ MORE


Obama, Hagel mark end of Operation Enduring Freedom
DoD News, Defense Media Activity
After 13 years of combat operations, Operation Enduring Freedom drew to a close on Dec. 28, 2014 in a ceremony at the International Security and Assistance Force headquarters in Kabul, Afghanistan. "For more than 13 years, ever since nearly 3,000 innocent lives were taken from us on 9/11, our nation has been at war in Afghanistan," Obama said. "Now, thanks to the extraordinary sacrifices of our men and women in uniform, our combat mission in Afghanistan is ending, and the longest war in American history is coming to a responsible conclusion."
Share this article:   Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
READ MORE



COMMISSARY ANNOUNCEMENTS

Commissary Web Posts

The following commissary items were posted to the ALA Website between 10 AM, December 18, 2014 and 10 AM, January 8, 2015:

PROMOTIONS:
- 2014 Anti Bacterial, Far East & Alaska Quantities.
- Easter, Update #1.
- Easter Ham Program, Worldwide Promotion Package.
- Mother's Day, Far East & Alaska Quantities.
- DP #1, Update #2.
- DP #3, Update #1.
- DP #4, Alaska Promotion & Shipper Quantities.
- DP #5, Far East Promotion & Shipper Quantities.
- DP #6, Worldwide Promotion Package, Frozen Food Month, March Madness Basketball and the Easter Holiday and Far East Promotion & Shipper Quantities.
- DP #7, Worldwide Promotion Package, Earth Month and Month of Military Child.

NOTICES TO TRADE (NTT)
- 14-75, Expansion of DeCA's Brand Name Swell Allowance Program, dated December 18, 2014. NOTE: Action required by all Manufacturers. RESPONSE REQUIRED BY ALL
- 15-03, Front-End Rack Program.
- 15-05, Industry Holiday Assistance.

MISCELLANEOUS:
- Adds/Changes/Deletes for Week 15-01.
- DeCA November 2014 Sales Data.
- FY 2015 Sales Bands, with Zone 15 Change.
- DeCA Zone List, January 6, 2015.
- CONUS Guard/Reserve On-Site Sales Schedule as of January 5, 2015.
- CRV Values, December 21 & 28, 2014 and January 4, 2015.




FEDERAL BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES


Warehouse Management Solution
FedBizOpps.gov
The Defense Information Technology Contracting Organization (DITCO), Contracting Division, Net-Centric Services Branch, Software Section (DITCO/PL8321), 2300 East Drive, Scott AFB IL 62225-5406, intends to issue a sole source award to Manhattan Associates Inc. Defense Commissary Agency (DeCA) is requesting the purchase of a warehouse management solution.
Share this article:   Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
READ MORE


Mobile Food Storage Shelving
FedBizOpps.gov
This solicitation is being issued as a 100 percent set-aside for small business for mobile food storage shelving. This equipment will be used by Defense Commissary Agency commissaries in the continental United States and overseas locations, including Europe.
Share this article:   Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
READ MORE
Looking for more federal business opportunities? Search here.


COMMISSARY NEWS


Overseas commissaries hit with critical food shortages
Stars and Stripes
The Defense Commissary Agency said it is working to fix problems that have led to critical shortages in perishable products at military base supermarkets in the Pacific and Europe.
Share this article:   Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
READ MORE


Procurement List: Addition and deletions
Federal Register
This action adds a service to the Procurement List that will be provided by a nonprofit agency employing persons who are blind or have other severe disabilities, and deletes products from the Procurement List previously furnished by such agencies.
Share this article:   Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
READ MORE


Military-Industrial Complex: Defense Dept. contracts for Dec. 30, 2014
Huntington News
General Electric, Lynn, Massachusetts, is being awarded a $459,572,000 three-year performance based logistics requirements contract for the repair, replacement, consumables support and program support for 757 F414 engine (F/A-18 E, F and EA-18G aircraft) components.
Share this article:   Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
READ MORE


Merger seeks to stir up tea market
Food Business News
Cullen Agricultural Holding Corp. and Long Island Brand Beverages LLC are combining businesses to expand in the ready-to-drink tea category.
Share this article:   Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
READ MORE


What makes Wegmans' love potion so powerful?
Supermarket News
Brie Dyas called out eight reasons why she and others really love (not just like) Wegmans in a mid-October Huffington Post blog. For Dyas, the connection is so strong she describes Wegmans as her personal "Cheers" — a place to go to feel like a human again after a particularly trying day.
Share this article:   Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
READ MORE


So much for New Year's resolutions: People eat even more after the holidays
The Washington Post
Every year after the holidays, people inevitably swear they'll make amends for the extra calories they consumed in December by eating less when the new year comes. They'll buy more broccoli and fewer chips; serve themselves more salad and skip more desserts. Talk of New Year's weight resolutions begins well before the ball drops.
Share this article:   Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
READ MORE


Post bringing Great Grains beyond cereal aisle
BakingBusiness.com
Post Foods LLC is extending its Great Grains brand beyond the cereal aisle with the launch of new granola and snack mix products: Great Grains — The Bar Undone Granola Snack Mixes and Great Grains Granolas.
Share this article:   Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
READ MORE


PIRCH CEO named retail 'disruptor'
San Diego Union-Tribune
The CEO of San Diego-based luxury home appliance chain PIRCH has been named one of the top disruptors in retail this year by the National Retail Federation.
Share this article:   Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
READ MORE


Get creative with your millennial grocery shopper
Media Post
Looking to reach your fair share of the 80 million millennials in the U.S.? You should since they make up 25 percent of the population and will have more than $200 billion in spending power by 2017, according to Advertising Age.
Share this article:   Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
READ MORE


Kraft's new CEO could put marketing under microscope
Advertising Age
The surprise CEO shift at Kraft Foods Group could signal major changes at the packaged-foods marketer, possibly including less emphasis on marketing and more focus on cost cutting.
Share this article:   Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
READ MORE


Frozen and prepared foods trends in 2015
Refrigerated & Frozen Foods
Last spring, as national publications reported declining sales in their foods, the American Frozen Food Institute, McLean, Virginia, launched a national campaign to encourage consumers to take a fresh look at frozen foods.
Share this article:   Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
READ MORE


Brands in danger of fading into background on supermarket shelves
BeverageDaily.com
Canadian research organization has released its top trends for 2015 claiming due to the large number of products available on the supermarket shelves many brands are in danger of fading into the background.
Share this article:   Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
READ MORE


EXCHANGE NEWS


NEX focuses on its low price guarantee
Shopping the NEX is a great way for customers to save money on their purchases every day. In fact, the Navy Exchange Service Command's (NEXCOM) most recent market basket survey shows that customers save on average 24.15 percent when they shop at the NEX, not including sales tax. And that's not the only way customers are guaranteed to save at the NEX.

"We want our customers to know that when they shop at their NEX they can be confident that they are getting the lowest price on the items they purchase," said Tess Paquette, Executive Vice President, Chief Merchandising and Marketing Officer, NEXCOM. "To ensure that, we offer our Low Price Guarantee to our customers, which includes price matching, 14-day price guarantee as well as our everyday low price on household goods. We want the NEX to be top of mind for our valued customers when it comes to their shopping needs and know that we are committed to delivering quality, value and savings every day."

The NEX's price matching policy guarantees that if customers find a lower price on a product at another retailer, the NEX will match the price. If the price difference is $10 or less, the price will be matched on the spot. No proof is required.

In addition, if a customer buys an item at a NEX then finds the identical item for less within 14 days in a NEX ad, a local competitor's ad or at a qualifying online retailer (Target.com, Amazon.com, Walmart.com, BestBuy.com, ToysRUs.com, BabiesRUs.com), the NEX will match the price. The customer just needs to bring in the original NEX store receipt and proof of the current lower price.

Finally, to ensure the best prices on household items, the NEX lowered prices on hundreds of every day items such as laundry detergent, bleach, fabric softeners, paper towels and bath tissue.

"We know these are items our customers buy on a regular basis," said Paquette. "We want customers to know when they purchase these items they are getting the best price in town. There's no need to shop anywhere else but your NEX!"

More information about NEX policies can be found at www.mynavyexchange.com/nex/customer-service/store-policies.

Share this article:   Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
READ MORE


A message from Tess Paquette, executive VP chief merchandising and marketing officer for Navy Exchange Service Command
It is with mixed emotions that I will be retiring effective March 1. I've been working on the east coast since 2002 and have decided to relocate back to my hometown San Diego. Being associated with the Navy Exchange family my entire life as a shopper and a 30-plus year associate makes this a bittersweet decision. It's been an honor to work in an environment that supports a mission that is unique ... one that serves the men and women in uniform ... a community of associates and vendor partners that work in concert of delivering the promise of the mission. Thank you for your support and encouragement over the years.
Share this article:   E-mail article


INDUSTRY NEWS


Retailers bet on post-holiday shoppers to redeem season
Boston Herald
The post-holiday shopping rush began in earnest as consumers converged on stores to spend their Christmas cash and gift cards and make returns, with the nation's largest retailer adding a new incentive to lure them back in.
Share this article:   Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
READ MORE


Walmart tests gift-card exchange
The Denver Post
Wal-Mart is letting customers exchange gift cards from more than 200 retailers, airlines and restaurants for a Walmart card. The cards don't expire and can be used in stores and online.
Share this article:   Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
READ MORE


Macy's turns to day-after marketing
Media Post
With consumers continuing to shake up the way they view the seasonal retail calendar, Macy's is trying something new: Celebrating the days after Christmas in what it calls "The Week of Wonderful."
Share this article:   Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
READ MORE


Many unhappy returns: Retailers combat 'wardrobing'
NBC
The nation's retailers are bracing for the annual post-Christmas surge of returns. And they are preparing for the onslaught of fraud that will eat away at their profits.
Share this article:   Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
READ MORE


Multiethnic Santas, 'Frozen' help stores ward off Amazon
Bloomberg
It's 5 p.m. at Nordstrom Inc.'s flagship store in downtown Seattle, and there's a 2 1/2-wait to see Santa Claus. This isn't a scene from "Miracle on 34th Street." Customers get text-message alerts about their spot in line, and they can consult the schedule if they're seeking a black, Asian or sign-language Santa.
Share this article:   Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
READ MORE


Miss an issue of Executive Briefing? Click here to visit Executive Briefing archive page.


Early winners this holiday? Amazon, apparel and jewelry
Media Post
While the full range of the Christmas holiday season won't be in until early January, Amazon is proclaiming itself a big winner. And there are plenty of indications that, overall, both on and offline retailers are finding solid seasonal gains.
Share this article:   Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
READ MORE


Retailers save discounts for bargain hunters
The Wall Street Journal (tiered subscription model)
After years of sending out email blasts offering all shoppers steep discounts, retailers, such as Stage Stores Inc., which runs 880 department stores, including the Bealls and Goody's chains, are starting to pare back the promotions by showing them only to customers who respond to price reductions.
Share this article:   Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
READ MORE


Amazon's dramatic drop in customer satisfaction reflects overall decline among online retailers
Media Post
This holiday season, customer satisfaction scores plummeted compared with last years' for retail chain and e-commerce websites, according to a recent study.
Share this article:   Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
READ MORE


In-store cognitive apps will solve retail's biggest challenge
Mobile Commerce Daily
Have you ever been shopping in a retail store and known more about a product than the sales assistant? More frequently, the response to that question is a frustrating yes.
Share this article:   Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
READ MORE


The average luxury shopper may surprise you
The Wall Street Journal (tiered subscription model)
The average luxury shopper doesn't look like a Real Housewife of Beverly Hills. According to a report from marketing agency Epsilon and boutique research and consulting firm Luxury Institute, a true luxury shopper — one that has the financial means to purchase high-end items frequently throughout the year — is most likely to be an Asian or Middle Eastern single man between the ages of 25 years and 44 years old, with no children.
Share this article:   Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
READ MORE


A global perspective of the West Coast port standoff
NRF
It has taken seven months of bargaining, but negotiations between the International Longshore and Warehouse Union and Pacific Maritime Association seem to have come to a screeching halt.
Share this article:   Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
READ MORE


RadioShack's problem: So many stores, so few shoppers'
The Wall Street Journal (tiered subscription model)
RadioShack Corp. has shut more stores in the past two months than the rest of the year, though it's hard to tell the difference.
Share this article:   Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
READ MORE


C-STORE NEWS


CSP's most-read stories of 2014
CSP
It's tempting to declare that The Pantry's 2014 story arc led it to top the most-read stories in CSP Daily News both at the onset and the outset of the year.
Share this article:   Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
READ MORE


Wawa announces next step in its Florida rollout
CSP
Wawa will enter yet another new community in Florida in 2016, promising to break ground on its "first stores in Palm Beach County in 2016," according to a report in the Palm Beach Post.
Share this article:   Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
READ MORE


A C-store twist on 'Guy's Grocery Games'
CSP
The season premiere of Food Network's "Guy's Grocery Games" will have an intriguing convenience-store take to it. One of the competing families in the four-episode "Family Style" arc will include former 7-Eleven and Circle K foodservice executive Joe Chiovera.
Share this article:   Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
READ MORE


GPM wraps up 2014 with flurry of acquisitions
CSP
GPM Investments LLC, owners of the Fas Mart, ShoreStop and Scotchman brands of convenience stores, among others, saw a dramatic end to its year with two acquisitions in December and rumors of having been among the bidders for The Pantry's Kangaroo Express assets.
Share this article:   Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
READ MORE


MWR NEWS


Germany: Army's arts and crafts center in Kaiserslautern to close, relocate
Stars and Stripes
As it turned out, the decision to locate an arts and crafts center at a tiny Army post on the edge of town didn't work out.
Share this article:   Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
READ MORE


Texas: Killeen veterans remember, share tales of officers' club
The Killeen Daily Herald
In recent years, Club Hood has transitioned from Fort Hood's officers' club in Killeen, Texas, to a catering and event center. But nostalgic memories of what the facility once was, leave some veterans wishing for eras past.
Share this article:   Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
READ MORE


Supermarkets, convenience stores now woo diners, too
The Wall Street Journal (tiered subscription model)
Consumers weighing whether to dine out at a tablecloth restaurant or a fast-food joint now have additional options to consider: the grocery store and the minimart.
Share this article:   Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
READ MORE
 

Executive Briefing
Colby Horton, Vice President of Publishing, 469.420.2601
Download media kit

Rebecca Eberhardt, Content Editor, 469.420.2608   
Contribute news


Be sure to add us to your address book or safe sender list so our emails get to your inbox. Learn how.

This edition of the Executive Briefing was sent to ##Email##. To unsubscribe, click here. Did someone forward this edition to you? Subscribe here -- it's free!
Recent issues
Jan. 2, 2014
Dec. 26, 2014
Dec. 19, 2014
Dec. 12, 2014



7701 Las Colinas Ridge, Ste. 800, Irving, TX 75063