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FOR: President Donald J. Trump
FROM: Over 32 million military resale and MWR beneficiaries, and over a 150 thousand industry and resale and MWR employees
DATE: February 10, 2017
SUBJECT: Military resale system supportive of key elements of your Administration's agenda to Make America Great Again
Here, Mr. President, is a program that you can point to as one that needs to be replicated in Government and not decimated at the altar of hasty and radical cost cutting and experimentation. It's a fragile ecology built up over the years and carefully constituted to give the troops, their families, and America the best bang for the buck.
Supporting strong National Defense. The Sun never sets on the vast network of commissaries, Veterans Canteens, and Army, Air Force, Navy, Marine and Coast Guard exchanges that operate 24/7 worldwide from Guantanamo to the Korea Demilitarized Zone to Afghanistan and Iraq. In support of our Armed Forces and their families at both their home bases and in far-flung and forward deployed areas. With operations aboard ships, providing school lunches overseas, providing plants to generate bread and water, forward distribution centers, tactical field exchanges and so much more that is vital to the support, readiness, and direct operational support of our military members. The program adapts to military force structure and basing changes, expanding and contracting to meet the needs of an ever-evolving military. And, it keeps good people in the Service because when the family is happy, everyone is happy.
Enhancing quality of life for service men and women. The system provides all of those name-brand, recognizable products and services that Americans have come to love. This includes everything from name-brand fast food to the best brands that they have come to love — thousands of brands that represent a little touch of America wherever our dedicated military serves — and at savings to them from 20 to 50 percent. Greatly stretching the household income of millions of military and Veteran families.
Supporting Veterans. Not only do Veterans benefit from using these programs, the system employs thousands of Veterans and is the top employer of wounded warriors and disabled Veterans.
Employing family members. Over 50 percent of employees in these operations have a military affiliation, with almost one-third being military family members. That's money that's cranked right back into the military community and into military households.
Holding Government employees accountable. As the only true business-based operations in Government, every decision that commissary, exchange and MWR employees make is under the business microscope because the more money they make, the more is plowed back into their own community support programs.
It's a benefit that is used the most by those who need it the most. Junior enlisted, junior officers with families, retirees, and Veterans and surviving spouses on fixed incomes are the primary users of these programs. It directly provides non-pay compensation for service men and women that we can never pay enough for their sacrifice and service.
Maximizing efficiency in Government operations. We challenge anyone to name a program in Government that can make the claim that it gives back to the Defense Department, the American People, and the Nation more than it consumes. Over a hundred thousand managers and employees along with their industry partners have taken out over $1 billion a year in operating costs.
Bringing proven business practices to make Government work better. Every manager and employee involved in these programs brings the best of breed business practices to bear because their report card is the bottom line.
Backs up with tangible deeds the words "Thank you for your Service". These programs touch the troops each and every day in many, many ways and tell them that America loves them and cares about their well-being.
Providing for accountability and transparency in Government. You want accountability — you got accountability with these programs that consistently have a clean audit year in and year out ... something that few DoD programs can claim.
Supporting American industry and promoting American products, and tipping the balance of trade in favor of America. Every day, across the globe, Americans are consuming products made in America through a sophisticated and complex distribution network that makes sure America's industry is supported.
Bringing together the best attributes of the private sector and public sector to create a working partnership. This system provides the optimal mix of out-sourcing and in-sourcing Government functions, allowing the troops to benefit from all of the advantages of both Federal and business status.
Supporting a multitude of benevolent programs for our Military and Veterans. From the USO to Fisher House, NFL ProCamps for military kids, and Blue Star families, the system and the American industry that supports it contribute and underwrite the costs of operating these vital programs.
Providing a system that self-generates funding and gives back more to the Nation and the American people than it consumes. Over the past 20 years, this system has donated over $15 billion in facilities to the Federal inventory and over $10 billion to support needed military community and family support programs. This, along with military patron savings and direct and indirect contributions to military readiness and Federal assets, make it a program that your Administration can be proud of.
The contributions and more are detailed in a report, The Costs and Benefits of the Department of Defense Resale System.
Beneficiary Groups Concerned about the Future of the Commissary:
As the commissary benefit begins to undergo fundamental changes, the director of the Defense Commissary Agency has announced his retirement.
Commissary Pricing Survey Sends Tremors through the Marketplace:
Without reducing the value of the shopping benefit, DeCA says, it has redefined how it measures savings. Global savings across all 238 commissaries are calculated now at 23.7 percent and savings stateside at 20.2 percent. At 61 overseas commissaries, average savings are 44.2 percent against local food prices.
A pilot program that allows commissaries to raise or lower grocery prices ... officials about the pilot program Monday, one staffer told Military.com.
Congress and DoD:
The Armed Services committees are getting the ball rolling on their plans to beef up the military, with the vice chiefs of each branch visiting both the House and the Senate in the coming week to detail their budget needs.
The vice chiefs of the Army and Air Force threw their support behind another round of base closures as a way to save substantial amounts of money that can be put to use for the military's other needs.
House Armed Services Chair Mac Thornberry, R-Tex., is seizing the initiative for his Pentagon reform agenda for 2018, even as the Trump administration's Defense Department team takes shape.
The Senate Veterans Affairs Committee unanimously approved David Shulkin to be Veterans Affairs secretary.
When U.S. President Donald Trump signed a Jan. 23 hiring freeze on civilian government jobs, it left the Pentagon scrambling to understand exactly what was and wasn't impacted.
Frank Broomell in Military Times
Following decades of decline in the number of veterans serving in Congress, the 115th Congress, which was sworn in Jan. 3, has more than the 114th. Despite this current crop of lawmakers bucking the trend for veteran representation, the number of congressional staff members with a military background remains incredibly low; less than 1 percent of policy staffers have military experience, according to the veterans advocacy group HillVets.
Specific information on upcoming ALA events is posted regularly on the ALA website. To learn more about each event, please click the following links:
||DFW Golf Tournament
|The DFW Chapter will hold a golf tournament Monday, March 13 at the Las Colinas Country Club beginning at 11 a.m. Download the details and a registration form here. |
||2017 Exchange Impact Workshop
|Online registration is open and a Preliminary Agenda is now available! Omni Dallas Hotel at Park. |
||2017 Customer Appreciation Golf Tournament
|Join your colleagues and DeCA partners at the Cardinal Golf Club in Fort Lee, for lunch at 11:30 a.m. with tee time of 12 p.m. Download the details and a registration form here. |
||2017 Commissary Roundtable
|Online registration will open soon. Don't miss this event! Richmond Marriott, Richmond, VA |
||2017 Congressional Caucus
|Mark your calendars! Rayburn House Office Building on Capitol Hill, Washington, DC |
||70th Annual Convention
|Save the Date for the upcoming ALA Annual Convention. Norfolk Waterside Marriott, Norfolk, VA|
SpouseBuzz by Military.com
You may have heard that the commissary is about to welcome in some big changes. First there was a big battle in Congress over what changes, if any, to include. Then they commissioned a whole hill of studies. Then there was another battle or seven and then, finally, they made a decision. Instead of just asking the commissary to move from selling at wholesale to making a profit to cover their operation, Congress told officials that they need to keep groceries priced at a certain percentage below what things cost off base.
Military Officers Association of America via Military Update
Brooke Goldberg, director of family policy and spouse programs for Military Officers Association of America, said senior defense officials have given assurances if the revised savings rate "drops even 1 percent, DeCA will begin evaluating a corrective measure." Some advocates for military families fear that the mere perception of lower savings could put commissaries at greater risk.
Air Force Sergeants Association
The Defense Commissary Agency released new regional savings numbers for commissaries. Some AFSA members were quick to observe that changing the formula resulted in a much lower figure than the more than 30 percent savings figure touted by DeCA in past years.
National Military Family Association
On Jan. 23, President Donald Trump issued a memorandum ordering an across-the-board hiring freeze on all federal agencies, with the exception of military personnel. So what does that mean for the military community? Think of all of the programs you have utilized over time as a military family — the Family Service Center, Exceptional Family Member Program, Commissary, Exchange, Child Development Center, Youth Sports, Education Center, and Employment Assistance. All of these programs are staffed with civilian federal workers. If these positions are vacated and the programs aren't permitted to hire replacements, they will have no choice but to reduce their hours and/or their services altogether.
SpouseBuzz by Military.com
Military wife Amanda Anderson writes: "Most challenges in life become easier with repetition. But when it comes to saying goodbye to my husband as he deploys to combat, I find that it's never easy. As a military spouse, mother of three small children and a full-time employee, I've grown to understand that each deployment brings new obstacles, responsibilities and opportunities. I know that we are a resolute family that has the strength and perseverance to get through these difficult deployments, but I would be lying if I said it was easy to care for the family alone."
Commissary Web Posts
The following commissary items were recently posted to the ALA Website:
- DP #6, Final Push Promotion Quantities.
- DP #8, Far East Promotion & Shipper/Pallet/One-Time-Buy Quantities.
- DP #9, Far East Promotion & Shipper/Pallet/One-Time-Buy Quantities.
- Mother's Day, Far East Quantities.
NOTICES TO TRADE (NTT)
- 17-19, "Thinking Outside the Box" Quick Meal Solutions.
- Adds/Changes/Deletes, Week 17-06 & April 2017 Reset (1), Adds/Changes/Deletes as of February 3, 2017 and May 2017 Reset (Initial) Adds Deletes, February 3, 2017.
- FY 17 Guard/Reserve CONUS On-Site Sale Schedule, February 3, 2017.
- DeCA 2017 Store Master Holiday Schedule as of February 8, 2017.
The Defense Commissary Agency has rolled out its Nutrition Guide Program. The NGP provides color-coded shelf tags so consumers can easily choose healthier options while they shop.
The Defense Commissary Agency recently announced that Sodexo, world leader in providing Quality of Life services, will provide Deli-Bakery Services operations at 12 DeCA-run commissaries in the American South — 6 each in both Georgia and North Carolina. Sodexo, which already provides Deli-Bakery Services at 12 DeCA commissaries in Delaware, Maryland, Northern Virginia and Washington, D.C., commenced operations at all new locations on Feb. 1.
Multinational consumer goods company Unilever announced a new transparency measure that will provide consumers with access to additional fragrance ingredient information for its personal care products.
The measure goes above and beyond current FDA requirements, which currently allow companies to use the word "fragrance" on personal care product labels in lieu of listing the names of the actual chemicals used.
Partners on store-within-a-store concepts since 2008, The Kroger Co. has merged with specialty retailer Murray's Cheese and has acquired its New York flagship store.
While Kroger did not disclose the financial terms of the deal, New York real estate website TheRealDeal.com reported that the Cincinnati-based grocer bought three Greenwich Village retail condominium units that house the Murray's home base for $20.6 million. The five-story, 22,000-square-foot building is home to Murray's Cheese as well as bakery Amy's Bread.
Perhaps not surprising, but disappointing nonetheless to environmental, health and nutrition advocates is new research that ranks the U.S. dead last, or very near the bottom, out of 25 countries on a long list of food sustainability indicators, including the health and nutrition of the population and land, food access and food waste.
CSP Daily News
The Kellogg Co. will begin to exit its direct-store-delivery network in the second quarter of this year. The company will transition its U.S. snacks division to the warehouse model already in use by Pringles and the rest of its North American businesses.
Calling the move "transformational," this new strategy is expected to reduce complexity and associated costs while spurring growth and profitability for the company and its retail partners alike.
Food Business News
Nestle USA has updated the recipes across its Skinny Cow frozen treat portfolio to shorten the ingredient list and remove "unfamiliar" ingredients. New formulations source milk from cows not treated with the growth hormone rBST.
To highlight the changes, Skinny Cow has introduced bold new packaging.
Food Science & Technology
Many of us will have heard of the internet of things and recognize it as part of the digital revolution, but it may be unclear what it really means and how it is likely to impact the food industry.
There are many different definitions, but in essence the internet of things is about everyday objects and products becoming associated with electronic devices that network together, and with software systems to collect and exchange data with little or no human intervention.
Other than peeling them off before you dig in, you probably don't give too much thought to those tiny stickers on your fruit and veggies. Usually round or oval-shaped, produce stickers display a 4- or 5-digit price look-up code, or PLU. A PLU is primarily a tool for your produce retailer — it allows cashiers to punch in the code for, say, bananas when there's no barcode to scan — but if you feel like looking closely, you can use it to your advantage as a customer, too. Here's what you should know.
Co–sponsorships are available:
Welcome Reception — $15,000
Tuesday Continental Breakfast — $7,500
Tuesday AM Beverage Break — $4,000 – on hold*
Tuesday Light Lunch — $10,000
Tuesday PM Break — $5,000
Wednesday Continental Breakfast — $7,500
Wednesday AM Beverage Break — $4,000
Wednesday Light Lunch — $10,000
Wednesday PM Break — $5,000 – SOLD!
Lanyards EXCLUSIVE! — $2,500 – on hold*
Official Program EXCLUSIVE! — $2,500 – SOLD!
* on hold means that these sponsorships were held exclusively by one sponsor in 2015 and that sponsor has first right of refusal on the sponsorship.
Sponsorship demonstrates your company’s partnership and support of ALA and the Exchange. Let us help you highlight your company at the 2017 Exchange Impact Workshop!
One company logo in the Official Program included in the registration packet of ALL registered attendees.
Sponsor ribbon for every attendee from the company.
Signage as appropriate throughout the conference.
Sponsor logo displayed on screen in the general session room during breaks.
All sponsorships are offered on a first-come, first-served basis and must be in writing.
To receive additional information, please contact:
Tracey Durand, American Logistics Association
202-466-2520 or email@example.com
In 2015, an elite group of individuals planned and executed the first Military Exchange Resale impact workshop in Dallas. This meeting changed and defined the need to integrate our organizations into the customers world. Since that meeting, other services have asked to have a collaborative meeting tailored to the needs and impact of their business and strengthen the relationship between the Industry and resale partners. So once again, we are announcing a Military workshop with the Exchange in Dallas for 2017.
Dates: March 13-16
Location: Omni West, Las Colinas
Theme: Innovate to Activate
The overall conversation with the Exchange team was that the 2015 workshop was great but what can we do to make it more impactful in 2017. The agenda topics will be revised to reflect an innovation session with Industry within the different categories.
- Monday Afternoon: Golf tournament, proceeds to go to the scholarship fund and / or Snowball Express
- Tuesday-Wednesday – Impact Sessions
DFW Chapter of ALA — Golf Tournament
March 13 at 11 a.m.
Las Colinas Country Club in Irving
Military - $75 ; Industry - $125
- 1 p.m. Shotgun start
- Scramble format
- Boxed lunch included
- Event proceeds to benefit AREA Scholarship Funds
Hole Sponsor - $100
Longest Drive - $100
Closest to the Pin - $100
Download the details and a registration form here.
Targeted News Service
The Army and Air Force Exchange Service issued the following news release:
The Army & Air Force Exchange Service ushered in a new era of service for troops and military families throughout Europe and Southwest Asia as it opened its newest distribution center at the Germersheim Army Depot on Feb. 1.
The Associated Press
More than 100 retailers, including Wal-Mart and Target, as well as key trade associations, are launching a new coalition aimed at fighting a Republican proposal on how imports get taxed, a measure they believe would harm their businesses.
The National Retail Federation, along with the American International Automobile Dealers Association, the National Grocers Association and others are joining forces to form Americans for Affordable Products, which will run a campaign to educate consumers and show lawmakers that the so-called Border Adjusted Tax plan would lead to higher prices of as much as 20 percent on everyday items including clothing, food and even gas.
Many consumers plan on spending a pretty penny this Valentine's Day.
According to the National Retailer Federation and Prosper Insights & Analytics, U.S. consumers are expected to spend an average $136.57, which is actually down from last year's record high of $146.84.
Analysts say total spending is expected to reach $18.2 billion, down from $19.7 billion last year, which was also a record.
Dollar General has a new demographic in mind with its smaller-format store concept DGX: millennials.
The store at 2034 West End Ave. is the flagship location for the Goodlettsville-based, Tennessee, discount retailer's quick-trip urban store. A week-long grand opening celebration kicked off Jan. 20.
It wasn't long ago that 3-D television was being talked up as the next big revolution in home entertainment. But now it appears that the much-trumpeted concept has died an early death, as the only two major 3-D TV makers have discontinued the product.
Last year, giant TV maker Samsung announced it was stopping making 3-D sets, and recently, both LG and Sony followed suit, leaving no major manufacturers left in the market.
The Washington Post
The black sports bra and matching leggings that Under Armour began selling recently does not look particularly distinctive from the rest of the workout attire on its website.
But, in fact, the garments are different in a key way: They were made in the United States, marking a key milestone in the company’s ambitious bid to significantly rethink its manufacturing strategy.
Mobile has become an integral part of the shopping experience. As consumers spend more time with their mobile devices than with desktop and notebook computers combined, they're looking to their smartphones and tablets to complete more complex transactions.
After sales and traffic continued to slide during the holidays, Target Corp. is scaling back big portions of its innovation agenda to double down on its core business.
The Minneapolis-based retailer has killed Goldfish, a secretive e-commerce start-up it green-lighted a year ago, and has shelved a prototype for a robot-infused store of the future that was slated to soon be built, according to four sources familiar with the matter.
Chain Store Age
Web searches are often inconsistent due to irrelevant keywords and content, making it more important than ever for brands to use more retail-specific factors to stay relevant.
Details that can improve brands' visibility in Google searches are shared in the "E-commerce Ranking Factors 2017 — Ten Things eCommerce Sites Need to Know to Rank on Google," a report from Searchmetrics that analyzed the top 20 desktop search results on Google for over 6,000 industry-specific keywords.
The report reveals the most important retail-specific ranking factors that can help improve omnichannel brands' visibility in Google searches.
Convenience Store Decisions
A forthcoming Republican bill to reshape the financial regulatory system is expected to kick off "one of the largest industry-versus-industry lobbying battles ever."
A report in the Washington Examiner said the House Financial Services Committee is set to release a new version of last year's Financial Choice Act in a matter of weeks. "The bill would undo many of the regulations in President Barack Obama's 2010 Wall Street reform law and touch on almost every aspect of the financial system," the report said.
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. unveiled a new convenience store in Rogers, Arkansas, opening the doors to a building that features an expanded selection of food and drinks.
The 2,500-square-foot building is the company's latest fuel station and convenience store concept, according to Ramnik Narsey, a senior vice president for Wal-Mart's U.S. fuel business. The retailer, based in Bentonville, spent about a year developing plans before building the convenience stores in Rogers and Crowley, Texas.
Convenience Store News
This past fall, Convenience Store News surveyed our readers to make sure we are on the pulse in regards to the information that is most important to you, and the way you want it delivered. Consumer insights/trends repeatedly appeared at the top of the list as the most important content for helping our readers be more effective at work.
For the past eight years now, CSNews has been taking our readers inside the minds of convenience store shoppers with our annual Realities of the Aisle consumer study. This year's research analyzes the differences between frequent C-store shoppers — those who shop at a convenience store on a daily or weekly basis — and shoppers who visit c-stores less than once a week.
Convenience Store Decisions
Quick-service chain A&W Restaurants has kicked off an aggressive development program. The new growth initiative calls for 12 C-store locations to launch in 2017.
CSP Daily News
A program that offers carbon offsets for gasoline purchases is reportedly boosting a few key metrics at an Indiana convenience-store chain.
In May 2016, Ricker Oil Co. introduced the Ricker's Replenish program with GreenPrint LLC at more than 500 pumps at its 32 Indianapolis-area Ricker's sites. The program calculates the tailpipe emissions of every gallon and grade of fuel pumped into customers' vehicles. GreenPrint then invests in projects that remove a corresponding amount of carbon from the atmosphere. These can include tree planting, forest preservation and solar and wind power development.
Convenience Store News
Location is key when it comes to succeeding at convenience retailing, but so is having products in-stock for customers to buy once they get to the store.
New research from Carbonview Research, sister company of Convenience Store News, finds that 39 percent of shoppers experienced an out-of-stock situation at a convenience store, and half of them experienced it within the past two to three weeks.
CSP Daily News
Wawa Inc. is suing a Paterson, New Jersey, convenience store for trademark infringement. It alleges that Dawa Food Inc.'s name and logo is too similar to its own, causing confusion among consumers.
It isn't the first time Wawa has gone after another company to protect its name, image and reputation. In November 2014, the Wawa, Pennsylvania-based retailer sued a Kissimmee, Florida, restaurant owner after he opened an Indian eatery named Wawa Curry Taste of India.
Growing up playing hockey and having served in the Navy, Sean Joyce had a dream.
He wanted the Army and Navy to play hockey against each other.
For the second year in a row, Joyce, the intramural sports coordinator for Naval Sports Everett, got his wish when Army played Navy, Feb. 4, at Everett's Xfinity Arena.
Why is there a cabin at Tulley Lake? Responding to leisure needs surveys over several years, Pine Bluff Arsenal's Family Morale, Welfare and Recreation directorate discovered that recreational cabins was something the Arsenal workforce and families wanted.
"For several years, cabins had been talked about but were never a top priority because we didn't have the money. From time to time, the U.S. Army Installation Management Command opens up windows of funding for redistribution," said Missy Brodnax, MWR director. "Over the years, we have gone in for funds to do the most important things such as repairs and upgrades of facilities. This year, we decided to put in for the cabin project and it was funded."
7701 Las Colinas Ridge, Ste. 800, Irving, TX 75063