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DoD message to the Military Compensation Commission: 'You are Irrelevant!':
In a letter from Acting Deputy Secretary of Defense to the Military Compensation and Military Retirement Modernization Commission (link below) Christine Fox informs the commission that the FY15 DoD budget contains reductions in military compensation that should be the under review of the commission. Seems they do not need analysis to make these dramatic reductions just the will to reduce troops pay and benefits.
Letter link: www.mcrmc.gov/public/docs/library/130306-MCRMC-DSD_Letter.pdf
Congress continues to challenge these reductions especially in the wake of the role and responsibility of assigned the compensation commission. We will have an opportunity to hear from Chairman Randy Forbes next week at the Commissary Roundtable. The Chairman has introduced legislation to delay any reductions until the compensation committee reports its findings and recommendations.
JCS to tell Congress: Allow pay curbs or harm readiness
Read the Full Story
Fleet Reserve Association, Tom Philpott
Sen. Carl Levin, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, is giving the Joint Chiefs of Staff an unusual and potentially powerful opportunity to persuade senators they risk a readiness crisis if they don't take significant steps this year to slow growth in military compensation. Military exchange executives reacted with alarm to a first draft of a legislative proposal to implement commissary cuts, warning the entire military resale system could be at risk. That proposal is being modified.
On-base fast food outlets get temporary reprieve from new wage rules
Read the Full Story
Military Times, Karen Jowers
The Labor Department has pulled back — at least temporarily — from new minimum wage rules that had led several fast-food restaurants to end their contracts on military installations and prompted others to possibly follow suit. Labor officials are "reevaluating" wage determinations for fast food workers and expect to "reissue industry-specific fast food wage determinations in the near future," according to a departmental announcement sent to interested parties and contracting offices.
DeCA needs to message their Value Brands Strategy:
Silence is golden but not when you are getting hammered with misinformation. DeCA has had a solid value brand program since for over 10 years and it is keyed to offer brand name products below private label offerings.
Military commissaries consider going generic
Read the Full Story
American Public Media/Marketplace, Kate Davidson
Military commissaries, grocery stores that sell name-brand products to military families basically at cost, are facing a billion-dollar budget cut over the next three years. And defense officials are considering a sea change for commissaries: allowing them to stock generic. Currently, commissaries can't sell generics. But now that the Pentagon has proposed a billion dollar commissary cut over three years, commissary prices are expected to rise. That has some officials wondering if stocking generics is a solution.
Kudos to Tyson Food for veterans hiring:
Tyson Foods hired more than 3,000 military veterans since 2011
Read the Full Story
Tyson Foods, Inc. recently showed its commitment to hiring U.S. military veterans at an event where First lady Michelle Obama announced a new government tool, called the Veterans Employment Center, designed to simplify job-hunting for veterans, transitioning service members, National Guard members, reservists and military spouses. Tyson Foods has hired more than 3,000 military veterans since 2011, when it committed to hiring more veterans as part of its involvement in the American Logistics Association. The company continues to hire more as part of an initiative called "Camo to Khaki," a reference to Tyson Foods' often-worn khaki uniform.
Patrick B. Nixon
President, American Logistics Association
McKeon to roll out last NDAA next week
Rep. Buck McKeon, R-California, is preparing to unveil his last defense bill as chairman of the House Armed Services Committee next week, kicking off what is sure to be a contentious process as lawmakers decide what capabilities the Pentagon will keep during a time of defense budget cuts. The Armed Services panel will release the subcommittee inputs for the 2015 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) — which authorizes spending on next year's defense programs — Tuesday, 24 hours before subcommittees start to discuss the plan.
First lady announces veterans job site
First lady Michelle Obama recently announced a new website designed to help military veterans, current service members and their spouses create resumes and connect with outside employers. The website, called the Veterans Employment Center, hopes to centralize job and veterans resources from across the government. It will include a database of public and private employment opportunities, a resume-builder, and career and training resources.
House Republicans see opportunity in appropriations bills
Republicans are stepping up efforts to insert special provisions — including some that are partisan or ideological —into fiscal 2015 appropriations bills, according to memos from Republican House leaders. Republican lawmakers have been encouraged by leaders to consider next week's House votes on the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs as well as the Legislative Branch appropriations bills as the beginning of an "opportunity" to enact conservative policies through policy riders, many of which couldn't pass as stand-alone bills.
Military Media Inc.
While most newspapers and print media are losing readership and advertising revenue to digital media, niche market newspapers are continuing to thrive.
Niche market newspapers like those published for local communities such as military bases are thriving because they provide advertisers a way to zero-in on their specific target markets. These newspapers are free and delivered to homes on military bases and placed in high traffic areas around the community. They enjoy a very high readership rate among the audience to which they are delivered.
DoD details planned cuts if budget caps remain
The Pentagon has laid out plans for how it would cut $66 billion in procurement and research-and-development projects between 2016 and 2019 should US defense spending caps remain in place. The cuts would affect dozens of Defense Department programs.
Recruits trending older in US military
New recruits in the U.S. military are getting slightly older, with more than half of Army enlistees age 20 or above compared with a few decades ago when only a third were in the older age group, according to a recent RAND Corp. study. The trend is a boon for the military because older recruits have a greater tendency to re-enlist and achieve promotions at higher rates than those who join out of high school, the report says.
Coalition and Valued Associates Advocacy and Actions...
In reaction to the Pentagon's new budget-cutting catchphrase: "Slow the Growth," the Coalition and Valued Associate members have been refining their own message. The Military Officers Association of America (MOAA) created a brochure, "Slow the Growth" – That Train Has Left the Station, which they shared with every Member of Congress during their annual "Storm the Hill" events. MOAA states, "Uniformed and civilian leaders have created a perfect storm, providing political top cover to slash pay and benefits with repeated, alarming – and noticeably misleading – statements on personnel cost growth."
MOAA also states within their brochure and in their Congressional testimony that, "This 'quadruple whammy' of capping pay, increasing out-of-pocket expenses for housing, consolidating TRICARE, and slashing commissary benefits would be four giant steps towards repeating past insidious measures that led to retention and readiness problems." ALA and the Coalition are driving home the fact that DoD's proposal to drastically cut the commissary benefit by 70 percent will eliminate the benefit not "Slow the Growth."
Military Service Associations, to include Coalition Valued Associates, will testify on May 6th before the Senate Armed Services Committee. The Association of the United States Army (AUSA), the Air Force Association, the Association of the United States Navy (AUSN), and the Military Officers Association of America (MOAA) will make up the second panel. Making a rare appearance before the committee will be the full roster of the Joint Chiefs. This will likely be the last hearing before the committee marks up the annual defense authorization bill.
Lawmakers have expressed deep concern about the Pentagons proposed reductions and potential cuts. Many lawmakers, military and veterans organizations, Coalition Valued Associates, and the ALA have contended that no changes should be made to military pay and compensation before the Military Compensation and Retirement Modernization Commission (MCRMC) releases their report in February 2015.
Furthermore, Coalition Valued Associates, to include AUSN, continue to warn that "slashing the Defense Commissary Agency's funding by more than two-thirds means that the commissaries will have to eliminate their discounts and raise prices in order to survive, an increase of goods at commissaries by as much as 20 percent. Inevitably, increased costs will lead to fewer customers, which will inevitably drive commissaries out of business."
"Insisting that no commissaries will be closed, the President's Budget states that it is only reducing the amount of subsidies which DeCA receives. Yet, there is no subsidy to reduce, as the reduced prices on groceries and household goods available through the commissaries constitute an earned benefit to military families," states AUSN in their 2014 Fact Sheet on Military Commissaries.
Commissary Web Posts
The following commissary items were posted to the ALA Website between 10 AM, April 17, 2014 and 10 AM April 24, 2014:
DP #11, Update #1 and Far East Quantities.
Summer Club Pack, Far East & Alaska Quantities.
NOTICES TO TRADE (NTT)
14-41, MP Guidance – Vendor Credit Memorandums.
Adds/Changes/Deletes for Week 14-17.
DeCA Monthly & YTD Sales Report, March 2014.
CRV Values, April 20, 2014.
Performance Measures, Bi-Weekly Fill Rates, 1 – 15 April 2014.
Military Compensation and Retirement Modernization Commission
The commission has again scheduled hearings. Please help spread the word and attend as many of these public hearings as possible. Here is the schedule:
- MacDill AFB, FL, 21-22 May 2014
- Ft Bragg, NC, 24-25 June 2014 NEW
MARK YOUR CALENDAR
DeCA/ALA Appreciation Day Golf, April 30, 2014, Ft Lee, VA.
ALA Commissary Roundtable, May 1 & 2, 2014, Richmond Marriott, Richmond VA. Registration is open.
ALA Congressional Caucus, June 24, 2014, Washington, DC REGISTRATION OPEN
ALA Hawaii Conference & Food Show, August 2014, Honolulu
ALA Washington Chapter Jim Griffin Memorial Golf Outing, September 17, 2014, Ft. Belvoir Golf Course.
ALA National Convention, October 27 - 29, 2014, Hyatt Capitol Hill, Washington, DC
Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.
Military produce group deploys IFCO RPCs
The Produce News
The Military Produce Group is showing its commitment to the environment by using reusable plastic containers from IFCO Systems for the shipment of fresh produce to dozens of commissaries. The Military Produce Group, which supplies fruits and vegetables to commissaries in the southern United States, is moving to RPCs from corrugated boxes for several commodities. This move furthers the Defense Commissary Agency's sustainability program.
Construct new commissary facility, Fort Belvoir, Virginia
Federal Busienss Opportunities
The Defense Commissary Agency, Acquisition Management Directorate Construction Design Branch (HQ DeCA/LEAAF), anticipates awarding a firm fixed price construction contract to construct a new 141,847 square-foot commissary at Fort Belvoir, Virginia. The primary function of the new facility will be provided sales and processing of miscellaneous commodities and grocery items for the military community of the installation.
• One Credential – Access to Nearly 100 Military Installations
• One Program – RAPIDGate®
• One Call – (703) 836-2201
• Contact: Mike Campbell, GM, Alexandria, VA & VP Government Sales
Defense Commissary Agency Enterprise Business Solution
Federal Business Opportunities
The purpose of Amendment 0001 is to:
a) provide Answers to Questions Received During the Final RFP.
b) provide revisions to the Final RFP.
The proposal due date/time remains no later than 10 a.m., Central Time, on Thursday, May 8.
For PepsiCo, size matters
Food Business News
Big sales may come from small packages. New mini soft drink cans and macro snacks helped drive growth for PepsiCo, Inc. during the company's first quarter. Smaller beverage sizes showed solid growth, with double-digit gains in the 7.5-oz mini cans during the quarter, as well as more-than-doubled sales of 12-oz glass bottles.
A Healthy Body • A Healthy Mind • A Healthy Life
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Visit us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter @Potomachealth.
US cereal U-turn: 10 percent upswing over next four years
Cereal makers can expect a turnaround year thanks to favorable consumption patterns and a booming young Hispanic population, says Packaged Facts. The U.S. breakfast cereal market will surge 10 percent between 2014 and 2018.
Harris Teeter adds $99 annual option for online shopping
Charlotte Business Journal
Harris Teeter has added a yearly payment option for its growing base of online shoppers. The Matthews, North Carolina-based grocery chain will offer its Express Lane online shopping option for a flat fee of $99.95. That will allow shoppers to place orders throughout the year without incurring additional charges.
Military commissaries in south switch to RPCs
Military commissaries in the Southern U.S. are now receiving fruits and vegetables shipped in reusable plastic containers supplied by IFCO Systems. The Military Produce Group, which ships produce from three distribution centers to 71 commissaries in the Southern U.S., has switched from corrugated boxes to RPCs for the shipment of several commodities, according to an IFCO news release.
Frito-Lay to drive deep-ridged success wider in 2014-2015
Frito-Lay launched its first deep-ridged potato chip in the U.S. and Canada under its Ruffles brand in 2012. The company says it will roll out deep-ridged potato chips in more than 10 countries this year, and has plans to expand the snack concept even further in 2015 as its international patent on the design pends.
Hispanic consumers driving breakfast cereal comeback
Hispanic consumers are likely to support the renewed popularity of hot and cold cereals, following a steady drop-off among households between 2004 and 2013, according to new research from Packaged Facts. While consumers still believe breakfast to be the "most important meal of the day," recent trends have skewed in favor of cereal bars and chewy granola bars, which together increased more than 35 percent in the nine-year period. Yet a return to strength is anticipated for the $12 million breakfast cereal market.
Store brand growth continues
The development that had been touted in some quarters as inevitable shoppers' returning en masse to big brands failed to materialize for yet another year. Instead, it was business as usual according to data provided to PLMA by The Nielsen Company for the 52 weeks ending Dec. 27, 2013 national brands ceded market share as consumers continued to reach for quality and value in store brands.
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Plastic bag bans spreading across nation
Los Angeles rang in the 2014 New Year with a ban on the distribution of plastic bags at the checkout counter of big retailers, making it the largest of the 132 cities and counties around the United States with anti-plastic bag legislation. And a movement that gained momentum in California is going national. More than 20 million Americans live in communities with plastic bag bans or fees. Currently 100 billion plastic bags pass through the hands of U.S. consumers every year — almost one bag per person each day. But this number will soon fall as more communities look for ways to reduce the plastic litter that blights landscapes and clogs up sewers and streams.
ALA NY's annual West Point Golf Outing is 2 months away!
The ALA NY Chapter is having its annual West Point Golf Outing on Monday, June 23. Proceeds from the event benefit the Military Commanders' Scholarship Fund.
We do not currently have an online registration process - any inquiries can be directed to me at this email address: email@example.com.
EXCHANGE/ INDUSTRY ANNOUNCEMENTS
VICE PRESIDENT, NORTHERN DISTRICT
NAVY EXCHANGE SERVICE COMMAND
Robin Joseph assumed the duties of District Vice President for the Navy Exchange Service Command's (NEXCOM) Northern District in May 2014. In this position, Robin is responsible for planning, developing and implementing NEXCOM business strategies, policies, procedures, and programs for all aspects of NEX retail store and services operations including store operations, services, food services, vending and fuel.
Robin's previous position was the General Manager, NEX North Island, California, complex of stores generating $100 million in annual combined sales. He also held positions as General Manager, NEX Oceana, Virginia; General Manager, Newport, Rhode Island; and Store Manager and General Manager-in-training, NEX Norfolk, Virginia.
Robin served in the U.S. Navy as a Supply Corps Officer, retiring in June 2001 after 20 years of commissioned service. Among his many assignments while in the Navy, he served as Executive Assistant to two NEXCOM Commanders, which gave him invaluable experience and exposure to the Washington, DC, market and Pentagon operations.
Robin earned a BA from The Pennsylvania State University (PSU) in 1981 with degree in Psychology and a Master's Degree in business administration from Ohio State University where he majored in marketing.
The Northern District is comprised of NEX retail and services at NSA Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; NSA Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania; NNMC Bethesda, Maryland; Washington Navy Yard, DC; NAS Patuxent River, Maryland; NSA Dahlgren, Virginia; NSA Indian Head, Maryland; NS Newport, Rhode Island; NSB New London, Connecticut; PNSYB Kittery, Maine; NAES Lakehurst, New Jersey; UC Arlington Annex, Virginia; NWS Colts Neck, New Jersey; NSA Annapolis, Maryland; Mitchel Field, New York; NSA Great Lakes, Illinois; and NWS Crane, Indiana; as well as all food services inside the Pentagon, Defense Intelligence Agency, NSA Carderock, Office of Naval Intelligence, National Defense University and the Naval Research Laboratory.
NRF: Retail sales climb in March
Chain Store Age
Spurred by warmer spring weather, U.S. retail sales, which exclude automobiles, gas stations and restaurants, increased 0.8 percent adjusted month-to-month in March and 1.6 percent unadjusted year-over-year, according to estimates from the National Retail Federation.
Target expands subscription service tenfold
The Washington Post
Target is taking aim at rival Amazon by expanding a service that regularly delivers products to shoppers' homes. The nation's second-largest discounter started its subscription service in September by offering 150 baby products, like baby wipes and diapers, for delivery.
Wal-Mart takes on money transfer companies with new service
Wal-Mart Stores Inc is launching a money transfer service in a direct challenge to the dominance of Western Union Co. and MoneyGram, aiming to broaden the financial services it offers to low-income customers and increase store traffic.
Lululemon CEO looks beyond yoga wear for growth
Lululemon Athletica Inc, best known for its trendy yoga wear, hopes to drive growth in coming years by expanding its range of fitness-related apparel and accelerating international plans, its newly appointed chief executive recently said.
Gap to test new order in store service later this year
Gap Inc. said some shoppers in stores later this year will be able to place orders for the retailer's expanded offerings online as part of the company's latest push to merge online and in-store operations.
Sam's Club looking to spark electronics sales
Wal-Mart-owned Sam's Club is out to win more sales of consumer electronics, and says it expanding its warranty coverage. Members who buy a TV priced at $500 or more gets a $99 four-year SquareTrade protection plan that includes delivery, set-up, haul-away and recycling of their old TV. The deal also provides a guaranteed buyback program that allows members to trade in their TV within six months, and get to half of its price back on a gift card.
NPD: Women's apparel sales up 3.7 percent in 2013
Women's Wear Daily
Online purchases, outerwear and tailored merchandise pace sales gains. (Subscription required.)
Rising food prices pinching consumers
Two months of sharp increases in food prices show grocers are starting to pass along their higher wholesale costs to consumers. Retail food prices rose 0.4 percent in March, the same as in February and the largest amount since September 2011. By comparison, the prices of all consumer goods rose 0.2 percent in March and 0.1 percent the month before, reports the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Industry's new millstone: Currency fluctuation
Women's Wear Daily
The currency bogeyman is back, and has plans to wreak increasing havoc on European luxury — and high-street — companies' global revenues. (Subscription required.)
Study: Millennials show brand loyalty
Chains Store Age
Despite their reputation as being jaded by branding efforts, a majority of millennials consider themselves brand-loyal. According to a new survey of Millennial consumers from marketing data provider Adroit Digital, 64 percent of millennials are more brand-loyal or as brand-loyal as their parents, with 24 percent considering themselves to be more brand-loyal than their parents.
Family Dollar: Is bad news for store good news for US economy?
The Christian Science Monitor
By the looks of things, Family Dollar – a mainstay American dollar store franchise – has been doing bang-up business: newly built storefronts have been opening in rapid succession. It's that expansion that made the news that Family Dollar is now suddenly retrenching by closing 370 stores so surprising.
Retailers love millennial women
Social Media Today
With an estimated purchasing power of $2.45 trillion worldwide by 2015, it's no surprise that the millennial generation (demographic cohort born between 1980 and 2000, also known as Gen Y) has become the most sought-after target segment for Internet retailers. But retailers are particularly interested in millennial women, who bring in the highest volume of referral traffic to their e-commerce stores.
Macy's CEO talks 20-somethings, Amazon and the future of malls
Macy's has been on a tear since Terry Lundgren took over as CEO a decade ago. Lundgren believes part of Macy's success in an extremely competitive environment, especially for department stores, stems from its practice of giving district managers the power to stock merchandise they believe will appeal to local shoppers, making each location unique and quick to identify trends.
Walk-in urgent-care companies are providing relief to retail landlords
The Wall Street Journal
People with relatively minor health problems—say, the flu or a deep cut—aren't the only ones getting relief from growing walk-in "urgent care" companies such as CityMD and PM Pediatrics. These companies also are providing a little tonic to retail landlords.
Millionaires prefer Costco, Target, Home Depot
A new survey of America's wealthiest 10 percent reveals a strong optimism about the months ahead, and a continued commitment to their favorite things: Cautious spending, aggressive saving, and shopping at Costco, Target and the Home Depot.
Tailoring to the new male consumer
Retail's BIG Blog
Men's fashion is one of the hottest segments in retail today. And in the last few years, men have stepped-up their shopping and taken a greater interest in their appearance, which has helped spur innovation across the industry.
Why prices are jumping at the gas pump
The summer driving season is fast approaching, and with it the annual hike in gasoline prices. But many parts of the U.S. are already contending with unexpectedly high prices at the pump this month, weeks ahead of schedule. According to GasBuddy.com, the national average for gasoline rose another 2.3 cents this past week to $3.63 per gallon or around 12.1 cents per gallon higher than the same time last year. A number of factors are behind this jump at the pump. According to AAA, lower gas inventories plus a release of pent-up demand after an unusually brutal winter have combined to boost prices in 46 of 50 states.
Answering the call for better food choices
Convenience Store News
Consumers are running faster than ever before, and their overburdened schedules and on-the-go lifestyles have shifted the landscape of the convenience store industry. Coupled with consumers attempting to make healthier choices and their desire to reduce fat and calories while boosting protein content, the convenience stores of old are stepping into a new arena. The most successful convenience store operators capitalize on these two consumer motivators. Recognizing that the average consumer cannot change the pace of their lives, these savvy retailers have expanded their offerings to include healthier options to the traditional convenience fare.
Why in-queue merchandising matters
Retail Customer Experience
In-queue merchandising is, essentially, a waiting line comprised of stanchions, racks, baskets, signage and other accessories designed to create displays that present products for sale. Besides the physical products, these displays can be used for advertising and promotional opportunities that create brand awareness and further other marketing goals. There are numerous benefits to implementing in-queue merchandising strategies including maximizing otherwise unused retail space, facilitating customer flow, increasing customer satisfaction, and boosting company profits.
Renewed reasoning for Coca-Cola to buy Monster Beverages
The Coca-Cola Co. showed a renewed interest in energy drinks this month with the introduction of vitaminwater energy. And at a time when Coca-Cola's growth is challenged, analysts are again raising the prospect of the beverage maker acquiring Monster Beverages, partially because of the benefits the purchase would bring, and partially because of the pain Coca-Cola would suffer if someone else bought Monster.
Don't get smoked out by e-cig regulations
With anti-electronic cigarette regulations running rampant on the state and local level, it's no surprise that local legislation was a hot topic of the "Smoking Out Electronic Cigarettes" session at this year's NATO Show; however, it was a little surprising that competing e-cigarette companies like Logic, Lorillard, NJOY and Reynolds are uniting to combat unfair regulations.
The 'Walmart 200' & beyond: Murphy USA's 5 key strategies for growth
High-volume fuel retailer Murphy USA Inc. still sees plenty of opportunity in its long-term partnership with Wal-Mart Stores Inc., as well as in expanding beyond the small-kiosk, tobacco-centered model, president and CEO Andrew Clyde told analysts April 15 at its first analysts day event, presenting the company's plan for growth in the coming years following its recent spinoff from Murphy Oil Corp.
How Sheetz comes up with new ideas
From a double drive-thru to a new fuel-free, grocery-heavy store, President and CEO Joe Sheetz discusses how data collection has changed project development at one of the industry's leading chains.
Week of Wawa Exclusive: 8 highlights from 'The Wawa Way'
The top-line takeaway from this celebratory book by former Wawa Inc. President and CEO Howard Stoeckel (with Bob Andelman) is that this company was bound to succeed. Fully titled "The Wawa Way: How a Funny Name & 6 Core Values Revolutionized the Convenience Business," the first-person book was published to coincide with the privately owned convenience store chain's 50th anniversary in retail.
Where do convenience stores rate on loyalty programs?
Convenience store shoppers are avid members of loyalty programs, though participation in c-store programs lags that of the grocery and drugstore channels, according to two General Mills Convenience & Foodservice research projects focusing on loyalty programs across retail channels to identify ways that c-store retailers can build programs that resonate with their shoppers.
Largest solar array on US military installation to be developed
The U.S. Army recently announced plans to start development of a solar array that will provide about 25 percent of the annual installation electricity requirement of Fort Huachuca, Arizona. "This will be the largest solar array in the department of defense on a military installation," said Katherine Hammack, assistant secretary of the Army for installations, energy and environment.
Soldiers have options to explore before Army restructure
The Army is restructuring from 510,000 active-duty Soldiers to 490,000 in a number of ways. Natural attrition through End Term of Service dates is one, but there are also programs to make sure quality Soldiers stay in. "We may have Soldiers that are qualified to re-enlist, they meet that basic eligibility that we look for, but now we have to go a little deeper. And, even though they may be qualified, are they the 'best' qualified for continuous service?" said Sgt. Maj. Russell Paradis, Fort Sill command career counselor.
Vice Chief to IMCOM: What you do vital to Army
Vice Chief of Staff General John F. Campbell met with senior leaders and some very junior members of the U.S. Army Installation Management Command immediately following IMCOM's change of command ceremony on April 8. The message to both groups was remarkably similar: Remain resilient, watch your fellow Soldiers' backs, and realize what you're doing today is vital to the Army.
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