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Home   About   Membership   Forums & Meetings   Government Affairs   Members Only September 12, 2014


 




PRESIDENT'S MESSAGE

Budget scenarios and implications for your business
Never before has your ability to operate your business been so closely tied to developments in Washington.

October 1st is the beginning of the Government fiscal year 2015. Theoretically, the Congress under "regular order" by now would have acted on the President's fiscal year 2015 budget that was provided to Congress in February of 2014. Instead, we have moved into a very uncertain situation where there is no "regular order." Due to political disputes and disagreements over priorities, Congress has been unable to act on time.

This includes the National Defense Authorization Act that is discharged by the Armed Services Committees of the Senate and the House. These are the bills that cover a wide range of policy matters. Over the past several years, they have not been passed before October 1st. The House usually passes its measure in April or May of each year and the Senate moves long afterward in July to October time frame. This is the case this year as well. The House has acted and passed its version. The Senate has yet to Act on its bill. This is because of concern by Democrats (who control the Senate agenda) that the Republicans would include amendments aimed at forcing issues that could exacerbate an already difficult election map for the Democrats in this year's mid-term elections. So, once again, the authorization bill is left hanging. Just as the Authorization Bills are left hanging, the Appropriations Bills (or spending bills) are in the same boat … with the House having passed its version but the Senate having yet to act.

The Administration, when they submitted his budget in February of this year, proposed to eliminate most of the appropriations that support commissaries, beginning this year with a $200 million cut to the $1.4 billion appropriation and accelerating the cuts until they eliminated $1 billion or all support for commissaries in the United States and a large part of the support overseas. This action would have greatly reduced sales as prices increased and stores closed. And, whether you do business with the exchanges or commissaries, this would have had a major impact on your business.

Instead, the House restored $100 million of the $200 million cut and the Senate restored all $200 million of the cut. They won't be able to officially conference on the bill until the Senate acts, so we don't know what the "authorized" level for commissary support will be until the Senate acts on their bill and they are able to get agreement between both sides of Capitol Hill. Although there are always informal discussions on policy matters taking place before the Senate officially acts.

Next come the appropriations committees. Think if it like the dynamic in most companies where management "authorizes" a payment of a bill but the bill is not actually paid until the check is written by the CFO. That's the role of the appropriations committees (the CFO role). The policy committee needs to act because multiyear commitments need to be made by the people's representatives on planes, tanks, ships and pay raises as well as a wide range of matters that require changes in law. Here, the appropriators or check writers have done to the commissary budget what the authorizing committees did — Senate restored the full cut and the House restored $100 million of the cut. We won't know the official funding levels for fiscal year 2015 until the House and Senate are able to conference and agree on their bills and get them to the President for signature and enactment.

Most of the Congressional sentiment is to delay reductions to the budget until the Commission on Compensation and Retirement Modernization — proposed by the Administration a couple of years ago and put in place by Congress — has a chance to act. By law, they must report out by February 15, 2015.

Because "regular order" is not possible again this year, it looks likely that we will have a "Continuing Resolution." This means that agencies (including DeCA and the exchanges) will have their levels of appropriated fund support at the same rate as the prior fiscal year (FY 2014) when they were funded at a level to sustain operations. It is almost a certainty that there will be no disruption of funding this year (like we experienced in October of last year) that resulted in furloughs of government (and commissary) employees and closure of stores. We're probably looking at a couple of "Continuing Resolutions" to fund government prior to the election and following the election perhaps as long as until the new Congress can get organized early next year. Also, because of the looming security situations with ISIS, Ukraine and elsewhere, there will be pressure to move on Defense bills faster than would otherwise take place. Nevertheless, the betting is that the Pentagon will have to rely on Continuing Resolutions to keep operating. And, when the Congress finally does act, it could come in the form of an "Omnibus" where multiple agencies of the Government are funded in one massive bill.

Why is this important to you and your business? Each version of each bill to varying degrees includes provisions that will effect operations of the resale system ranging from distribution, funding, consolidation, operating hours, patronage, private label products, what can be sold, and so forth — affecting every aspect of resale agencies and, in turn, of your business.

Your Association is on top of this, not only tracking these developments but continuing to educate lawmakers and Administration officials as to the importance of sustaining funding levels and ensuring predictability in business operations of ALA members. This is a fast paced, ever changing environment and developments will be a major topic of discussion at the ALA's annual meeting in October.




Congress is back. Its mission? Keep government open.
Read the Full Story
Government Executive, Michael Catalini and Billy House
The time remaining before November's crucial midterm elections is short, and so is Congress' to-do list.

Proposed defense cuts prompts Cox to visit Fort Lee
Read the Full Story
The Progress-Index, Staff
Virginia delegate Kirk Cox, R-Colonial Heights, visited Fort Lee just before Labor Day to get the latest information on defense/federal funding issues that could have a substantial impact on the Tri-Cities area economy. The timing of the visit was driven by Gov. Terry McAuliffe's Aug. 15 report to the General Assembly Finance and Appropriations Committees.

Campaign '16: Despite tough talk, little chance of defense increase
Read the Full Story
Defense News, Daniel Newhauser
Potential 2016 presidential candidates are using hawkish terms when it comes to Russia and the Islamic State. But while some are banging the drums of war, few are calling for larger annual U.S. defense budgets.

Feeding Hawaii soldiers, families fuels variety, local business
Read the Full Story
Hawaii Army Weekly, Sarah Pacheco
Several dozen local food companies came together under one roof to show off some of the best Hawaii-made products to Defense Commissary Agency and Army & Air Force Exchange Service officials during the American Logistics Association's Hawaii Food Show at the Pacific Beach Hotel on Aug. 20.

Local vendors offer their products at annual ALA Hawaii event
Read the Full Story
Ho'okele, Brandon Bosworth
The 17th annual American Logistics Association Hawaii show took place Aug. 20 at the Pacific Beach Hotel in Waikiki. The annual business-to-business show provides Defense Commissary Agency and Exchange officials the opportunity to taste-test local products and meet with Hawaii business owners before recommending products for commissary and exchange shelves.


Patrick B. Nixon
President, American Logistics Association




WASHINGTON UPDATE


Levin doubts defense vote in September
The Hill
The full Senate will likely not vote on the 2015 defense policy bill before lawmakers adjourn, Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin, D-Mich., said recently.
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US House could vote to avert government shutdown
Defense News
The U.S. House soon could vote on a spending measure that would keep the Pentagon and other federal agencies funded while lawmakers hit the campaign trail.
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Defense bill awaits Congress' return
Military Times
When Congress returns to Capitol Hill, members will have three weeks of work scheduled — and a year's worth of work to finish.
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Hagel to continue push for Pentagon reforms amid global threats
Defense News
U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said he plans to forge ahead with bureaucratic Pentagon reform initiatives despite the uptick of global threats and military activities in recent months.
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COALITION UPDATE



Coalition and Valued Associates Advocacy and Actions...

Coalition valued associate organizations continue to shine light on veterans and military families mental and behavioral health care challenges. In addition to testifying before Congress on the challenges veterans, military families and their children face during combat, reintegration and transition, Military and Veterans service organizations are also hosting symposiums and briefing to help focus attention on these critical issues and the work that is being done to address them.

The Military Officers Association of America (MOAA) and the National Defense Industrial Association (NDIA) co-sponsored the 2014 Warrior-Family Symposium (WFS) this week in Washington, D.C. The focus of this year's annual symposium addressed the needs that currently serving, veterans, their children, spouses and caregivers face when navigating the transition from the military into a civilian environment while managing challenges of combat/ operational stress, mental health or behavioral health care concerns.

The key note speaker for the event was Senator John Boozman from Arkansas and a member of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee. His father was a Master Sergeant in the Air Force. During his remarks, Senator Boozman talked about expanding educational benefits for veterans and families of the fallen, and the success rate of getting people off the "battle field" and into medical facilities.

Senator Boozman also stressed that he is opposed to the proposed cuts to the commissary budget and said that, "Military families rely on the commissary."

The National Military Family Association and the United Health Group will be co-hosting a Congressional briefing on Growing our Own: Meeting the Behavioral Health Needs of Military Families on Capitol Hill next week. The program will examine behavioral health challenges faced by military families and highlight innovative solutions to improve access to behavioral health care and meet the increasing demand for qualified behavioral health providers.



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COMMISSARY ANNOUNCEMENTS

Commissary Web Posts

The following commissary items were posted to the ALA website between 10 AM, September 4, 2014 and 10 AM, September 11, 2014:

PROMOTIONS:
2015 Valentines Day WW Promotion Package.
Holiday Program — Super Bowl, Update #2.
Thanksgiving/Christmas — Cookies/Crackers/Fruitcake, Update #2.
Thanksgiving/Christmas — Baking Program, Update #2.
Thanksgiving/Christmas — Ham Program, Update #2.
Thanksgiving/Christmas — Dry Grocery, Update #2.
Thanksgiving/Christmas — Holiday Non-Food, Update #2.
Thanksgiving/Christmas — Holiday Candy, Update #1.


NOTICES TO TRADE (NTT)
None received.

MISCELLANEOUS:
Adds/Changes/Deletes, Week 14-37.
DeCA Sales Team Directory, September 2, 2014.
DeCA Produce Suppliers Map.
FDS Distributor Codes, September 9, 2014.
FDS Distributor Change Form, September 9, 2014.
CRV Values, September 7, 2014.

MARK YOUR CALENDAR
  • ALA Washington Chapter Jim Griffin Memorial Golf Outing, September 17, 2014, Ft. Belvoir Golf Course.
  • ALA Hampton Roads Chapter Oyster Roast & Golf Tournament, October 2, 2014. Contact Paul Wehner, MDV/Nash Finch, 757-858-9397 for additional information.
  • ALA Alamo Chapter Meeting & Golf Tournament, September 25, 2014, Cannon Springs Golf Club, San Antonio. All Zone 6 Store Directors, the DeCA Executive Director, Store Operations and the DeCA West Area Director will be in attendance and make presentations. Contact the Chapter President Joel Wilks at 210-308-4220 for more information.
  • ALA National Convention, October 27-29, 2014, Hyatt Capitol Hill, Washington, D.C. REGISTRATION OPEN





  • COMMISSARY NEWS


    Campbell remains challenged at the core
    Food Business News
    Expanding into higher-growth categories propelled full-year earnings for the Campbell Soup Co., but the company remains pained at the core. With the acquisitions of Bolthouse Farms, Plum Organics and Kelsen Group, Campbell has begun recomposing its portfolio and edging further into the fast-growing packaged fresh category.
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    New commissary, Navy Exchange opens at Annapolis, Maryland
    Defense Commissary Agency
    The grand opening of the Naval Support Activity Annapolis, Maryland, Commissary and Navy Exchange complex got rave reviews from shoppers who got their first look inside the new facility. "It's worth the trip and more!" said long time shopper Gretchen McKethan as she pushed her cart in the commissary meat department. "I just like the whole atmosphere, and there are a lot of things they didn't have in the old store."
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    Amid kale and quinoa, Pop-Tarts keep hanging on
    The Wall Street Journal (tiered subscription model)
    Sales of soda, cereal and frozen food are down. Sales of Pop-Tarts have gone up each year for the past 32. The super sweet, slightly cardboard-tasting rectangles defy most eating trends big food companies are chasing. They're not gluten-free, all-natural, protein-packed or made with simple ingredients. Many similar breakfast foods by rival companies have ended up in the product graveyard.
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    White Rose food distributor files bankruptcy, to be sold to C&S
    Reuters
    The parent of White Rose Inc., one of the biggest independent food distributors in the New York City area, filed for bankruptcy and said it had agreed to sell substantially all its assets to C&S Wholesale Grocers Inc., one of the largest privately held U.S. companies.
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    Heinz CEO celebrates company's past, affirms its future in Pittsburgh
    Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
    The chief executive of the H.J. Heinz Co. made it clear that he's well aware of his company's deep roots in Pittsburgh. Bernardo Hees also seemed aware that many people are worried the ketchup maker to the world might just rip up those roots, toss the history on the compost heap and move on to greener pastures.
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    General Mills adds organic foods with purchase of Annie's
    Bloomberg
    General Mills Inc. is acquiring Berkeley, California-based Annie's Inc. for about $820 million, gaining a popular lineup of natural and organic foods.
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    Federal contracts awarded to companies in Virginia
    TMCnet.com
    The following federal contracts were announced by federal agencies as having been awarded to companies operating in Virginia.
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    Kroger grows its cheese know-how
    Progressive Grocer
    Grocers can't just be merchants anymore — to a great extent, they must be educators in order to guide today's shoppers, who are more interested in food than ever before but not as kitchen-savvy as earlier generations, in the proper and creative use for trendy foods and ingredients.
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    Sprouts price checks produce weekly
    Supermarket News
    Sprouts Farmers Market doesn't happen to have the best pricing in town; it's the result of consistent data collection and research.
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    Kraft Foods: The center of the store is still important
    Food Business News
    As many packaged foods companies chase consumers to the perimeter of the supermarket, Kraft Foods Group refuses to ignore the declining center of the store.
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    America is slowly, but surely, becoming a nation of tea drinkers
    The Washington Post
    There's a quiet, and lightly caffeinated, trend brewing in America. The U.S. market for tea has more than quadrupled during the past twenty-plus years — from just under $2 billion in 1990 to just over $10 billion last year — according to the U.S. Tea Association.
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    Federal Business Opportunities
    FedBizOppos.gov

    Linen/Mat Rental & Cleaning Services
    Location: Contracting Business Unit Support Services/Supply and Revenue Branch (HDEC05)

    Shelf Stocking, Receiving/Storage/Holding Area, and Custodial Operations at the Carlisle Barracks Commissary, Pennsylvania
    Location: Contracting Bus Unit/Commercial Activities (HDEC08)

    Gazebos, Octagon
    Location: Contracting Business Unit/Equip, & Maint Div (HDEC04)

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    FEATURED ARTICLE
    TRENDING ARTICLE
    MOST POPULAR ARTICLE
    US House could vote to avert government shutdown
    Defense News
    The U.S. House soon could vote on a spending measure that would keep the Pentagon and other federal agencies funded while lawmakers hit the campaign trail.

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    read more
    Rep. Tammy Duckworth pregnant; girl due in December
    Chicago Sun-Times
    Wounded Iraq war vet Rep. Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill., a double amputee, is pregnant. A girl. Due in early December.

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    Concerns arise about opening online exchanges to veterans
    Marine Corps Times
    While giving all honorably discharged veterans online exchange shopping privileges would be an added benefit, there are questions within the Defense and Veterans Affairs departments about whether some of the profits should also go back to veterans' programs.

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    EXCHANGE NEWS


    Healthier float: What the Navy cut from the mess hall aboard its newest ship
    Navy Times
    Junk food-loving Marines and sailors who deploy aboard the Navy's new amphibious assault ship might notice a few of their favorite things are missing.
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    INDUSTRY NEWS


    Hiring for the holidays
    South Bend Tribune
    Students just returned to school in Michigan. Lingering summer-like temperatures are luring people to the beaches one more time and fueling the debate about whether to take Halloween decorations out of storage. It feels too soon. But there's an undeniable sign that September is here: Retailers are already looking for seasonal workers to unload trucks, stock shelves and man registers.
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    Retailers get ready for health care coverage mandate
    Outdoor Industry
    Major U.S. employers and trade groups, including NRF, are readying for the Affordable Care Act's mandate to provide health coverage. Retailers "continue to believe that the employer mandate is not needed," but they are working to make sure they're ready nonetheless, NRF Vice President and Employee-Benefits Policy Counsel Neil Trautwein said.
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    Are consumers ready to spend again?
    The Wall Street Journal (tiered subscription model)
    Summer brought companies some hopeful signs of economic recovery. This fall, the optimism will be put to the test. That's because it is unclear whether consumers — the engine behind more than two-thirds of the American economy — are ready to resume spending at significant levels.
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    America's 10 fastest-growing retailers
    MarketWatch
    After the recession, retailers are growing once again and, increasingly, moving online. In the first quarter of 2014, retail sales were 2.4 percent higher than the same time the year before, largely helped by a 15 percent jump in e-commerce sales.
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    TRENDING ARTICLES
    Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

        Tyson, Hillshire reach deal with Department of Justice on takeover (Reuters)
    New Balance pitches DoD on standard-issue shoe for recruits (Army Times)
    NEXCOM again named 1 of 'top 50' best companies for Latinas to work (ALA)
    Why the basics matter more than ever in online retail (NRF)
    Fort Bliss changes gate access policy over Labor Day weekend (El Paso Times)

    Don't be left behind. Click here to see what else you missed.


    CVS renames itself CVS Health as it ends sale of tobacco products
    The Wall Street Journal (tiered subscription model)
    CVS Caremark Corp. emerged from its seven-month purge of tobacco products with a new corporate name: CVS Health. The retail chain and pharmacy-benefits manager unveiled the new moniker, coinciding with the sale of its last tobacco product at its 7,700 pharmacies, one month ahead of schedule.
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    Dollar General ponders next step after Family Dollar snub
    Bloomberg
    Dollar General Corp., spurned twice in its attempt to acquire Family Dollar Stores Inc., is now plotting its next move. The company said that it remains committed to its $9.1 billion cash offer for Family Dollar and is working with financial adviser Goldman Sachs Group Inc. as it ponders its options.
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    Finding associates with certified retail skills
    NRF
    Looking for employees with a commitment to customer satisfaction? The NRF Foundation issues nationally recognized certifications in customer service, sales and retail management. A new online registry lets employers verify the certification status of applicants and search for prospective employees with a demonstrated interest in retail.
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    Promotions propel August retail sales
    The Wall Street Journal (tiered subscription model)
    Costco Wholesale Corp. and L Brands Inc. reported stronger-than-expected sales in August, though the month was dominated by deals and discounts as retailers tried to boost back-to-school sales.
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    Macy's focused on mobile, Gen Y, private label
    MediaPost
    As it continues to flex its omnichannel strengths, Macy's says it has finally begun marketing its click-and-collect services, and that it sees its future growth coming from Generation Y, mobile technology and exclusive products.
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    Retail industry loses 17,700 jobs in August
    NRF
    NRF calculated retail industry (excluding autos and gasoline) employment declined by 17,700 jobs in August, with significant downward revisions for July and June. Loss leaders included, food and beverage stores, which witnessed a 17,000 job loss, possibly suggesting a seasonal- or category-specific anomaly.
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    Kmart entices holiday shoppers to start early
    Retailing Today
    Kmart is gearing up for the holiday shopping season and reminding customers, including Shop Your Way members, of its No Money Down Layaway program, which is available now.
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    TargetExpress stores to land in San Francisco's Financial District
    San Francisco Business Times
    Two of three planned small-format TargetExpress stores coming to the Bay Area will land in San Francisco's Financial District and also in Berkeley, California, in March.
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    Articles from Chain Store Age
    CSA
    Home Depot breach may have been widespread
    The alleged security breach that recently hit The Home Depot Inc. may have compromised credit and debit card data at nearly all of the company's stores

    Family Dollar rejects upped bid from Dollar General; sticking with Dollar Tree
    Family Dollar Stores rejected the sweetened, $9.1 billion take-over bid made by Dollar General on Sept. 2, saying in a statement that its board voted unanimously to reject the revised offer "on the basis of antitrust regulatory considerations."

    California set to impose statewide ban on single-use plastic bags
    California is on track to become the first state in the United States to impose a statewide ban on single-use plastic bags.

    Starbucks to open two new store formats
    Starbucks Coffee Company will launch two new store formats in fiscal 2015, include a smaller-format concept aimed at urban commuters and a more premium store concept dedicated to the chain's highbrow Reserve brand of coffees.

    Costco and L Brands shine in August; Gap disappoints
    Costco Wholesale Corp. and L Brands Inc. were among the retailers that posted stronger-than-expected sales in August, fueled in many cases by back-to-school promotions.

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    C-STORE NEWS


    Articles from Convenience Store Petroleum
    CSP
    Beverage maker Big Red buys Xyience
    Soda maker adds energy-drink, nutrition company to its portfolio

    Mistic expands national sales organization
    E-cig maker adds four industry veterans to meet growing demand

    New to Starbucks' menu: 'Express' stores
    Convenience concept will augment "one-of-a-kind, interactive stores"

    7-Eleven completes conversion of Wilson Farms stores
    Seeks franchisees to manage 90 sites in western New York

    Share this article:   E-mail article


    MWR NEWS


    Aeration specials planned at MWR golf courses
    Ho'okele
    Twice a year, the golf courses at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam and Barbers Point Golf Course in Kalaeloa, Hawaii, have their greens aerated, typically in the spring and fall. During this time, the golf courses are not in their best shape so they offer a special to the patrons, which is a discounted rate while the course is going through improvements.
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    Speed Commerce launches NEXCOM's end-to-end e-commerce solution powered by Oracle
    Globe Newswire via Spoke
    Speed Commerce Inc., a leading provider of omnichannel e-commerce services, announced that it has launched its direct-to-consumer e-commerce solution for the Navy Exchange Service Command. NEXCOM operates more than 300 retail locations worldwide and provides military members, retirees and their families with a wide array of products and services.
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    What's up at White Sands: 2014 Solder Show coming Sept. 18
    Las Cruces Sun-News
    The 2014 Soldier Show, coming the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico, will focus on the strength and character that makes u a soldier — but organizers also hope it's just fun for the community.
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    Executive Briefing
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