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Home   About   Membership   Meetings   Government Affairs   Members Only Aug. 5, 2011
Executive Briefing

President's Message

With one piece of the puzzle in place, a debt reduction first step, Congress has left town for their summer recess. The Pentagon already has gone on the offensive about the phase two reductions without addressing the phase one impacts, but then the proposed reductions of $350 billion for defense and security related expenses are actually covered pretty much by the reductions that Secretary Gates put in place before he left. As you can see below there is a $28 billion cut to Defense in the 2012 program that will have to be allocated before the 2013 outline is portrayed. All in all, it is going to be a very interesting summer for DoD and in particular the military resale programs as a variety of reviews and recommendations surface. In the aftermath of the "big deal," here are a variety of projected impacts:

Debt deal:

Threatened defense cuts in debt deal could loom over 2012 race
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Bloomberg News, Julie Hirschfeld Davis and Gopal Ratnam
The threat of $500 billion in future defense cuts codified in the new deficit-reduction law could sharpen a dispute between Republicans and Democrats over national security as the 2012 campaign intensifies.

Pentagon faces possibility of hundreds of billions in spending cuts over 10 years
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The New York Times, Elisabeth Bumiller
The Pentagon began grappling Aug. 1 with the possibility that it will have to cut hundreds of billions of dollars from the military budget over the next decade, but there were so few details in the debt ceiling deal reached by the White House and Congress that confusion over the actual size of the reductions was rampant.

Debt deal could cut defense $900 billion over next decade
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USA Today, Tom Vanden Brook
Cuts to defense spending in the debt reduction bill could total nearly $1 trillion over 10 years — more than double what President Barack Obama had proposed earlier this year — and sap American military might worldwide, say analysts and members of Congress.

Debt deal reached; major cuts coming
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Government Executive, Major Garrett
Agreement will cut $1 trillion from U.S. spending immediately and a special committee of lawmakers will seek further decreases by November.

Once again, everything will be on the table:

Mullen: Military health care, retirement, benefits may be cut
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The Associated Press via The Virginian-Pilot
Cuts in health care, retirement and benefits for the military are all potential targets for cuts as the nation struggles to rein in spending, the top U.S. military officer told anxious troops on two warfronts. Adm. Mike Mullen said that while the costs of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are going down as U.S. forces withdraw over the next few years, the latest debt agreement will demand defense cuts. Nothing is off the table, he said.

Who gains from debt deal? The Pentagon, for one
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McClatchy, Nancy A. Youssef
The last-minute deal that Congress is considering to raise the federal debt limit probably will mean trillions of dollars in government spending reductions for most agencies. But one department stands to gain: the Pentagon.

Budget year 2012 will be affected as well:

The Pentagon is reviewing options to present the Senate Appropriations Committee to meet a potential $28 billion cut, another official said. Lawmakers can accept or apportion the reduction to other security agencies, congressional aides said. The House already has completed action on its version of the fiscal 2012 bill, which cut $9 billion.

The Pentagon would provide informal suggestions for how to reach a potential $28 billion reduction in fiscal 2012, the defense official said.

For Congress to cut an additional $28 billion, it would be necessary to look at an array of programs, the official said, pointing to the House's $9 billion in cuts, of which $6.7 billion would come from procurement.

A decrease of about $28 billion in the $539 billion request controlled by appropriators would roughly freeze defense spending at the current fiscal-year level, officials said.

Pentagon's first installment on cutting debt may be $28 billion
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Bloomberg News, Tony Capaccio
Pentagon officials are confronting a reduction of as much as $28 billion to the pending fiscal 2012 defense budget, the initial installment of the department's contribution to the new debt-ceiling agreement, according to administration officials and congressional aides.

Defense Department:

Obama to name Carter to No. 2 Pentagon post
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The Washington Post, Greg Jaffe
The White House recently announced the president would nominate the Pentagon's head of weapons acquisition to be the agency's No. 2 official. In selecting Ashton B. Carter to be deputy secretary of defense, the White House signaled the importance it places on finding savings and cuts in the Defense Department's budget.

Senate approves Dempsey to lead Joint Chiefs
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Army Times, Rick Maze
The Senate recently cleared the decks of thousands of pending military nominations, including confirming Army Gen. Martin Dempsey to become the next chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Raymond Odierno to become Army chief of staff and Navy Adm. Jonathan Greenert to be the Chief of Naval Operations.

3 percent withholding update:

Government withholding relief coalition

We've reached our goal of 218 cosponsors of H.R. 674 before the August recess. While it's an important marker in that we now have a majority of House members as co-sponsors of our bill, this by no means guarantees victory. Also, between S. 89 and S. 164, we have 29 Senators signed on to repeal legislation with Sen. Toomey, R-Pa., being the latest addition.

Going forward, we need to continue to keep the pressure on and build support: If you click here you can send a message to your elected representatives requesting repeal. It is simple and the letter already is prepared, so when you fill out your address it will pre-address the correspondence to your elected representative.

Patrick B. Nixon
President, ALA

Washington Update

Military cost-cutting is tough sell in wartime
Kitsap Sun    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
With future defense budgets in the crosshairs of plans to bring down the national debt, Washington think tanks, congressional budget analysts and Pentagon manpower experts have been sifting through ideas to get personnel costs under control, including health care and retirement. More

Disclosure law draws down military mentors program
USA Today    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The number of retired generals hired by the Pentagon to advise the military has declined dramatically now that they must divulge outside income to avoid a conflict of interest and had their pay capped. More

Pentagon a target for budget-cutters
The Situation Room via CNN    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
"The chairman of the Joint Chiefs spends the day in Afghanistan. He wants to talk about the war. The troops have a different idea in mind. They want to know will they get paid and will their families be taken care of. But, Wolf, this is just the beginning because now with all the talk in Washington about money, money, money, the Pentagon itself is right in the cross hairs," Barbara Starr, Pentagon correspondent, tells Wolf Blitzer, CNN anchor. More

Making A Difference — The home front
NBC Nightly News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Seven years ago, Babette Maxwell started Military Spouse magazine to help connect military families like hers. Married to an Air Force pilot who is gone for most of the year, Maxwell knows the needs of military families and wants to help them cope. More

Commissary News

Hardie's gets 2-year Defense Commissary contract
The Packer    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The Defense Commissary Agency has a two-year contract for Hardie's Fruit & Vegetable Co. LP to supply all fresh produce to its Area 2. The Dallas-based company will partner with Yancey's, Loveland, Colo.; Liberty Fruit Co. Inc., Kansas City, Kan.; and Russ Davis in Jamestown, N.D., to provide the produce, according to a news release. Hardie's and its partners will supply 33 military commissaries in nine states. More

Food costs rising as Coke, Chipotle pass on commodity gains
Bloomberg News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Food prices in the U.S. may be rising faster than the government forecast as companies including Coca-Cola Co., Safeway Inc. and Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. pass higher commodity costs on to consumers. Rallies in meat, grain and dairy products since February may mean the increase in food costs will surpass the 3 to 4 percent that the U.S. Department of Agriculture predicts, said Christopher Hurt, an agricultural economist at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Ind. More

FDA seeks comments on gluten-free
Supermarket News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The Food and Drug Administration soon will reopen the comment period for its proposal on labeling foods as "gluten-free." The proposed rule conforms to the standard set by the Codex Alimentarius Commission in 2008, which requires that foods labeled as "gluten-free" not contain more than 20 ppm gluten. The standard has been adopted by 27 countries. More

Tyson Fresh Meats fires up Burger Universe promo
Progressive Grocer    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Tyson Fresh Meats, the beef and pork business unit of Tyson Foods Inc., is putting the spotlight on premium ground beef this summer with a Burger Universe promotion on Facebook. Centered on burgers for the grill, the promotion is generating consumer excitement about upgrading to Tyson Fresh Meats premium ground beef this summer through an opportunity to win a trip to Universal Studios Hollywood. More

HEB recalls certain own-brand dairy products
Store Brands    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
H-E-B said it is encouraging customers to check their refrigerators for 8-ounce, 16-ounce, 24-ounce and 32-ounce sizes of H-E-B Brand cottage cheese, dips, yogurt and sour cream products sold between June 18 and July 27. The products, sold at H-E-B, Central Market, Mi Tienda and Joe V's, are being recalled as a precaution due to the possible presence of foreign material. Other sizes are not affected by the recall. More

Study: Men becoming coupon-conscious
Consumer Affairs    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
You don't normally think of men sitting around clipping grocery coupons from the newspaper, but a survey finds that men are nevertheless becoming not just savvy shoppers but also astute coupon collectors. In a survey conducted for, 59 percent of men said they redeem coupons when shopping, up 8 percent over last year. More

7 tips for frugal, healthful food shopping
The Baltimore Sun    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
When looking to cut food costs, time really is money. Investing the time to understand your spending habits, local food markets and options for discount purchases can make you a smarter shopper. The following are some tips for keeping good food on your plate and money in your wallet. More

Commissary Announcements

Commissary Web Posts

The following commissary items were posted to the ALA Website:

DP #17, Update #1. DP #20, WW Promotion Package — Honoring Our Veterans Day Sale.
2012 Valentines Promotion Package.
International Christmas, Update #1.
Summer Club Pack, Update #3.
Holiday Thanksgiving/Christmas — Baking, Update #1.
Fall Club Pack Far East & Alaska November Quantities.

11- 98, Store Reset Dates — USAF Academy.
11-99, Store Reset Dates — Peterson AFB.
11-100, Frozen Truck Load Sale, has been cancelled and won't be reissued.

Adds/Changes/Deletes for Week 11-31.
Electronic Shelf Labels Deployment Schedule, August through December.
Guard & Reserve On-Site Sale Schedule updates.
CRV Values.

2011 ALA/DeCA Hawaii Conference & Food Show: Aug. 15-18, Hawaii Prince Hotel, Honolulu, Hawaii. Registration and agenda information is now available on the website.

Commissary Council Consumer Awareness Team (CAT) golf tournament, Sept. 12, Country Club of Petersburg, Va. Contact Ainsley Everhart,, for further information and registration.

64th Annual Convention, Oct. 3-5, Orlando World Marriott Center, Orlando, Fla. Registration now available on the ALA website.

ALA Meetings

64th Annual Convention
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Click the banner above for more information.

Exchange News

AAFES tops chart at No. 43 of top 100 retailers
STORES Magazine    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The rules have changed: Retail's business tomes are being rewritten, and the industry, such as we knew it five or even three years ago, has been transformed along with them. More

GameStop to start selling digital downloads in stores
Digital Trends via Yahoo News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
With the upcoming launch of Deus Ex: Human Revolution for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC platforms, GameStop is starting up a program to sell digital versions of PC games within the physical locations of the company. While visitors to the GameStop can accomplish the exact same task on the website, customers interested in the game can apply store credit from trade-ins to the purchase of the digital title. More

Why iPads are a retail game-changer
CNBC News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
If the image of a shopper standing in a store aisle, smartphone in hand, checking prices is a retailer's nightmare, a tablet could be a retailer's dream come true. More

STORES Hot 100 Retailers listing demonstrates it's all about the customer
STORES Magazine    Share    Share on
FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Author Susan Reda writes, "Call me old-fashioned but I believe that retail success begins with understanding customers and catering to them. Technology bells and whistles are great — who doesn't like a bit of retail entertainment and excitement? But the hallmark of a fast-growing retailer always is going to be rooted in a keen awareness of the customer and a willingness to do whatever it takes to make her happy." More

Topco retailers explore OTC-by-prescription model to grow private label
Supermarket News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Supermarket retailers who sell Topco private-label over-the-counter medications now have another option in marketing their brand, called "OTC by prescription." This avenue, which requires a doctor's prescription to obtain medications that are also sold over the counter, is bringing in new customers through third-party insurers and saving customers money with co-pays that are likely to be lower than name-brand drugs or the retail shelf price of the private-label medicines. More

Hot trends in loyalty marketing
Progressive Grocer    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
With 50 percent of Americans defining themselves as middle-class, the important demographic group has the power to shape the directions in which loyalty programs are growing. Indeed, middle-class consumers want a helping hand in terms of not only price but greater flexibility, choice and value from their loyalty programs. More

Subway aggressively expands in convenience stores
CSNews Foodservice Retailing    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail
Subway hopes a lot more people will be "eating fresh" this year. The sandwich chain, a division of Doctor's Associates Inc. based in Milford, Conn., opened 46 new locations in convenience stores throughout the continental United States from May 1 to July 31. More

Wal-Mart tests smaller express format
Gourmet Retailer    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. opened the doors of its first Wal-Mart Express store on the south side of Chicago on July 27. The location is the first of five Express stores planned in the Windy City, which is a test market for the concept that averages 10,000 to 15,000-square-feet and carries groceries, pharmacy and health and beauty items. Richfield, N.C., and Wal-Mart's home state, Arkansas, are also test markets for the Wal-Mart Express format. More

More children eating calorie-packed takeout food
USA Today    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The obesity epidemic is being fueled still further by a growing trend among children to eat out and bring takeout food home, University of North Carolina researchers say. Such foods are high in sugar and calories, and their increasing popularity means youngsters are getting more calories than they need, the researchers noted. More

Exchange Announcements

Happy Coast Guard Day!
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"A tradition of heroes"
History of Coast Guard Day

Aug. 4 is celebrated as Coast Guard Day to honor the establishment on that day in 1790 of the Revenue Cutter Service, forebear of today's Coast Guard, by the Treasury Department. On that date, Congress, guided by Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton, authorized the building of a fleet of 10 cutters, whose responsibility would be enforcement of the first tariff laws enacted by Congress under the Constitution.

The Coast Guard has been continuously at sea since its inception, although the name Coast Guard didn't come about until 1915 when the Revenue Cutter Service was merged with the Lifesaving Service. The Lighthouse Service joined the Coast Guard in 1939, followed in 1946 by the Bureau of Navigation and Steamboat Inspection. Finally, in 1967, after 177 years in the Treasury Department, the Coast Guard was transferred to the newly formed Department of Transportation.

Coast Guard Day is primarily an internal activity for active duty Coast Guard personnel, civilian members, reservists, retirees, auxiliarists and dependents. However, it does have a significant share of interest outside the service. Grand Haven, Mich., also known as Coast Guard City, USA, annually sponsors the Coast Guard Festival around Aug. 4. Typically it is the largest community celebration of a branch of the Armed Forces in the nation.

In addition to celebrating their own day every year, Coast Guard members also participate as equal partners in Armed Forces Day activities.

RDML Robillard receives promotion
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Rear Adm. (Sel.) Glenn C. Robillard was promoted to rear adm. (lower half) at a ceremony Aug. 1 at the Navy Exchange Service Command headquarters in Virginia Beach, Va. Robillard is the final Navy flag officer to oversee the Command.

As directed by Secretary of Defense, NEXCOM's flag billet will be converted to a senior civilian billet. Robillard relinquished command to Capt. Christopher S. Bower, NEXCOM's deputy commander military services, who will serve as NEXCOM's acting commander until a permanent civilian chief executive officer is named. Recruitment of a new civilian director/chief executive officer is currently underway.

"It has truly been an honor to serve as the 29th and final commander of this outstanding command," Robillard said. "For the past 65 years, the Navy Exchange System has proudly served sailors and their families. I am confident that the more than 14,000 associates that work for the Navy Exchange System will continue to provide premier customer service to all its customers."

Robillard's next assignment is deputy chief of staff for logistics, fleet supply and ordnance, N4, U.S. Pacific Fleet, Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.

NEXCOM names new director of human resources
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The Navy Exchange Service Command has named Robert J. Clayton as senior vice president of human resources. Clayton will oversee the human resources aspects of the Navy Exchange System, including Navy Exchanges, Navy Lodges, the Ships Store Program and the Uniform Program Management Office, which generated nearly $3 billion in revenue in 2010.

"We are pleased to have someone with Bob's commercial human resources experience within retail and services arena in this position," said Michael P. Good, chief operating officer of NEXCOM. "His 30 plus years of working within the retail, food and hospitality arena will be an asset to this command as we deliver a benefit to all our military patrons."

Clayton comes to NEXCOM most recently from Davidson Hotel Company, Memphis, Tenn., where he was the senior vice president of human resources. Previously, he held the position of vice president of human resources with OfficeMax in Naperville, Ill. His other positions included senior human resources officer and a partner of a startup of Krispy Kreme Doughnuts development in the Midwest; vice president of human resources at The Home Depot; vice president of human resources at Domino's Pizza; and corporate director of Denny's Restaurants. Clayton also held human resources positions at Wendy's, Computervision and ARAMARK all in the Detroit area.

Clayton received his Bachelor of Arts and Master of Business Administration from Wayne State University in Detroit.

Washington Update

Army MWR installations
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Are you traveling to another installation? Want to find out what your current installation has to offer? Simply click on the MWR map to find an MWR page dedicated to helping you find lodging, entertainment, sports and more for specific Army installation.

Navy lodge info
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Navy Lodges are located around the world at most Naval bases. The PCS and TDY traveler will find our locations convenient for their family and their business needs. Check out the Navy Lodge Locator to find out if there is a Navy lodge where you will be taking your next vacation.

Army family and MWR programs
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Click on the banner above for more info on MWR programs available.

Executive Briefing
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