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Home   About   Membership   Meetings   Government Affairs   Members Only Aug. 19, 2011
Executive Briefing

President's Message

BREAKING NEWS: OMB directs agencies to cut 2013 budgets
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Government Executive, Kellie Lunney
The Obama administration is directing agencies to submit fiscal 2013 budget requests that are at least 10 percent below their current appropriation level.

Military Personnel Subcommittee leadership speaks out on behalf of military resale:

In a recently published editorial Chairman Joe Wilson and Ranking Member Susan Davis shared their views in support of a strong military resale system. Their comments speak for themselves.

Taking the sting out of military service
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The Washington Times, Rep. Joe Wilson and Rep. Susan A. Davis
Recently, it has been called into question why the military operates grocery and department stores. While many budget-conscious experts question the need for such services, defense officials must weigh the immense value and cost savings of the military resale systems against fleeting political rhetoric.

Defense department:

Radical overhaul of military retirement eyed
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CBS News, Sharyl Attkisson
The military retirement system has long been considered untouchable — along with Social Security and Medicare. But in these days of soaring deficits, it seems everything is a potential target for budget cutters. A Pentagon-sponsored study says military pensions are no longer untouchable — they're unaffordable.

For cuts, Pentagon must choose among weapons, personnel
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Reuters, David Alexander
A decision to cut $350 billion in security spending over the next decade will force the Pentagon to make difficult trade-offs that could lead to layoffs, canceled weapons systems or a smaller nuclear arsenal.

Super Committee's success or failure both threaten federal pay and benefits
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Government Executive, Kellie Lunney
Pick your poison, federal employees: Would you rather leave the fate of your pay and benefits up to 12 lawmakers, or to a little-known process called sequestration that dates back to the mid-1980s?

Panetta raises specter of hollow force
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Defense News, Marcus Weisgerber
Cutting national security beyond the $350 billion planned over the next decade would hollow the U.S. military and hurt troop morale, U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said.

Panetta: 'You have to consider' military retirement reform
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Fox News, Justin Fishel and Jim Crogan
Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said overhauling the military's retirement benefits system is "the kind of thing you have to consider."

Patrick B. Nixon
President, ALA

Washington Update

Military faces stark choices in coming budget battles
Government Executive    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Reforming an out-of-control acquisition process, reshaping the workforce as two long wars wind down, coping with shrinking budgets — Defense Department officials have a lot on their plate. Now, those management challenges have been magnified in the aftermath of the nation's debt deal. More

House GOP chairmen balk at defense cuts
Government Executive    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
In an attempt to protect the Pentagon's coffers from sizable cuts, three top House Republicans are demanding the Obama administration lay out the national security implications should a worst-case deficit-reduction scenario become reality and trigger more than $800 billion in defense cuts. More

Bullets, bombs, surf, turf
Bloomberg Businessweek    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
They say an army fights on its stomach, and keeping our men and women in uniform fueled up isn't cheap: In 2011 the Defense Dept. allotted $1.7 billion to feed troops in Afghanistan alone. That includes the mess hall grub you'd expect — hot dogs, chicken wings and "liquid egg mix," but also more refined treats such as lobster tails and rib-eyes. Don't go rushing off to enlist in hopes of gorging yourself on steak au guerre, though. A soldier who's sampled the chops at Camp Victory, Iraq, recalls them as "extremely tough to cut, and didn't taste too great." More

Panetta, Lew pressed by GOP to release defense budget review
Bloomberg News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Three top House Republican lawmakers are pressing the Obama administration to disclose interim results of a continuing comprehensive review of military spending. The review, begun by former Defense Secretary Robert Gates, has "preceded any substantial analysis of the future roles, missions and capabilities we want our military to perform," Representatives Howard "Buck" McKeon of California, C.W. "Bill" Young of Florida and Paul Ryan of Wisconsin wrote. More

Former budget director: Super Committee won't look to defense for cuts
The Hill    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The Super Committee charged with paring the federal deficit will focus on entitlements and taxes, meaning the Pentagon budget will be a "fallback" place from which to slice, former White House budget chief Alice Rivlin said. More

Pressure's on for deficit panel
The Washington Post    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The 12 congressional lawmakers recently appointed to the new, high-stakes deficit reduction panel will convene next month amid super-partisan pressures that have blocked past efforts at bipartisan compromise on debt reduction. Skepticism that they will reach a mutually acceptable agreement is running high. More

'Doomsday' defense cuts loom large for select 12
The Associated Press via Yahoo News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
For the dozen lawmakers tasked with producing a deficit-cutting plan, the threatened "doomsday" defense cuts hit close to home. The six Republicans and six Democrats represent states where the biggest military contractors — Lockheed Martin, General Dynamics Corp., Raytheon Co. and Boeing Co. — build missiles, aircraft, jet fighters and tanks while employing tens of thousands of workers. More

Commissary News

Sugar prices seen staying high as China, Indonesia replenish inventories
Bloomberg News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail
World sugar prices may range between 23 cents and 28 cents a pound as China, the second-biggest user, and Indonesia increase imports, draining a global surplus of 4 million metric tons, the International Sugar Organization said. More

Let's make a deal
Supermarket News    Share    Share on
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Despite temporary price reductions and other promotional deals, the average retail price of groceries like coffee inflated as high as 15 percent during the 52 weeks ending July 10. Luckily for consumers, marketers were in deal-making mode and merchandising support helped offset higher prices, if only marginally. More

Kroger unveils its first solar energy systems
Progressive Grocer    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The Kroger Co. has completed the installation of solar energy panels at two of its Smith's Food & Drug Stores in Albuquerque, N.M. These two store systems generate 320,000 kWh, eliminating the need for that amount of energy from fossil fuel sources. Kroger estimates this energy savings would heat and cool 30 homes in New Mexico for one year and is the equivalent of planting 57 acres of trees or removing 40 cars from the road. More

Triple Double Oreo officially makes debut
Drug Store News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
After news spread that the Triple Double Oreo was coming to store shelves nationwide, Oreo officially has launched its latest creation. Triple Double Oreo, a sandwich cookie that features three pieces of chocolate wafers that are separated by chocolate and vanilla cream, is available nationwide at grocery stores for a suggested retail price of $4.19 per package. More

National beef recall affects several store brands
Store Brands    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The Dodge City, Kan.-based National Beef Packing Co. is recalling approximately 60,424 pounds of ground beef products that could be contaminated with E. coli, the USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service announced. Products subject to recall include ground beef chubs produced July 23 with a freeze-by date of Aug. 12, and ground beef chubs produced July 25 with a freeze-by date of Aug. 14. More

Commissary Announcements

Commissary Web Posts

The following commissary items were posted to the ALA Website:

DP #15, Update #3.
DP #18, Alaska Promotion & Shipper Quantities & Update #1.
DP #21, WW Promotion Package, Gobble Up The Great Deals.
Holiday Gift Packs/HBC Gift Packs, Update #1.
Holiday/Fall Club Pack October CONUS Quantities.
Superbowl 2012, Update #1.
International Christmas, Update #2.
Summer Club Pack, Update #4.
Holiday Cookies/Crackers/Fruitcake, Update #1.

11-109, Store Reset Dates — Nellis AFB.
11-110, Store Reset Dates — Lakehurst.

Adds/Changes/Deletes for Week 11-33.
Guard & Reserve On-Site Sale Schedule updates.
CRV Values .

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.

AREA, NEREA, and HRALA Scholarship lunch announced
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The Hampton Roads ALA will be hosting their 12th Annual Benefit Luncheon for AREA, NEREA, and HRALA scholarships Dec. 1 at the Virginia Beach Sheraton Oceanfront. Guest speakers are NEXCOM SVP & CMO Tess Paquette and AAFES SVP LG Dan Tompkins. Companies interested in sponsoring the event with a full page ad or half page ad should contact Cory Belkov at Deadline to sponsor is Nov. 1. All proceeds will be split equally between the three scholarship programs.

Exchange News

VA revamps its social media policy
The Washington Post    Share    Share on
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The Department of Veterans Affairs recently announced a new social media policy that is meant to promote the secure use of sites such as Facebook and YouTube by the agency to better communicate with veterans. "This isn't about using social media because it's cool or because it's a fad," said Brandon Friedman, VA director of online communications, in a news release announcing the policy. "It's about getting the right information to the right veteran at the right time. This policy sets us on a path toward changing how we talk — and listen — to vets." More

Wal-Mart loses edge
The Wall Street Journal    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is losing its longstanding reputation for offering consumers the lowest prices, complicating its efforts to end a two-year sales slump in the U.S. Surveys by retail consultants, analysts and brand experts now find that Wal-Mart's aura of price leadership has faded since the recession, because customers who searched for better deals sometimes found them at competitors such as Dollar General Corp., Aldi Inc. and Inc. More

Jim Gold talks shop: Men's luxury accessories
Women's Wear Daily    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Luxury department stores are making room for accessories and new shoe departments, including men's accessories. "It used to be more utilitarian. Now men are starting to think of bags from a fashion perspective. They want to make a statement with a briefcase, a cross-body bag, a travel bag, a carry-on to a plane, a duffle," said Neiman Marcus specialty retail president Jim Gold. (Subscription required.) More

Turbulent economy testing retailers' foresight
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
If any year has put retailers' prediction skills to the test, it would be this one. Merchandise orders must be placed anywhere from weeks to months to a year before the goods appear on shelves for a shot at being someone's Christmas present. More

Why retailers should target female consumers
Harvard Business Review    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Back-to-school shopping will be uneven at best in the U.S. this year. The vast majority of consumers are gloomy, fearful about consumption and cutting back on many purchases. Why does this make the female consumer more important than ever to marketers? More

Office Depot launches mobile back-to-school promotion
Chain Store Age    Share    Share on
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Marketing technology company SpyderLynk and Momentum Worldwide recently announced Office Depot has launched a national back-to-school mobile campaign that was developed by Momentum, using SpyderLynk's 2-D mobile bar code SnapTag technology. The campaign offers back-to-school shoppers the opportunity to save through in-store mobile gift card giveaways and other discounts. More

Pay-at-the-pump card skimming reaches 'epidemic' levels
CSNews Retail Technology    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Pay-at-the-pump card-skimming scams are becoming so bad, they have reached near epidemic levels, ABC Action News reported. The level of fraud is so serious that the Highlands County Sheriff in Sebring, Fla., labeled skimming "the crime of the future." More

Wal-Mart to show if US stores are back to growth
Reuters    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Turning around a prolonged U.S. sales slump is key to Wal-Mart Stores Inc's success, and results will show if the retailer's strategies to mend its biggest business have really started to pay off. Wal-Mart is making every effort to offer the best prices on a wider variety of goods in order to win over shoppers who have gone to other chains, such as dollar stores, and who continue to cut back on spending as high unemployment and other economic troubles persist. More

The fight to bring fresh food to children
Women's Day    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
It's no secret that children today face an uphill battle against obesity. Fast food and boxed goods have become the norm, short-changing children on valuable nutrition. As a result, we're witnessing an increase in weight-related issues — heart disease, diabetes — and a lack of awareness about where food comes from. It's also, in just a few generations, made home cooking a fringe movement. More

Washington Update

Surviving spouse gives back to military community
U.S. Army MWR    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The death of any Soldier is painful, but for Kim Felts, a Family Readiness Program Specialist at Fort Bragg, it has become a reason to give back to the military community. More

Army Family and MWR programs: Feds Feed Families
U.S. Army MWR    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Hunger's negative effects can be seen in school, at work and at home. Help us support local food banks by donating to DoD Feds Feed Families. More

Commissaries, Exchanges, MWR partner for family fun fitness festivals
The Defense Commissary Agency    Share    Share on
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The Family Fun Fitness Festival is designed to help installations offer the military community worldwide a smorgasbord of commissary case lot sales; exchange sidewalk sales; morale, welfare and recreation fitness activities; demos and music; and industry-sponsored nutritious food samples, prize giveaways and discount coupon offers. Packaged under the theme, "Fitness and Fun for the Family," the festival will also help increase the military community's awareness of the benefits of a healthy lifestyle through fitness and nutrition. More

Executive Briefing
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