ALA Executive Briefing
Feb. 17, 2012

GE to hire 5,000 veterans over next 5 years, invest $580 million to expand aviation business
The Washington Post
General Electric Co. plans to hire 5,000 veterans over the next five years and invest $580 million to expand its aviation business. The recent announcements were part of a four-day event that the global conglomerate is hosting with partners in Washington, D.C., that focuses on issues such as manufacturing and job creation in America.More

No return of US military bases in Philippines
The Philippine Star
A redeployment of U.S. forces to the Philippines after the pullout of U.S. troops and military facilities in Okinawa, Japan, may be considered at the invitation of the Philippine government. But U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Political-Military Affairs Andrew Shapiro said during a recent roundtable discussion there would be no return of U.S. military bases in the country.More

Japan, US hoping to conjure better ending after failed scenario
Kyodo News via The Mainichi Daily News
Japan and the United States recently made a momentous decision about the future of their long-standing security alliance, finally acknowledging that the road map plan for the realignment of thousands of Marines stationed in Okinawa, mapped out in 2006, is no longer feasible.More

First lady visits Little Rock Air Force Base to announce healthy foods push
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
Military bases across the country will soon start serving healthier foods under a plan recently announced by the Department of Defense and first lady Michelle Obama at the Little Rock Air Force Base. Obama, speaking on the first day of a three-day national tour in support of an initiative aimed at combating childhood obesity, toured the Arkansas base's dining hall, which was part of a special pilot program to enhance food quality and variety.More

Pentagon attacks obesity with new food choices
Obese Americans in the military are a national security hazard and U.S. first lady Michelle Obama wants to see that change. Obama, who has led a healthy eating and fitness program for children for two years, recently lent her voice to the military's efforts to overhaul the food it serves.More

First lady and Jill Biden announce new push to support military spouses
Government Executive
A joint Defense and Treasury department report recently released recommends that states adopt practices such as providing temporary professional licenses or endorsing outside certifications to help ease the burden of licensure requirements for military spouses. The report is the latest from the Obama administration's Joining Forces initiative, an effort spearheaded by first lady Michelle Obama and Jill Biden, to combine the assets of many agencies and private sector groups to support military members, veterans and families.More

First lady pushes spousal license portability
Army Times
The Obama administration has set a goal for all 50 states to pass their own legislation to address licensing issues for military spouses, to make it easier to transfer professional licenses and certifications from one state to another, first lady Michelle Obama recently told a group of service members, spouses and officials in the Pentagon auditorium.More

Lawmakers: Navy plan to move carrier dead in water
Norfolk Virginian-Pilot
The Navy has ended, for now, its attempt move a Norfolk-based aircraft carrier to Mayport, Fla., but three other ships — possibly from Hampton Roads — might be headed for the Florida base soon.More

House VA panel chairman knocks administration's silence on cuts
The Washington Post via Current Mil-Tech News
Despite a proposed budget that would boost spending for veterans, the chairman of the House Veterans Affairs Committee recently accused the White House of leaving veterans "twisting in the wind" by refusing to declare the Department of Veterans Affairs exempt from automatic cuts to reduce the deficit.More

Baby boomers, not millennials, most comfortable shopping CPG online
Drug Store News
Fifty-two percent of shoppers ages 50 to 54 years lead the charge when it comes to purchasing health and beauty products online, and 29 percent of shoppers ages 45 to 49 years are purchasing more food and beverage products online than any other age group, according to The Checkout, an ongoing shopper behavior study conducted by The Integer Group and M/A/R/C Research.More

Stouffer's helps couples reconnect
Progressive Grocer
Valentine's Day may be over for another year, but that doesn't mean the romance has to end. That's the firm belief of Solon, Ohio-based Nestlé Prepared Foods Co., which is publicizing the launch of its Stouffer's Sautes for Two line with "Put the Two Back in Tuesdays," a national campaign encouraging couples to reconnect over dinner at least once a week.More

Survey: Half of Americans eat breakfast
The Gourmet Retailer
According to a new survey released by Kraft Foods' belVita Breakfast, 63 percent of Americans admit they sometimes feel low on energy in the morning, which is not a surprise given fewer than half eat breakfast every day.More

6 free apps to simplify grocery shopping
Mother Nature Network
Worried about trans-fats? Mercury? Pesticides? This new crop of apps is like having a nutritionist in your pocket.More

Supervalu to bring Essential Everyday store brand to its independent grocers
PG Store Brands
Supervalu said its new Essential Everyday store brand line now is available in select independent retail locations. Once the full rollout is complete in early 2013, Essential Everyday products will be available to the Minneapolis-based company's more than 2,000 independent grocery retailers nationwide. The private brand offering will include more than 2,400 products in the "most important grocery and home goods categories."More

Low-income shoppers interested in healthful cooking
Supermarket News
Despite widespread concern that scratch cooking has gone the way of the Dodo Bird, a recent report surveying low-income families found families are cooking from scratch four times per week on average, and 78 percent of these families are eating dinner together at home at least five times per week. More

2012 Exchange Round Table
In this business most of you deal with both the commissaries and exchanges. Our annual Exchange Round Table will be held March 7–9, 2012, at the Sheraton Waterside, Norfolk, Va. The theme for the Roundtable will be "Joining Forces to Give Back." I attended last year's roundtable in Dallas and found it to be very informative and saw many opportunities our commissary members could consider to help them drive their business in both the exchanges and commissaries. Keep in mind that in 2012 the ALA meetings will only include this event, the Commissary Roundtable in May, the Congressional Caucus in June and the National Convention in October. You can gather more information about this Roundtable and register by using the following link:

Nash Finch Company has been added to the list of military-friendly employers is partnered with and with over 10 million members, has the largest pool with military experience. Over 40 percent of the pool are diversity candidates, over 39 percent are in the IT field and over 22 percent are in business administration. Military candidates visit the site to search for jobs, but are also provided with a list of military-friendly companies, whether they have postings on the site or not. It's one step towards getting the exposure we need to support our military hiring initiative.More

JoS. A. Bank lifts employee retention, sales with hiring software
STORES Magazine
When the economy started tanking, JoS. A. Bank was poised to gain market share. In addition to good products and smart marketing, the company's hiring program is credited for its recent success. Andrea Boling, vice president of human resources, was hired in 2004 to take the clothing chain's hiring practices paperless. "We wanted to increase our compliance," said Boling. "We wanted to be able to hire people quickly, and the way we had been doing it was paper and pencil and faxing, which was incredibly inefficient. We were doggy paddling to keep up, so we needed to find a solution that we could put into place that would use very little of our IT resources."More

Wal-Mart Executive: We're testing social in-store
A woman walks into her local Wal-Mart and immediately turns to an area near the front of the store with a bank of screens. This customer is rushed today, so she tells the system to forget the recommendations and she selects 24 items from her shopping list. The items that are on the shelf elsewhere or in the backroom? An employee goes to fetch them. Those that are not in-stock at that store? They'll be shipped to her home. (Subscription required.) More

Kodak moments are coming to an end
The company that invented home photography has tossed in the towel. Eastman Kodak, the bankrupt inventor of the hand-held camera, plans to stop making digital cameras, pocket video cameras and digital picture frames in the first half of 2012 in a bid to cut costs.More

Momentum growing for sales taxes on online purchases
USA Today
Attention, online shoppers. The days of tax-free online shopping may be coming to an end. More than a dozen states have enacted legislation or rules to force online retailers to collect sales taxes on purchases, according to tax publisher CCH.More

Is Apple coming to Sam's Club stores?
First Best Buy, then Target, now Sam's Club? Apple and Sam's Club, Wal-Mart Stores' warehouse clubstore, are reported to be in talks to put Apple stores within 47 of Sam's U.S. locations, according to a report in 9to5Mac, a website for Apple enthusiasts.More

What your young employees really want
CBS Money Watch
Everyone wants a decent salary. But beyond that, what do employees want most? The answer varies by age, according to a new survey from OfficeTeam, a staffing company. More

Ackman: In the future, going into a JCPenney store will be like going into an Apple store
Business Insider
Recently, Bill Ackman, CEO of Pershing Square Capital Management, was asked if he thought customers shopping at a JCPenney store in the future will have an experience reminiscent of going into an Apple store. "I think the answer is yes. What I mean by that is not that it's going to be a beautiful glass box on Fifth Avenue. Although it will look a lot nicer than it does now," said Ackman at the Harbor Investment Conference in Manhattan. More

The simple reason brick-and-mortar stores aren't dead
Business Insider
It boils down to one thing. When people want to buy something, it doesn't matter how retailers get it to them — they just want to be able to find it, and get it fast. "Customers are really not looking for different experience by channel," said Chris Bolte, vice president of Wal-Mart Labs. "They're more like, we want, what we want, when we want it." More

San Francisco bans plastic bags
The Wall Street Journal
The Golden Gate city is broadening its battle against bags. San Francisco's Board of Supervisors recently voted to make it illegal for any shop in the city to offer disposable plastic bags to customers. The law expands a 2007 bag ban that applied to large grocery stores and pharmacies, and also mandates stores charge customers 10 cents apiece for paper bags. (Subscription Required.)More

Keep your website from crashing Blog
A retailer's thinking these days can be dominated by smartphones, tablet devices, social media, social commerce, new payment systems and numerous other emerging technologies. However, much of that activity ultimately directly impacts the website itself, so retailers cannot afford to overlook fundamentals of running their online business, such as site maintenance, load testing and re-platforming.More

PayPal executive woos big retailers with pricing, data
Don Kingsborough wants PayPal displayed alongside Visa, MasterCard and American Express in retail stores. To get there, he will compete aggressively on price.More

McDonald's set to phase out suppliers' use of sow crates
The New York Times
The McDonald's Corporation recently said it would begin working with its pork suppliers to phase out the use of so-called gestational crates, the tiny stalls in which sows are housed while pregnant. Animal rights advocates have singled out the crates, known as sow stalls, as inhumane, and several states have moved to ban or restrict their use not only in pork production, but also in the production of eggs and veal.More

Retail sales point to underlying strength
Retail sales picked up last month after a sluggish December, providing a firm foundation for the economy's recovery. The January reading was weaker than economists had expected because auto dealers took in less cash. Excluding autos, sales rebounded a solid 0.7 percent, the biggest gain in 10 months.More

Former Shell CEO predicts spike to $5 gasoline
Convenience Store News
U.S. drivers facing a budget crunch due to rising gas prices should be wary, according to former Shell CEO and Citizens for Affordable Energy founder John Hofmeister. He predicts that heavy demand in emerging markets and weak domestic policies will result in a "better than 50-percent chance" that the price of fuel will spike up to $5 per gallon, reported CNBC.More

Target, Best Buy face tough online retail competition
Minnesota Public Radio News
Analysts say most retailers these days must compete aggressively on prices or risk losing customers and sales. Consumer expectations and unrelenting competition give retailers no choice. Retailers such as Target and Best Buy are under ever-growing pressure to compete on price, keeping them as low as possible.More

2012 not looking good for consumer spending
Drug Store News
The Deloitte Consumer Spending Index continued on a downward trend in January, and consumer spending will face additional economic headwinds in 2012, according to Deloitte. The index tracks consumer cash flow as an indicator of future consumer spending.More

Save the date: 2012 Exchange Commanders Cup Golf Tournament

May 21, at Bear Creek Golf Club in Grapevine, Texas

We wanted all to know that the ALA DFW Chapter will participate and support this event. Please reserve the date on your calendar and join approximately 120 AAFES golfers in this great event. We will have a great round of golf, followed by an auction of some pretty exciting stuff, all benefiting the AREA scholarship program.

We are looking for Hole Sponsors as well as donations for the auction. Please plan to participate and we look forward to a great event.

We will provide further details in the coming weeks so please save the date.

Rich KrugMore

Mess-hall makeover: Healthier food brought to the military
After helping to change the national school lunch nutrition standards, Michelle Obama has expanded her campaign against obesity and unhealthy eating. Who's next on her list? The military.More

Major building projects under construction at Fort Campbell
U.S. Army
Along Wickham Avenue sounds of bulldozers and hammers echo across the installation as construction continues on the new 716th Military Police Battalion Headquarters. A few blocks down, at the corner of 46th Street, workers construct a new vehicle maintenance facility for 1st Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault). These two buildings are just a couple of the new facilities under construction at Fort Campbell.More

Army IMCOM on Twitter
We are the Army's Home. We are dedicated to providing Soldiers and their Families with quality of life commensurate with their service. More

Thanks to our troops: A compilation of video greetings for soldiers, families and civilians
U.S. Army All-American Bowl via YouTube

Click on the image above to view the compilation of videos.

Veterans organization provides free Internet at Edelweiss
U.S. Army
As the snow falls in Garmisch, Germany, a service member couple on vacation at the Armed Forces Recreation Center, Edelweiss Lodge and Resort cozy up to the fireplace and enjoy a glass of wine after a great day. Another family who is on R&R leave from Iraq is relaxing in the hot tub after a sightseeing tour to the famous Neuschwanstein castle. Outside the resort, the children are enjoying making a snowman with their dad who just returned from a long deployment. What do these service members on vacation all have in common? They all can share their vacation photos, update their Facebook status, check on travel plans and Skype their friends to brag about what a good time they are having on vacation by using the free wireless Internet now available during their stay made possible by the Veterans of Foreign Wars.More

Welcome to the NEW home of the National Guard Family Program
Joint Services Support
We are still the National Guard Family Program with a few cosmetic enhancements. Regardless of what we look like, we support you, the Guard family, and your Guard member. We are here to support you 24/7 through our website or your Family Program Office. With the ever changing face and duties of the National Guard, it is imperative to look to the future of family programs while remaining flexible in the present. Our goal is to support you along your journey, as a family member of the National Guard in any and every way. Without you, the family member, standing by your National Guard member, a successful National Guard does not exist. Your success and self-reliance are our motivators; we strive to support and educate in every way possible.More