ALA Executive Briefing
Nov. 26, 2014

When Hagel leaves, new SecDef faces big questions about the military's future
Military Times
President Barack Obama's new pick to run the Pentagon will face a dizzying set of challenges affecting the Defense Department's mission, budget and culture.More

Senate source: 'Logistically impossible' to move SecDef nomination this year
Defense News
The U.S. Senate, with a scant amount of days left this session and a busy agenda, will leave the nomination of a new defense secretary to the next Congress, according to a senior Senate source.More

A shake-up stops at 1
The New York Times (tiered subscription model)
Shortly after President Barack Obama announced the resignation of Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel at the White House, he walked over to a meeting of his entire National Security Council staff, where he told the embattled group that they were critical to an ambitious foreign policy agenda.More

Who will be the next secretary of defense?
Defense One
Following the recent surprise announcement from the White House, the Pentagon will soon be led by its fourth defense secretary since President Barack Obama took office in 2009. Here's a brief review of some of the names being tossed around as possible replacements for the soon-to-be-departing Chuck Hagel, who will leave office after less than two years on the job. More

McCain emerges as Pentagon's last hope to avert sequester
National Defense
Pentagon pleas for relief from drastic spending cuts are getting scant attention as the lame-duck Congress becomes enmeshed in partisan fighting over immigration reform and the threat of a government shutdown.More

Top appropriators focusing solely on omnibus, have had no CR talks
Defense News
Capitol Hill's top appropriators have yet to discuss another short-term measure to keep the government running, focusing solely on a longer-term bill they hope to drop in early December.More

Obama authorizes combat missions in Afghanistan for 2015
The New York Times (tiered subscription model)
American troops will be allowed to carry out combat missions in Afghanistan next year under an order issued by President Barack Obama. The White House had indicated in May that the U.S. combat role in Afghanistan would wrap up at the end of the year.More

Commander: Eastern Europe troop rotations could continue
U.S. Department of Defense, Army News Service
Army troops will continue to rotate to locations in Eastern Europe through the end of next year as part of Operation Atlantic Resolve, and those rotations could continue after next year and for the foreseeable future, the commander of U.S. Army Europe said recently.More

Coalition partners urge Congress to pass FY 15 NDAA
Military and Veterans service organizations, and our Coalition valued associates, continue to call on Congress to pass the FY 15 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) in the lame-duck session and to permanently end sequestration. These associations also continue to urge Congress not to balance the budget on the backs of military families.More

Lawmakers hear from constituents about proposed military benefits cuts
The Hill
Lawmakers are receiving calls and e-mails from military families and advocates asking them not to cut housing and health care benefits — demonstrating the power of these organizations and their members to act when their benefits are threatened. The proposal before lawmakers would increase out-of-pocket fees for Tricare beneficiaries and require troops to pay up to 6 percent of their housing expenses. More

Pentagon revises policy regarding items bought on credit
Army Times
The Defense Department has indicated that starting Jan. 1, troops will no longer be able to use allotments to pay for any "tangible and movable" personal property, such as cars, boats, motorcycles, washers, dryers, furniture, laptops, tables, televisions and cellphones. The policy won't apply to any allotments currently in place to pay for these items on credit.More

DoD officials highlight health, wellness resources for military families
U.S. Department of Defense, DoD News, Defense Media Activity
Pentagon officials continue efforts to strengthen service members and their families by highlighting available resources to tackle unique military and transitional challenges. Through its program, Operation Live Well, DoD is focusing on integrative wellness, physical activity, sleep, nutrition, tobacco-free living and mental wellness.More

Coca-Cola cashes in on health-conscious consumers paying more for less
The Coca-Cola Company is making bank on consumers who are willing to pay more for less soda in the name of health and wellness. More

Mintel: Gluten free will hit $8.8 billion in sales in 2014
Food Business News (free registration required)
Mintel International estimates the market for gluten-free foods has grown 63 percent from 2012-2014, and the firm estimates it will achieve $8.8 billion in sales during 2014.More

Retailers' sustainability goals 'on track'
The Sustainability Fruits and Vegetables Initiative claims it is on course to meet its target of sourcing 100 percent sustainably-grown fruits and vegetables by 2020. Last summer the group, which includes Ahold, ICA, Jumbo, Lidl, Coop and C1000, announced that it was on track with its goal of 30 percent sustainability in 2014. The target for next year in 50 percent.More

New app replaces grocery coupons
In the beginning there was Honey, and the app helped shoppers save at checkout. It was good. And then the creators of Honey launched Milk — get it?: Milk and Honey — to help consumer save at the grocery store, and brought with these savings is the miracle of attaining the savings without clipping the coupons.More

4 tips from growing a community grocery store
You might not think of your grocery store as something that builds community, much less something that could be built in the open. But with the number of food co-ops increasing each year, grocery stores are increasingly becoming not just a social hub, but a catalyst for action in neighborhoods. More

Target hopes to differentiate food offerings
Supermarket News
Target Corp. said it intends to offer food assortments that are clearly differentiated from its competition. "We believe we should continue to present a meaningful food offering in our stores and online, but we need to ensure our food offering is uniquely Target," said Brian Cornell, chairman and CEO of the Minneapolis-based company.More

FDA requires calorie labels at groceries, pizzerias
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration, seeking to fight obesity, issued menu-labeling rules that force restaurants, movie theaters and grocery stores to add calorie information to the food they sell. More

Grocery chain's Christmas ad stirs tears, outrage
The Associated Press via U.S. News & World Report
Artillery booms. A trench comes into view. Soldiers huddle into their overcoats for warmth. The scene is the unlikely backdrop for a holiday commercial that has many Britons reaching for hankies — and others demanding it be pulled from the air. The 3-minute, 40-second minimovie from the Sainsbury's grocery chain depicts the 1914 Christmas Truce, when soldiers stopped killing each other for a few hours to celebrate the holiday together in no man's land.More

Exchange earns Top 100 Military Friendly Employer designation
Public Affairs
After an exhaustive analysis, Victory Media, publisher of G.I. Jobs magazine, has named the Army & Air Force Exchange Service to the 2015 Top 100 Military Friendly Employer list. More than 5,000 eligible companies were ranked based on their long-term commitment to hiring former military service members, recruiting and hiring efforts as well as policies for National Guard and Reserve employees called to serve on active duty.More

Your Kaiser Permanente doctor will see you now — at Target
MedCity News
In a move that reflects the increasing wave of consumer-driven health care, Target Corporation is teaming up with Kaiser Permanente to open four in-store Target Clinics in Southern California, taking a host of services directly to thousands of customers.More

'Selfie' generation forces US companies to change tack
Whole Foods is holding wine tastings. Ikea is pitching apartment furniture to divorced dads. Applebee's turns into a nightclub after dinner. These companies all are targeting an increasingly coveted demographic: single Americans. More

Family Dollar delays vote on Dollar Tree deal; Dollar General still in the game
Chain Store Age
Dollar General Corporation isn't giving up. The deep discounter recently affirmed its commitment to the acquisition of rival Family Dollar Stores. Dollar General's comments followed the news that Family Dollar has delayed its shareholder vote on its $8.5 billion deal to be bought by Dollar Tree Inc. from Dec. 11-23.More

Sears, Kmart stores now expected to close by early 2015
There's more cost-cutting planned at Sears Holdings through the end of this year and the beginning of 2015. That news shouldn't surprise anyone, but the total has increased to 39 Sears stores and 70 Kmart stores, along with one Sears distribution center, one Kmart distribution center and three Sears repair centers.More

RadioShack to open 8 a.m. Thanksgiving Day
NBC News
Struggling electronics chain RadioShack added its name to the growing list of retailers that will be open on Thanksgiving Day. More

Same-day delivery may be a win for Macy's
Do you need same-day delivery for a sweater or a pair of stilettos? Macy's believes so. In late October, Macy's began trialing same-day delivery to online customers in eight major U.S. markets.More

Fewer Americans plan to shop over Thanksgiving weekend
Decline suggests consumers are pinning their hopes on better deals that could come later in the holiday shopping season.More

Wal-Mart proceeding with 'express' rebrand
Earlier in November, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. opened its 5,000 unit in the United States, a Neighborhood Market in Greenbriar, Arkansas, Carol Schumacher, vice president of global investor relations, said on the company's fiscal third-quarter 2015 earnings call.More

Big tobacco's strong pricing power
The big tobacco companies have taken price increases on key cigarette brands, according to reports by Bonnie Herzog, managing director for beverage, tobacco and convenience store research at Wells Fargo Securities LLC, New York, citing industry trade contacts.More

Hostess for sale?
The private-equity owners of Hostess Brands LLC are planning to put the maker of Twinkies and other snack cakes up for sale in early 2015, potentially valuing it at more than $1.7 billion, including debt, people familiar with the matter told Reuters.More

DoD tightens child care background checks
Military Times
Defense officials are moving to strengthen criminal background checks for anyone who interacts with children in a DoD-sanctioned program — whether it is in child development centers, family child care homes, chapels, youth programs, DoD schools or elsewhere.More

Thanksgiving meals deploy for troops
Military Times
Whether they've been in Afghanistan for months or in West Africa or Iraq for a few weeks, troops will have plenty of turkey, cranberry sauce and other fixings on their plates for Thanksgiving Day.More

Maryland: Military Family Appreciation Month celebrated
Ft. Meade SoundOff
Community members gathered Nov. 8 at the Child, Youth and School Services Sports Complex to enjoy games, face painting, a moon bounce, balloon artists, prizes and free Chick-fil-A sandwiches during Military Family Appreciation Day in Fort Meade, Maryland. More

Focus on being best earns once-doomed 911th Airlift Wing excellence award
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
After nearly a decade of uncertainty about its future, the 911th Airlift Wing in Moon has found solid ground, its commander said.More

Belvoir Briefs for Nov. 20
Belvoir Eagle