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Home   About   Membership   Meetings   Government Affairs   Members Only Nov. 25, 2011
Executive Briefing

President's Message

Have a safe and Happy Thanksgiving:

The Pilgrims' arrival at Plymouth Rock in 1620 was a monumental event in our history and represents the beginnings of our great nation. Their first winter was difficult, to say the least, but by faith and perseverance, they endured to plant in the spring, cultivate through the summer and harvest abundant blessings in the fall. In recognition of those blessings, they set aside a day of feast and thanksgiving.

As you bow your heads on Thanksgiving Day, remember to be thankful for your blessings and, most importantly, remember that somewhere there is a soldier serving your nation and making it possible for you to have your feast in peace. Remember the soldiers that are in harm's way, that need our prayers.

Teddy Roosevelt once said:

"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat."

They deserve all the credit.

Have a safe and Happy Thanksgiving!


Deficit reduction panel concedes defeat
Read the Full Story
Government Executive, Billy House
The bipartisan congressional committee tasked with finding at least $1.2 trillion in deficit reduction announced on Nov. 21 it cannot reach agreement by the Nov. 23 deadline, a stark if not unexpected admission that its efforts have ended in failure.

Panel fails to reach deal on plan for deficit reduction
Read the Full Story
The New York Times, Jennifer Steinhauer, Helene Cooper and Robert Pear
Leaders of the congressional committee charged with finding at least $1.2 trillion in deficit reductions conceded on Nov. 21, that panel members had failed, setting up what is likely to be a yearlong political fight over the automatic cuts to a broad range of military and domestic programs that would go into effect starting in 2013 as a result of their inability to reach a deal.

Debt panel a super failure? It was always lose-lose for federal workforce
Read the Full Story
The Washington Post, Joe Davidson
The "supercommittee" presented the federal workforce with a lose-lose situation. Government-wide remedies are less likely to happen now that the supercommittee, an outgrowth of Congress's failure to deal with the deficit, pronounced itself a failure Nov. 21. Instead, automatic cuts worth the same amount are scheduled to be played out on an agency-by-agency basis.

The deficit deal that wasn't: Hopes are dashed
Read the Full Story
The New York Times, Jennifer Steinhauer and Robert Pear
Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta, a former chairman of the House Budget Committee, had kept a close watch on the panel, made near-daily phone calls to its members and intensified his public statements about dire consequences should the committee fail, causing automatic spending cuts.

Battle looms over what 'defense' means for automatic cuts if supercommittee fails
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The Hill, Jeremy Herb and John T. Bennett
A supercommittee failure would trigger at least $500 billion in cuts to national security spending, but there is no consensus on just where they will be made.

Rep. McKeon: Don't bet that Pentagon cuts can be voided
Read the Full Story
The Hill, John T. Bennett
A senior House Republican urged the debt-reduction panel to strike a deal Nov. 18, warning its members to resist the notion that Congress simply can void the deep Pentagon cuts a failure would trigger.


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What's next?:

While Congress begins debating on what will be cut and how much, DoD must plan for the worst and begin to cost out some very draconian reductions. This is not a time for those weak of heart because some of the proposals will be eye popping. The target rich O&M accounts with immediate savings are the reductions with the most impact and the most pain. ALA will continue to work with the White House and Congress to ensure the value and impact of the military resale programs are understood. They are one of the few taxpayer investments that provide a positive and significant ROI.

Congress — defense cuts :

Fight is just beginning over cuts in defense
Read the Full Story
The Wall Street Journal, Nathan Hodge and Julian E. Barnes
The failure of the supercommittee to reach a deficit deal will likely trigger what Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has called a "doomsday" scenario for the Pentagon: sweeping cuts that would reduce military spending by a total of around $1 trillion over the next decade. (Subscription required.)

Panetta: Stop automatic defense cuts
Read the Full Story
Automatic spending cuts that could result from a special congressional committee's failure to reach a deficit reduction agreement could "tear a seam" in defense, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said on Nov. 21.

Sequester fight is on the horizon
Read the Full Story
Government Executive, Susan Davis
The super committee's failure to come up with $1.2 trillion in deficit reduction measures has paved the way for an election-year battle by Republicans to rewrite the sequester rules and protect defense spending.

3 percent withholding has been repealed!:

One of the key ways we can communicate the value of the military resale business channel is to report to the White House how many veterans and military family members are hired. ALA will be providing instructions to facilitate this reporting and inform companies how to file for the savings credits contained in this landmark legislation.

Obama signs bill offering credit for hiring veterans
Read the Full Story
The Wall Street Journal, Corey Boles
President Barack Obama recently signed into law a bill that creates a tax credit for firms that hire veterans and permanently repeals the collection of a withholding tax on government contractors.

Patrick B. Nixon
President, ALA

Washington Update

Obama threatens veto of defense authorization bill
Government Executive    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The Obama administration threatened on Nov. 17, to veto a major defense authorization bill because of language mandating that terror suspects be put under military custody, a sharp escalation of its battle with Congress over the future course of the war on terror. More

Commissary News

Survey: Shoppers want value, service
Supermarket News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Between August and October, shoppers spent the same or more money on groceries as they did in the three months previous, but those shoppers are becoming more demanding of retailers, according to a survey by Coinstar. More

Hire Veterans and Military Spouses

Please communicate your jobs available for veterans and military spouses. Place notices for local or national employment opportunities in their official military base newspapers. Contact

Report: Sodium nitrite essential, safe in processed meat
The Meat Site    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A new American Meat Science Association white paper examining sodium nitrite in processed meats concludes nitrite is essential to ensuring product safety and cured meats contribute a very small part of human nitrite intake; the paper also asserts emerging science has identified health benefits of nitrite. More

Fresh & Easy expands its line of holiday products
Progressive Grocer    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
In preparation for the holiday season, Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market introduced an expanded range of fresh&easy-brand holiday products with nearly 100 new items that hit stores Nov. 19. "We heard from customers that they wanted more festive and exclusive fresh&easy products this holiday season," said John Burry, Fresh & Easy chief customer officer. "So we set out to expand our range of unique and affordable holiday-inspired fresh&easy products to offer our customers great meal and gifting options, without compromising on taste or quality." More

Your grocery bill is getting higher, and higher
MSNBC News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Paula McGowan has cut out soda, switched to store brands for other foods and even sent her boyfriend hunting for deer so she can put food on the table. Still, she finds herself struggling with higher food prices. "It's milk, bread, just the basic stuff," she said. "We're looking at basics and it's all going up." After two years in which overall food prices barely budged, groceries are getting more expensive. More

New juice raises vegetable intake, lowers calorie consumption
Food Ingredients First    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
In response to the growing U.S. diet and obesity crisis, the FaVe Juice Company recently launched a new blend of fruit and vegetable juice that offers a previously unattained level of vegetable servings in the U.S. marketplace. More

Commissary Announcements

Commissary Web Posts

The following commissary items were posted to the ALA website as of 22 Nov 11:

DP #1, CONUS Promotion & Shipper Quantities.
Winter Cocoa/Cider Far East & Alaska Quantities.

12-08, DeCA Domestic Seafood Program.
12-10, Chilled Breakfast Category Review.

DeCA October Sales Data.
Adds/Changes/Deletes for Week 11-47.
Guard & Reserve On-Site Sale Schedule updates.
CRV Values.

Guantanamo Bay NEXMART Reset
Industry support is being requested by DeCA for an upcoming reset at Guantanamo Bay NEXMART in May 2012. Due to the sensitivity of this location and required planning, a strict timetable will need to be followed. DeCA and GITMO store management feel that 15 to 20 people would be needed to complete the store reset. A passport or military ID WILL BE REQUIRED for this trip. Flights are limited and depart from either Miami or Ft. Lauderdale at a cost of approximately $300 round trip. Below you will find additional information with regards to timing, transportation and accommodations.

Tentative Reset Dates: May 20-22, 2012
Travel Dates Dictated by Available Flights: Arrive GITMO May 17, 2012, depart GITMO May 23, 2012.
Lodging: $50/night. Rooms contain kitchenettes.
Meals: Full access to all base facilities to include, the Galley (lunch/dinner $4.25 & breakfast $2.65), two full service restaurants and fast food (McDonalds and Subway), O'Kelly Pub and Windjammer Cafe.
Transportation at GITMO: All transportation will be provided to and from the airport to the base.
Clearance Data: Naval Station Entry Clearance Request form must be submitted and approved by required deadline.
Internet and cellphone service: There is no cellphone service and limited Internet service.
Misc: This is a closed base but you will have access to all recreational facilities, bowling, snorkeling, etc. Base rental cars are available as well as a base bus service that has a stop at the lodge.
Trip POC: Mike Hatfield, S & K Sales Co, 804-647-1141,
TIMETABLE: Dec. 16, 2011 - Interested participants contact POC by this date with their intent to attend the reset. Feb. 25, 2012 – Navy Station Entry Clearance Request form is due back to POC Mike Hatfield. March 22, 2012 – final confirmation of participants. Room reservations will be set up based on final confirmation list. May 17, 2012 – travel to Guantanamo Bay. May 20-22, 2012 – NEXMART reset. May 23, 2012 – Depart Guantanamo Bay.

People interested in supporting this reset should send their name NLT Dec. 16, 2011 to the Commissary Council POC – Mike Hatfield, S & K Sales Company, via email to, or call him at 804-647-1141. As mentioned above it is anticipated that 20 people will be needed. Mike will maintain a sign up list by order of names received and also maintain alternates. After he receives enough names and before Feb. 1, 2012, Mike will provide those selected to attend with all the information they will need (air fare, clearance and room reservation) to complete the process.

ALA Meetings

2012 Exchange Roundtable

March 7-9, 2012
Sheraton Waterside
Norfolk, Virginia

Exchange News

Fashion's next frontier for social media
Women's Wear Daily    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The fashion industry is quickly learning that men and women engage and shop differently in the digital sphere. Brands and retailers such as Coach, Mr Porter, Gilt Man, Ben Minkoff, John Varvatos and Ermenegildo Zegna have spent a lot of time studying the differences between the ways men and women approach fashion, tapping into their male audiences with a host of initiatives they feel will resonate best with their target consumer. More

The death of the impulse shopper
TechCrunch    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
It's no secret that technology has changed in-store shopping behavior. Whether it be through mobile phones, barcode scanning, or price comparison shopping sites; consumers are more prepared than ever in the store aisle. More

14 million Americans will dine out for Thanksgiving
Food Product Design    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Citing convenience as their primary motivator, more than 14 million Americans will eat their Thanksgiving meal at a restaurant this year, and another 16 million will turn to restaurants to supplement a meal at their own or someone else's home, according results of a new National Restaurant Association survey. More

Best Buy ups holiday spending, introduces 'game on, Santa' campaign
Advertising Age    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Best Buy is shaking up its approach to the holidays with a streamlined creative message and increased spending, particularly in the digital space. More

NRF: 8 in 10 holiday shoppers plan to give gift cards
Gourmet Retailer    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Gift cards are the most requested holiday item, and holiday shoppers are obliging. According to NRF's 2011 Holiday Consumer Intentions and Actions survey conducted by BIG research, 8 in 10 holiday shoppers plan to give gift cards this year. More

JCPenney introducing Foursquare, QR promos
MarketingDaily via MediaPost News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
JCPenney is welcoming the holiday season with a handful of new digital initiatives, which it hopes will bolster sales both online and at its 1,100 stores. First, the Plano, Texas-based retailer says it will expand its popular Salvation Army Angel program, an online charitable effort. On Thanksgiving Day, every person who adopts a Salvation Army Angel at generates a $50 donation, up to $400,000. And every person who uses Foursquare to check in at a JCPenney store on Black Friday triggers a $25 donation, up to $100,000. More

Consumers shun 'diet' foods in favor of 'zero' and 'smart'
Relaxnews via Boston Globe    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The term 'diet' on food labels has become increasingly unpopular during the years, with consumers drawn more toward products for the ingredients they contain, rather than the products they don't contain, according to a presentation at a virtual weight management conference. More

Wal-Mart to roll out healthy seal in 2012
Food Navigator    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Wal-Mart will begin to roll out its new front-of-pack "healthy seal" on private label products beginning in spring 2012, FoodNavigator-USA has learned. More

Exchange Announcements

AAFES hosts company grade officer's forum
Aerotech News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
CMSgt. Jeffry D. Helm, senior enlisted leader to the commanding general, Army and Air Force Exchange Service, discusses AAFES Support at the AAFES Company Grade Officer Forum held recently at Los Angeles Air Force Base in El Segundo, Calif. Helm is the senior enlisted leader to the commanding general, Army and Air Force Exchange Service, headquartered in Dallas, Texas. More

Shaw AFB opens new exchange, launches housing project
Columbia Regional Business Report    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Shaw Air Force Base recently marked completion of a $20 million shopping center and commencement of $270 million housing project. On Nov. 17, Shaw officials opened the new exchange, which will serve about 15,000 U.S. military service members, reservists, retirees and their families based at the Sumter installation. The shopping center, owned and operated by the Army & Air Force Exchange Service, offers customers a range of services and products including a grocery store, pharmacy, barber shop and beauty shop. More

Washington Update

Getting hired after the military
CNN    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
When veterans leave the military they possess a wealth of valuable qualities and skills — discipline, leadership ability, strong work ethic — that should make them highly desirable to nonmilitary employers. But, despite their great potential to succeed in the civilian workforce, many veterans have trouble making the post-military career transition. More

Cribs for Air Force Services Child Development Center Program
Federal Business Opportunities    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
This is a request for information. Headquarters Air Force Services Agency (HQ AFSVA) is seeking sources and pricing for U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission industry standard cribs, fire evacuation cribs, crib mattresses and crib sheets for Air Force Child Development Centers worldwide. More

Support your military members: How you can show your support for our heroes    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
I get tons of email about how Americans can write to our servicemembers or otherwise show their support. Until 9/11, there were two primary programs which allowed the general public to send mail to "any servicemember:" the Military Postal Service's "Dear Any Servicemember" program, which operated year-round, and the annual "Operation Dear Abby" program which supported troops with letters and cards from home during the holiday season. Beginning in December 2007, Americans can now send holiday cards (between mid-November and mid-December) to deployed servicemembers and wounded warriors in military hospitals, through a special program administered by the American Red Cross, called "Holiday Mail for Heroes." More

Chase expands military banking benefits to all US veterans
iStockAnalyst    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Chase recently announced the expansion of its Military Banking checking program to include all U.S. military veterans, the bank's latest initiative to support military personnel with special benefits. "We are proud to extend our Military Banking benefits to all our nation's veterans," said Todd Maclin, CEO of Consumer & Business Banking and CEO of Commercial Banking at Chase. More

Adaptive sports training aims to impact wounded warriors, community members
U.S. Army    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Instructors from the United States Olympic Committee's Paralympic Military Program led an adaptive sports clinic at the Kleber Gym and Fitness Center in Kaiserslautern, Germany Nov. 7-10, for Warrior Transition Battalion-Europe Soldiers, cadre and Army Morale Welfare and Recreation staff. The training clinic, which included wheelchair basketball, archery, seated volleyball and several strength and conditioning drills, was presented in a train-the-trainer design. This method not only introduced soldiers and leaders to adaptive sports techniques, it also taught them how to develop adaptive sports and fitness programs that can be incorporated into WTUs throughout Europe. More

Executive Briefing
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