Action alert for ALA members:
We have received clearance information that there is an approved White House event next week in partnership with the ALA to recognize the efforts of companies that support the military resale business channel in the hiring of military family members and veterans both in the past and moving forward. The event will include participation by the president of the United States and the first lady.
The event is to be held at 8:30 a.m. Oct. 19 at Langley Air Force Base, and everyone needs to have been on the vetted excel spread sheet by noon EDT on Thursday, Oct. 13. The day of the event everyone who is on the "vetted" list must clear security at the gates by 8:30 a.m.; the event will start at 10:20 a.m. It will be attended by first lady Michelle Obama and President Barack Obama. The White House is interested in interacting with company CEOs or senior officials and those companies committed to hiring.
The event will (probably) be in a hanger due to unknowns like the weather. There will be a stage and seating.
The White House wants ALA to divide the companies into three categories:
Group No. 1 This is a very small group of five corporate CEOs or senior officials who will commit to hiring the most vets in the next two years and be willing to go on record, shake hands and a photo op. Looking for 3-4,000-plus hires per company over the next two years.
Group No. 2 This is a group of 10 corporate CEOs or senior officials who agree to hire vets, the White House would like to see 1,000-plus vets and family members hired over the next two years by these companies. These people will sit behind the president as he talks about the jobs program and recognizes some of these companies for their efforts in hiring vets.
Group No. 3 This is the VIP group (not group 1 or 2.) The White House prefers that CEOs of companies or senior officials sit in the front row and others sit second row and on back for this VIP sitting area.
The ALA Board is engaged in this process as of this publication. We will keep blasting information as it becomes available.
DeCA Director sets the record straight:
Commissary director says critics overlook the efficiencies
Read the Full Story
Stars and Stripes, Tom Philpott
Military grocery stores operate so efficiently that the discounts provided to shoppers are worth double the value of tax dollars being spent to deliver this prized benefit worldwide to U.S. servicemembers and families.
A battle looms:
Leon Panetta: The Pentagon's unlikely protector
Read the Full Story
Politico, Carrie Budoff Brown
Defense Secretary Leon Panetta arrived at the Pentagon as a man who matched the times, a shrewd insider Democrats viewed as possessing the will and the weight to tame the sprawling defense budget. But in only a few short months, Panetta has emerged instead as Washington's sharpest critic of further cuts an unexpected Mr. Doomsday of the supercommittee deficit drama.
Panetta sketches out strategy on budget cuts
Read the Full Story
The Washington Post, Craig Whitlock
Since taking office in July, Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta has been clear that his biggest challenge isn't overseeing the wars in Afghanistan, Iraq or Libya. Instead, it's dealing with the biggest reductions in defense spending that the Pentagon has confronted since the 1990s.
Panetta: Difficult Pentagon cuts are coming
Read the Full Story
Reuters, David Alexander
Defense Secretary Leon Panetta recently said the Pentagon will have to cut outlays on personnel, benefits and equipment as it makes the "difficult choices" required to reduce security spending by $450 billion over the next decade.
Patrick B. Nixon
Hertling dismisses unaccompanied Europe tours
The Army's top general in Europe recently refused to get involved in a political discussion over saving money by cutting troop levels in Europe until someone asked what he thought about the idea of making troops leave their families at home. More
Congressman calls for Pentagon review, upgrades to Medal of Honor
San Diego Union-Tribune Share
The Medal of Honor awarded last month to a young Marine who served in Afghanistan has renewed a campaign by combat veterans who accuse the Pentagon of being too stingy with the decoration. More
Pentagon seeks to keep 2-war strength amid cuts
Bloomberg News via Early Bird Share
The Defense Department, facing as much as $450 billion in budget cuts over 10 years, is reviewing military strategy, force structure and weapons modernization, with a goal of maintaining its ability to fight two wars at once, Deputy Defense Secretary William Lynn said in an interview at his Pentagon office. More
Pentagon warned over impact of defense cuts
Financial Times Share
The U.S. military's ability to carry out its global strategy will be placed "at high risk" if the defense budget is cut by more than $550 billion over the next decade, according to a new report by the Center for a New American Security. More
Carrier Classic in San Diego will have all hands on deck
USA Today Share
It's a first in college basketball: The teams will play on the flight deck of the USS Carl Vinson, the carrier used to transport the body of Osama bin Laden to sea after he was killed in Pakistan in May by U.S. Special Forces. It will be at San Diego Harbor for the game. More
The Army gets set to fight for its budget dollars
The Washington Post Share
With the Defense Department bracing for cuts to its budget, the Army is wasting no time in staking out its position as the backbone of the armed forces one that shouldn't get short shrift when the final budget numbers are tallied. Army officials have perhaps more reason than ever to make that kind of argument. More
On Pentagon budget matters, telling it like it is
The Washington Post Share
When Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta met with service personnel in Naples recently, the first question he got after giving his quick around-the-world review of budget challenges faced by the Pentagon was, "Is the military retirement system going to be changed?" More
Defense-cut projections seen as risk to recruitment
The Washington Times Share
Looming defense budget cuts not only threaten new weapons, ships and planes, but also endanger the all-volunteer force itself. More
Defense lobbyists: Cuts mean jobs
The Boston Globe Share
Defense lobbyists are packing a potent weapon in the battle to protect their industry: A warning that more cuts to the Pentagon budget will cost jobs, which could hit Massachusetts particularly hard. More
Unilever buys ice cream business of Ingman Group
Consumer goods company Unilever recently said it had acquired the ice cream business of Finnish food producer Ingman Group to bulk up its presence in the frozen snack market. More
Grocers are testing smartphones
The Wall Street Journal Share
Supermarkets recognizing that many customers use their mobile telephones to compare prices and check lists as they shop have begun to experiment with smartphone-related technology. The stores hope to use apps, high-tech bar codes called QR codes and other technologies to drive sales and lower costs just as millennials, who grew up using electronic devices, are becoming a bigger percentage of their shopping base. More
Shoppers: Food quality is king
Food Manufacture Share
Shoppers overwhelmingly rejected the re-engineering of foods to keep prices down as the cost of ingredients rises, according to the results of a survey by grocery think tank IGD. More
Package innovation: Seventh Generation
Supermarket News Share
Concentrated formulas and smaller bottles helped the laundry industry soften its carbon tread. But one brand in particular has taken the proposition further. Rather than opt for the standard plastic bottle for its new Natural 4x Laundry Detergent, Seventh Generation has chosen an eye-catching paper vessel that uses 66 percent less plastic than a typical 100-ounce 2x laundry bottle and washes the same number of loads. More
The humane experience
Progressive Grocer Share
American shoppers are increasingly "steaking" their claim to all-natural and organic meat. But as truly progressive grocers know, commanding stronger sales in a premium-positioned category such as purely natural and organic proteins amid a still-sputtering economy requires a heightened level of planning, merchandising and consumer education to "meat" more discerning shoppers' needs and expectations. More
Save money on groceries without coupons
Cameron Huddleston writes, "I usually spend less than $100 a week buying groceries for my family of four. And I don't use coupons ever. So I've found other ways to keep my grocery costs under control. One reason I'm able to keep my weekly spending low is because I don't live in a large metropolitan area, where prices are higher. However, these 10 tips should help you score savings wherever you live." More
The following commissary items were posted to the ALA Website:
Winter Club Pack 2012, Far East & Alaska Quantities.
Holiday Chill/Freeze, Update #3.
International Christmas, Update #3.
NOTICES TO TRADE
11-116, Atch 2, DeCAF 40-15 Revised Instructions with an Oct. 12 date.
12-01, Store Reset Dates Randolph AFB.
12-02, Store Reset Dates Fort Knox.
DeCAF 40-15 Instructions dated Oct. filed under Doing Business with DeCA Forms.
ALA National Convention Presentations by DeCA Director, ALA President and Steve Rosetti.
Adds/Changes/Deletes for Week 11-41.
Guard & Reserve On-Site Sale Schedule updates.
March 7-9, 2012
Retailers add jobs in September
Women's Wear Daily Share
Retail employment grew along with retail sales in September. Retailers added 9,000 new positions at apparel and accessories stores and 5,200 at general merchandise stores, according to the Labor Department. (Subscription required.) More
New FDA guidelines call for onsite certified food safety managers
Vending Times Share
Restaurants and other foodservice establishments and retailers could be required to employ at least one certified food protection manager per location if their states or local jurisdictions adopt a new supplement to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's 2009 Model Food Code. More
Supermarket News Share
Food retailers and wholesalers around the country are cautiously optimistic about the upcoming holiday shopping season, citing some benefits to the top line from higher prices. More
Lawmakers call for repeal of swipe fee cap
Convenience Store News Share
It has not even been in effect for two weeks, but two House legislators are reaching across the aisle to propose a bill that would repeal the rule capping debit card transaction fees at 21 cents. More
Consumers pay less for gas, but more for groceries
The good news for consumers is that gasoline prices are on a steady pattern lower. The bad news is you can't eat gas. More
Wal-Mart goes local on Facebook, launches store-level messaging
Advertising Age Share
Wal-Mart is launching a Facebook app that customizes marketing for each of its nearly 3,600 U.S. stores, allowing tailored communications about local deals, events or limited-distribution products. Eventually, Wal-Mart also hopes to use the My Local Wal-Mart app to grow its site-to-store e-commerce program and evolve it into an individualized marketing program, said Stephen Quinn, chief marketing officer for Wal-Mart U.S., in a telephone press conference. More
Wounded warriors welcome at Exchange
Army & Air Force Exchange Service Share
Staff Sgt. Shad Fowler was on a patrol in Iraq when an IED detonated nearby and changed his life forever. After being medically evacuated, he recovered and remained on active duty. Fowler said that after that, "I ended up deploying two more times to Iraq, and when I came back this time, my body kind of gave out on me." Sergeant Fowler is now going through physical therapy and at the same time participating in an internship program where he works at the Army & Air Force Exchange Service's Waco Distribution Center, a facility which ships more than $745 million of goods annually to Exchange facilities throughout the central United States. More
Program gives spouses career options
Balancing a civilian career with a military spouse's career can be tough. While the servicemember might see a permanent change-of-station move as an inconvenience associated with furthering their military career, such moves can leave spouses stuck hoping to find a new job in a new area. Robert L. Gordon III, the deputy assistant secretary of defense for military community and family policy, said it doesn't have to be that way. More
Army leaders prioritizing family programs
Army officials are combing through data to determine what programs are most important to Army families, as they prepare to deal with the new "fiscal reality," said Maj. Gen. Reuben Jones, deputy commander for operations for the Army's Installation Management Command, during a recent family forum at the Association of the U.S. Army's annual meeting. More
DoD budget cuts may spare family programs
Funding for Army family programs will likely not be among the targets of sweeping Defense Department budget cuts, top Army leaders pledged. "I want to make a commitment here to you that we will not make Army family programs a bill payer for other kinds of initiatives," Secretary of the Army John McHugh said. "That's a place we've been in the past, and it's a place I don't want to help take us back to." More
Army fears being loser in US debt crisis
Agence France-Presse via Military.com Share
The U.S. fiscal crisis risks ensnaring the military with drastic cuts and strategic changes that the Army fears will leave it the main victim of the country's debt crunch, analysts said. Having almost doubled since 2001, the Pentagon budget request to Congress will amount to $553 billion in 2012, on top of $118 billion allocated by the White House for operations in Iraq and Afghanistan eight months ago. But a deficit reduction plan passed since those monies were allocated will strip around $450 billion from military coffers over the next decade. More