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Home   About   Membership   Meetings   Government Affairs   Members Only March 26, 2010
Executive Briefing

President's Message

AAFES Names A New Commander:
Major General Bruce Anthony Casella (USAR) has been tapped to replace Major General Kieth Thurgood as the Commander of AAFES. A graduate of the United States Military Academy, General Casella is currently a Senior Systems Engineer and principal owner of Agile Communications Incorporated of California. General Casella's most recent military assignment is Commander, 63rd Regimental Support Command, Moffett Field, California. He has had active duty assignments both in Korea and Kuwait. The Change of Command is currently scheduled to take place on 14 April 2010 at AAFES HQ in Dallas, TX.

The Pentagon official responsible for family programs has resigned. Tommy Thomas, deputy undersecretary of defense for military community and family policy, had been in his position for 10 months before resigning March 11. Secretary Thomas hit the ground running and managed issues in a "boots on the ground" approach by going out and seeing the problems first hand. He was passionate about his mission and understood the resale world from the perspective of a base commander. He will be missed.

New USD (P&R) Dr. Stanley Provides Clear Guidance and Expectations:
Every employee wants to know what is expected of his or her performance and what the boss deems important. If your job is under or aligned with the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness you do not need to guess. In a recently circulated memo issued by Dr. Clifford Stanley, USD (P&R), he clearly articulates the mission and expectations:

'Readiness' means more than simply being able to do your mission. It is a mental, physical, emotional and spiritual state. 'Readiness' involves a clear understanding of your mission, being physically capable of performing it, embracing it with passion and commitment, and connecting with a higher meaning of the role you play in it. 'Readiness' has neither a beginning nor an end. It requires constant improvement. Our mission is to support the readiness of our troops, and your readiness for this mission is necessary to be a part of my team. At the end of each day, ask yourself this question: "What have I done for our troops today?"

The ALA has focused on improved quality of live for our troops and their families for 90 years. We have always preferred Main Street to the side street and we will step up once again to meet the challenge. A vibrant, accessible military resale system is key to family readiness. We can make a difference!

Family Readiness Means Healthy Families:
We took a few moments at the Exchange Roundtable to recognize two exceptional resale executives that will be departing later this year. Maggie Burgess, AAFES and Mike Tharrington, MCCS will be retiring and beginning a new chapter in their lives. These two dedicated professionals have a track record of career accomplishment and have improved the quality of life for our troops and their families through their service. We will miss them and we wish them well.

A New Mission for the Military: Fight The Flab
By Andy Dworkin, Portland Oregonian
…As American youth get fatter, an increasing number of would-be recruits are too pudgy to qualify for the military. More than a sixth of U.S. teens are now obese, and many experts predict the number will grow. Already, weight is the main medical reason recruits are rejected for military service, accounting for a quarter of medical failures. Full story:

I included this link because it is critical to family readiness and we can play an important role. If we are able to harness the synergy from MWR, Commissary and Exchange programs, we can develop a community template that will be a model for the nation and the envy of the world…

Patrick B. Nixon
President, ALA

Washington Update

Indian military to weaponize world's hottest chili
The Associated Press via Google    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
he Indian military has a new weapon against terrorism: the world's hottest chili. After conducting tests, the military has decided to use the thumb-sized "bhut jolokia," or "ghost chili," to make tear gas-like hand grenades to immobilize suspects, defense officials said. More

Lawmakers: Navy and Marines facing larger than expected fighter jet shortfall
The Hill    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The Navy and Marine Corps face a much larger shortfall of fighter jets than expected, four senior members of the House Armed Services Committee warned Defense Secretary Robert Gates. In a letter to Gates, the lawmakers said Pentagon assumptions of a shortfall of 100 fighter jets are "too optimistic." More

A Soldier's Story
The Wall Street Journal    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
For an officer, war is all about taking care of your own by balancing risk and reward. You don't precipitately hurl your soldiers into a fight, but you don't flinch from one either. American soldiers and Marines are killing machines; the more efficiently they accomplish war's central task, the better for them and for our country. In a counterinsurgency, though, they have to kill the enemy and, simultaneously, protect civilians, among whom the enemy lurks. When soldiers write about counterinsurgency warfare, they automatically address the tension between these two fundamental parts of their mission—a tension that is often missing from accounts by high-profile journalists who have never served. It is important to be reminded that, in certain wars, we demand that our grunts be sympathetic toward the people and implacable toward the enemy sheltered by the people. More

Commissary News

Foodservice packaging industry getting more optimistic
Packaging Digest    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
According to the results of the Foodservice Packaging Institute "Foodservice Packaging Industry Surveys," optimism in the foodservice packaging industry is up this year compared to last year. The surveys gauge the state of the industry among top manufacturers and their suppliers in North America and Europe as well as operators and distributors. More

Winn-Dixie announces Food Recovery Program
Market Watch    Share    Share on
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Winn-Dixie Stores, Inc., announced the complete roll out of its Food Recovery Program, which provides perishable items to local Feeding America affiliate food banks in the company's five-state operating area. Approximately 3.5 million pounds of usable food was donated to feed the hungry in the program's pilot phase during the past 15 months. More

23 Kentucky Kroger stores testing health program
Progressive Grocer    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Kroger this week will start testing a new health-and-wellness program "Health Matters at Kroger," which will prominently feature the NuVal nutrition rating system, at 23 of its stores in central Kentucky stores, according to a published report, which added that the stores would serve as a testing ground for the grocer’s entire store base. The trial is slated to begin tomorrow. More

Kroger expands customer communications
Supermarket News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The supermarket industry is on "the edge of a totally different world" in terms of communicating with consumers, David Dillon, chairman and chief executive officer of Cincinnati-based Kroger Co., told investors at the Retail Days Conference sponsored by Citicorp here. More

Taylor Farms pledges $250K to PBH
Progressive Grocer    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Taylor Farms is increasing its contribution commitment to the Produce for Better Health foundation with a $250,000 pledge over the next five years. Taylor joins other longtime $50,000-plus annual PBH donors, including Paramount Farms, Stemilt Growers and Syngenta, who have been at or above the $50,000 level for several years. More

Safeway launches Safeway Health
Chain Store Age    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on
LinkedinE-mail article
Safeway is looking to expand its health plan initiative with the introduction of additional incentive-based programs. More

SeaChoice, FCL forge sustainable seafood partnership
Progressive Grocer    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Western Canadian grocery wholesaler Federated Co-operatives, Ltd. (FCL) and SeaChoice, a Canada-wide sustainable seafood program, have joined forces to make it easier for the co-op's shoppers to buy seafood sourced from environmentally friendly fisheries and aquaculture operations. More

Bigger, better Buy Big selection at FreshDirect helps customers save up to 30 percent
Entreprenuer    Share    Share on
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FreshDirect, New York City's premiere online grocer, has BIG news. The newly revamped Buy Big section at now offers over 300 new bulk-sized items, saving customers up to 30 percent every time they shop. More

Commissary Web Posts

The following commissary items were posted to the ALA Web site as of 10 a.m., 25 March:

  • DP #10, Alaska Promotion & Shipper Quantities
  • DP #12, Worldwide Promotion Package, Grand Ole Flag Sales Event
  • DP #9, Shipper & Promotion Quantities
  • May Case Lot, List of Family Fun & Fitness Festival recommendations for Vendor Support
  • Spring Club Pack Far East & Alaska June Quantities
  • Mother & Father Day, Update #2
  • May Case Lot Sale, Update #2
  • 10-66, Update Store Reset Dates – Imperial Beach
  • Guard & Reserve On-Site Sale Schedule updates
  • Adds/Changes/Deletes for Week 10-12
  • 2010 Reset Schedule Update #5 as of 24 March 2010
  • 29-10, Have you ever met Betty Crocker?
  • 30-10, Look for new items at DeCA’s Virtual Commissary

Exchange News

Retailers tackle 2010 with technology
Self Service World    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
As the days of 2009 dwindle, I find myself crisscrossing the country, talking to retailers of every stripe. These conversations have revealed a few consistent themes, which are likely to drive customer-facing retail technologies in the coming year. More

Giant Eagle looks to leverage power of fuelperks!, foodperks!
Convenience Store News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Giant Eagle is looking to better leverage its popular fuelperks! gasoline discount program with its foodperks! food discount program, according to a report in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. More

Health care bill requires calories on menus at chain restaurants
USA Today    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A requirement tucked into the massive U.S health care bill will make calorie counts impossible for thousands of restaurants to hide and difficult for consumers to ignore. More than 200,000 fast food and other chain restaurants will have to include calorie counts on menus, menu boards and even drive-throughs. More

Live Webcast - March 31: Re-connect Service With Delivery and Get More Revenue per Store
Convenience Store News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Please join Convenience Store News for a live Webcast March 31, at 2 p.m. EST, hosted by CSNews Executive Editor Tammy Mastroberte, with a panel of experts featuring Dean Sanders from Zebra Technologies and Jim Hilton from Motorola. They will discuss how they've helped snack food and CPG customers, and even their franchise customers, deliver better service and improve their delivery operations, which resulted in more revenue per store. More

Pay-at-the-table becomes more like pay-on-demand
Self Service World    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A group of diners. A Chili's in Dallas. Some beer, some chips and a missing server holding the check hostage. For Shawn Gentry, who sat at that table and waited (and waited) to pay, they were the ingredients for a new business. More

Speedway ranked nation's top gasoline brand for second consecutive year
News Blaze    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Speedway has been ranked as the nation's top retail gasoline brand for a second consecutive year. According to the 2010 EquiTrend® Brand Study conducted by Harris Interactive®, Speedway is the highest ranked gasoline in overall brand equity. More

U.S. Retail Industry Roundup: 279 store closings, 837 store openings, 619 global expansions, retail 4Q numbers, and 2009 fiscal year comps
Retail Industry    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Recent numbers from the U.S. retail industry may reveal less about retail recovery and more about retailers' willingness to believe in recovery. While the 2010 domestic and global expansion lists are growing longer, the 2010 Store Closings list is not as insignificant this year as the store openings list was this time last year. What that means is that the future looks less worse, but U.S. chains will still need their best efforts to give customers a good excuse to spend, and retain their foothold on the retail landscape. More

7-Eleven develops private label products for Hispanics
Supermarket News    Share    Share on
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7-Eleven here in conjunction with Seven-Eleven Mexico is developing private-label foods that will appeal to Hispanic shoppers, SN has learned. More

Foodservice supply chain addresses facility energy efficiency
Environmental Leader    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Whether it's a facility expansion or new construction, foodservice companies including U.S. Foodservice and MeadWestvaco are joining the ranks of many organizations that have made the decision to incorporate energy-saving features into their building retrofits and new construction to reduce energy costs and energy use as well as greenhouse gas emissions. More

Dollar Stores, Fast Feeders to add space in 2010
Convenience Store News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Discounters and fast-food chains are set to expand this year as U.S. consumers embrace a "new frugality," Boston-based commercial property broker Colliers International said its 2010 "Retail Trends & Opportunities" report. More

Rutter's adds to foodservice menu
Convenience Store News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The Rutter's Farm Stores chain of convenience stores recently introduces several new foodservice items to its menu at 30 locations that offer touchscreen ordering. More

NRF and eBay join forces, despite differences
Security Director    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A relationship that has been contentious at times has turned to collaboration after the nation's largest online retailer announced it has partnered with one of the most prominent retail associations to fight organized retail crime. On March 22, eBay announced it will join forces with the National Retail Federation to tackle the growing issue of Online Retail Crime (ORC). More

Washington Update

Air Force MWR History - The Morale, Welfare, and Recreation (MWR) Program has been recognized as essential for creating and maintaining the morale of military personnel. Services programs have long provided essential food, fitness, lodging, recreation and services for military members.

MWR programs were first introduced during the Revolutionary War. With the establishment of a huge "citizen" army during World War I, the United Service Organizations (Inc.) was founded along with programs like library services, troop canteens, and sports programs. In 1920, the Army Motion Picture Service was set up and was soon to be followed by the founding of service clubs later during World War II.

Services programs also began during the Revolutionary War, with billeting and food facilities serving as fundamental necessities for military troops. Services' roots sprang from the supply and civil engineering career fields and Services branched off as its own entity in 1991.

MWR and Services merged Air Force wide in 1992. On Jan. 1, 1994, the Air Force Morale, Welfare, Recreation, and Services Agency was renamed Air Force Services Agency, reflecting what the agency's programs are all about - service.
  • Business volume: $1 billion a year in revenue generated; $7.7 million in daily cash flows through our nonappropriated fund banking system
  • Dining operations: Ranked 87th in size among food businesses
  • Lodging: 32,229 bed spaces managed puts us in the top 25 lodging operations in the hospitality industry
  • Clubs: Over 259,000 members make our clubs the 109th largest food/beverage operation
  • Youth Programs: Services provided to 166,000 family members (50,000 in child development centers, 70,000 in youth programs, and 46,000 in community centers)
  • Fitness & Sports Programs: Over 2.8M average monthly visits to fitness centers around the world

Combat troops now get extra time off
Army Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail
Service members deployed for 270 days or more in Iraq or Afghanistan now qualify for 15 days of "administrative absence" on top of their regular annual leave, under a new nonchargeable rest and recuperation policy announced by the Pentagon. More

White House assures Veterans health reform will not reduce benefits
The Gov Monitor    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
As Assistant Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs, a constant concern for me is having our Veterans dragged into partisan politics. Unfortunately the debate over health reform has seen that happen far too many times, and at the VA we often have to correct misinformation and assure Veterans that the care they rely on will not be taken away from them. More

House votes to exempt TRICARE from health reform bill
Government Executive    Share    Share
on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
House lawmakers over the weekend voted to protect TRICARE and Defense non-appropriated fund health care beneficiaries from unintended consequences of national health reform. More

Military Personnel Subcommittee Hearing Schedule Posted:

April 13, 2010, Tuesday
5:30 – 6:30 p.m.
2118 Rayburn House Office Building
Subject: DOD Medical Centers of Excellence
Witnesses: DOD Witnesses (TBD)

April 15, 2010, Thursday
2:00 – 5:00 p.m.
2118 Rayburn House Office Building
Subject: Supporting the Reserve Components as an Operational
Reserve – Key Military Personnel legislative initiatives
Witnesses: DOD Witnesses (TBD)

April 20, 2010, Tuesday
5:30 – 6:30 p.m.
2118 Rayburn House Office Building
Subject: Implementation of the Requirement to Provide a Medical Examination Before Separating Members Diagnosed with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) or Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and the Capacity of DOD to Provide Care to PTSD Cases
Witnesses: DOD (TBD)

April 21, 2010, Wednesday
1:30 – 4:30 p.m.
HVC-210, the Capitol (Tentative)
Subject: Defense Health Program
Witnesses: DOD Witnesses (TBD)

April 23, 2010, Friday
10 a.m. – 12 p.m.
2118 Rayburn House Office Building
Subject: Military Resale and Morale, Welfare, and Recreation Overview
Witnesses: Panel One: Under Secretary of Defense Personnel and Readiness, the Commanders of the Military Resale Activities, the Service Morale, Welfare, and Recreation Chiefs. Panel Two: American Logistics Association, Armed Forces Marketing Council


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Executive Briefing
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