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Home   About   Membership   Meetings   Government Affairs   Members Only May. 18, 2012
Executive Briefing

President's Message

Defense Authorization passes committee:

The House Armed Services Committee passed the fiscal 2013 National Defense Authorization bill last week by a vote of 56-5. The bill authorizes $554 billion for national defense and $88.5 billion for Overseas Contingencies Operations, $4 billion more than the president's request but less than fiscal 2012 funding levels.

The committee-approved provisions:
  • Restate the firmly-held sense of Congress that prior service to our nation is a pre-payment of health care benefits in retirement. Specifically, the bill states that "This nation must honor its commitment to generations of service members, families and survivors who have spent decades sacrificing their personal interests in service to their country. As such, it rejects Administration proposals to increase some TRICARE fees and establish new TRICARE fees. These proposals went too far and were not included in the bill."
  • Include a modest increase in TRICARE pharmacy co-pays in 2013 and a cap on pharmacy co-pays beginning in 2014 that would allow fees to rise by no more than the annual retiree cost of living allowance. This is offset by a 5-year pilot program that requires TRICARE for Life recipients to obtain refills of maintenance drugs through the TRICARE mail-order program.
  • Authorize a 1.7 percent pay increase and extends bonuses and special pay.
  • Cap the number of troops that can be separated from the force in a single year.
  • Mandate that in the future, funding for troops designated for separation must be part of DoD's base budget and not carried in accounts for contingency operations.
  • Allow transition benefits for members involuntarily separated during force cuts, including six months' continued access to family housing and two years of commissary and exchange benefits.
  • Reject the Pentagon proposal for two additional rounds of Base Reduction and Closure action, and bar the Pentagon from planning any closures during fiscal 2013.
  • Authorize $30 million in Impact Aid assistance for civilian schools serving significant populations of military children.
  • Protect child custody agreements in the event of deployment of the military parent.
  • Extend certain refinancing help for qualifying service members who can't sell their homes in conjunction with a military-ordered relocation.
  • Authorize transition benefits of 180 days of TRICARE Reserve Select health coverage and TRICARE dental coverage for members involuntarily separated from the Selected Reserve.
  • Require DoD to establish a unified medical command
The committee's passage of the defense bill was not without some controversy. In a press conference late last week, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta blasted the committee and charged that Congress was protecting "particular constituencies that may not be critical to our national defense capabilities." He also said that every dollar added to the budget will "have to be offset by cuts in national security."

In response, Committee Chairman Rep. Buck McKeon, R-Calif., sent a scathing letter to Panetta justifying his committee's bill. McKeon said, "In your criticism of my proposal for the Department's FY13 Authorization Bill, you are clearly operating under some misconceptions." He also noted that the bill passed with overwhelming bipartisan support.

The Senate Armed Services Committee’s markup of its version is scheduled to begin on May 21.

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Implications for military resale:

One of the provisions in the report language calls for a study to be conducted by DoD on the implications of participating in container deposit programs. This could have broad implications depending on how the report views the issue. We will closely watch this issue as it develops.

Military Resale Participation in Container Deposit Programs

The committee is aware that military exchange and commissary systems do not directly participate in state and local container deposit programs designed to control litter and advance recycling objectives. The committee understands that as agencies of the Federal Government, military exchange and commissary systems would not historically participate in state and local programs that are viewed as taxation, although container deposit programs are generally viewed as user fees. The committee recognizes that container deposit programs are highly valued initiatives in the states and locales in which they are operated. However, the committee would like to better understand the implications of requiring the military resale community to participate in container deposit programs, as well as the potential for setting a precedent with broad consequences for the federal government regarding the participation of a federal agency in state and local tax or user fee programs. Accordingly, the committee directs the Secretary of Defense to submit a report to the Senate Committee on Armed Services and the House Committee on Armed Services by March 31, 2013, assessing if it is appropriate for military exchange and commissary systems to participate in state and local container deposit programs. The Secretary should consider the implications of a decision to support the participation of military resale organizations in container deposit programs and, at a minimum, provide an assessment of:
  1. The impact on the operations and financial management of military resale organizations.
  2. The cost and other burdens imposed on patrons of military resale organizations.
  3. The potential for far reaching precedents with implications for all appropriated and non-appropriated fund activities throughout the Federal Government.
  4. The legal questions associated with such a decision, to include any concerns about the constitutionality of such participation.
  5. Examples of how the Department of Defense complies with State or local beverage container laws.
The Secretary should also include in the report a recommendation concerning the propriety of military exchanges and commissaries participating in state and local container deposit programs. The committee further directs the Secretary not to assign responsibility for managing the conduct of the study and the writing of the resulting report to any military exchange system or commissary system.

The perfect storm approaches:

Budget time bomb sends shivers across economy
Read the Full Story
The Washington Post, Lori Montgomery and Rosalind S. Helderman
Anxiety grows around New Year's tax hikes and slashed spending.

Defense cuts would cripple Virginia economy, leaders warn
Read the Full Story
Norfolk Virginian-Pilot, Bill Bartel
If Congress doesn't stop $1 trillion in automatic budget reductions set to begin unrolling in January, Hampton Roads and Northern Virginia will see such dramatic cutbacks that a statewide recession is likely.


House GOP defense bill challenges Obama policy
Read the Full Story
The Associated Press via Yahoo News, Donna Cassata
House Republicans are pushing ahead with a defense budget that adds billions of dollars, boosts nuclear weapons programs and slows cost-cutting reductions in the force. It's an election-year challenge to President Barack Obama.

Confrontation brews in Congress over detainee law
Read the Full Story
Reuters, David Alexander
Lawmakers moved toward a confrontation over the government's power to detain suspected terrorists as the Republican-led House of Representatives began debate on a defense policy bill the White House has threatened to veto.

House defense bill would block base closures, Tinker changes
Read the Full Story
Daily Oklahoman, Chris Casteel
The U.S. House recently began debating a defense bill that would block the Obama administration's plans for a new round of base closures and some of its budget-cutting and reorganization moves.

White House threatens veto of House defense bill
Read the Full Story
The Associated Press via San Francisco Chronicle, Donna Cassata
The White House recently threatened to veto the House Armed Service Committee's version of next year's defense budget, arguing that the $642 billion measure adds billions to President Barack Obama's request and limits the military's ability to execute a new defense strategy.

US House appropriators add $5.3 billion for weapons buys
Read the Full Story
DefenseNews, Marcus Weisgerber
A powerful U.S. House defense spending panel has recommended adding more than $5.3 billion to the Pentagon's procurement accounts in 2013 to buy more aircraft, ships, vehicles and weapons, according to a report.

Patrick B. Nixon
President, American Logistics Association

Washington Update

Senate committee approves 7 Pentagon nominees
South Florida Sun-Sentinel    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The Senate Armed Services Committee recently approved the nominations of seven civilians for senior jobs at the Defense Department, including Frank Kendall to be the Pentagon's chief weapons buyer. The committee said it established a quorum and approved the nominations, which must still be approved by the full Senate. More

Post-traumatic stress now a leading concern for military families
Christian Science Monitor    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A new survey that ranks the top struggles and worries of military families finds that after more than a decade of war, soldiers and their spouses are feeling isolated and financially strapped. More

Reach Out To Military Families this Memorial Day
Just prior to the Memorial Day weekend, active duty families will receive another Judy Johnson's Military Family Mailbox envelope. It is mailed to active duty families exclusively and no other part of the military community. All live in military housing designated for families. Deliver coupons to the core customers and those who need the savings the most, young active duty families. Include other special offers for military families and messages of support and appreciation for their ongoing service. Contact: MORE

Military families also pay price for repeated tours of duty
The Bellingham Herald    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Resilient, tough, experienced, professional. The Army uses words like these to describe U.S. soldiers in the post-9/11 era who have had to adapt to the new normal of repeat combat tours. More


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Commissary News

Commissary major quality-of-life improvement at small base in Korea
Stars and Stripes    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
For the nearly 900 troops stationed at K-16 Air Base, buying groceries has been a logistical headache, since the nearest commissary is located 45 minutes to an hour away at U.S. Army Garrison Yongsan. And because many service members aren't allowed to own cars in South Korea — particularly junior enlisted troops who make up a sizable portion of the population at K-16 — it's also been a drain on the wallet, costing nearly $20 for a one-way taxi trip to Yongsan. Until now. More

2012 New York Apple-Marzetti DeCA display contest winners announced
PerishableNews    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
New York Apple Association has announced winners of its 2012 contest promoting commissary in-store displays of New York state apples and Marzetti products — though military families shopping at commissaries were the real winners, officials stressed. The 2012 contest was the 12th year for the NYAA-Marzetti event with the Defense Commissary Agency. More

Military families worried about money, suicide — not end of 'Don't Ask' policy
89.3 KPCC    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A survey of American military families has found that economic issues are by far their greatest concern. Nearly two-thirds of military families responding to the survey by the military spouse-led private group Blue Star said pay and retirement benefits are their primary concern. Vivian Greentree, who directs the annual survey for Blue Star Families, says that the number of food stamps used at military commissaries has tripled in the last four years. More

3 in 4 grocery purchase decisions being made in-store
Marketing Charts    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Grocery shoppers are making an increasingly large number of their purchase decisions in-store, according to research findings released in May 2012 by The Point of Purchase Advertising International. Breaking down purchases into 4 categories — Specifically Planned, Generally Planned, Substitutes and Unplanned — the trade association calculated the in-store decision rate by taking the sum of the Generally Planned, Substitutes and Unplanned category rates. More

Kroger features Nutrisystem Everyday products
Progressive Grocer    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Fort Washington, Pa.-based Nutrisystem Inc. has introduced its Nutrisystem Everyday product line at Kroger supermarkets. Offering "real balanced nutrition," Nutrisystem Everyday products are available in bars, smoothies and bakery and breakfast items. Each product is portion controlled, low in fat and calories and a good source of fiber and protein. More

New research reveals behaviors of today's cost-conscious grocery shoppers
Business Wire via MarketWatch    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
While grocers and CPG manufacturers are still figuring out how to navigate the post-recession economy, consumers are also trying to find the best ways to maximize their monthly spend. A new research report sponsored by MaxPoint Interactive reveals the changing behavior among cost-conscious grocery shoppers as they move through the path to purchase in today's post-recession economy. More

How to curb those impulse grocery purchases
The Citizen    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
You're zooming up and down the aisles at the grocery store and suddenly, it hits you. Milk is what you really need, but a package of Oreos calls your name from the cookie case (right before you get to the dairy case), and now it's going to be cookies and milk. Sound familiar? More

Group plans to open 'zero-waste' grocery store this summer
Austin American-Statesman    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The idea for a package-free organic grocery store started years ago when brothers Christian and Joseph Lane were discussing a simple business idea: refilling beer and wine bottles. From there, they decided to include other basic grocery store offerings — meat, dairy, produce, bulk items and bread. Next thing you know, the concept of a "zero-waste" grocery store was born. More

Shopping at the farmers market: Your questions answered
One Green Planet    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Farmers markets are popping up in more and more cities across the country and it is becoming easier than ever to find local produce in your area. However, going to a farmers market for the first time can be a bit overwhelming! How do you know what to buy? Is it more expensive? What should you bring with you? It's time to answer your questions and get out to the market. More

Commissary Announcements

Commissary Web Posts

The following commissary items were posted to the ALA Website as of 10 a.m., 17 May 2012.

DP #11, Update #1.
DP #12, CONUS, Pacific & Alaska Promotion & Shipper Quantities and Update #1.
DP #14, Far East Promotion & Shipper Quantities.
Summer Club Pack, July Quantities for CONUS & Pacific.

12-79, Category Plan, July & August 2012 Category Review Templates.

Sales & Marketing & Policy Group Phone List, 13 May 2012.
DeCA Distributor Change Form, East, West-Midwest, dated 10 May 12.
ALA Commissary Roundtable, Perimeter Breakout Handouts (2),
& Shopper Insights & Solutions Presentation – Executive Brief.
Adds/Changes/Deletes for Week 12-20.
Guard & Reserve On-Site Sale Schedule updates.
CRV Values.

June 19, 2012: Congressional Caucus, Washington, D.C.
August 20–23, 2012: Hawaii Conference & Food Show

Exchange News
Breaking news! Military Resale Participation in Container Deposit Programs
Click here for more information!

Penney to end commissions for some in favor of hourly wages
The Wall Street Journal    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
J.C. Penney Co. is ending the practice of paying commissions to employees in certain departments, a move seen saving the retailer money and furthering its transformation under Chief Executive Ron Johnson. More

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Cotton extends slump to 21-month low as supplies expand
Bloomberg    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Cotton tumbled to a 21-month low, trimming costs for clothing retailers including Gap Inc., after the U.S. forecast rising inventories and as industrial output slowed in Asia. World stockpiles will climb 10 percent to 73.75 million bales in the season that starts Aug. 1, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said. More

Retailers heading to Hill
National Journal    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Almost 200 retailers came to Capitol Hill this week for the National Retail Federation's Washington Leadership Conference. They attended about 60 meetings with lawmakers and staff to discuss corporate tax reform and requiring online retailers to collect sales tax. They also emphasized the importance of retail to the overall economy. More

Burger King realizing results with turnaround strategy
QSRweb    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Burger King's menu and marketing shifts seem to be paying off in the United States, as the company reported its best comparable sales performance in more than eight quarters. Burger King Holdings Inc. reported its financial results for the quarter ended March 31 that included a systemwide comparable sales increase of 4.6 percent. More

Supervalu to close Ohio DC
Kantar Retail    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Supervalu has announced that it will close its 400,000 square foot distribution center in Xenia, Ohio. More

Former Best Buy chief Dunn may get $3.2 million — investigation widens
Chain Store Age    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
According to a recent filing by Best Buy, former CEO Brian Dunn may receive either $3.1 million or zero in termination payments following his highly publicized resignation. The payout is dependent on whether or not Dunn is determined to have left voluntarily on April 9. More

Luxury brand apps can open the mcommerce door
eMarketer    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Wealthy Americans have been at the forefront of smartphone app use and mcommerce. And that trend is likely to continue, according to a Q1 2012 study by the Luxury Institute and Plastic Mobile of U.S. consumers with an annual income of at least $150,000. According to the report, 60 percent of these wealthy Americans owned a smartphone, of which more than 80 percent had downloaded an app. More

Google Maps steers mobile shoppers to Google's daily deals
Internet Retailer    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Google Inc. is seeking to drive U.S. consumers to nearby businesses. The search giant recently rolled out an extension of its Google Offers daily deal offering that presents consumers with nearby Offers when they look at Google Maps on their mobile devices. More

Target to open Virginia Beach store
Kantar Retail    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Target will open a PFresh store in Virginia Beach, Va., in October. This is one of 19 stores to open in 2012. More

Top 20 e-retailers in customer satisfaction — Amazon on top
Chain Store Age    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Amazon continues to set the bar higher, achieving the highest rating on the annual Top 100 E-Retail Satisfaction Index by customer experience analytics firm ForeSee. Amazon outdid its 2011 score, climbing three points to 89, and four points higher than the second highest scoring websites, (85) and (85). (Scores of 80 or higher on ForeSee's 100-point scale are considered superior customer satisfaction performances.) More

Survey: 95 million Americans using social media to shop
Chain Store Age    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Forty-two percent of Americans are using social media to shop — this equates to nearly 95 million consumers — and that number continues to rise, according to a study by Leo Burnett/Arc Worldwide. When asked how often social media is used to shop today versus a year ago, almost 73 percent of people confirmed they are using it more. More

Wal-Mart offers 'first of its kind' augmented reality with Marvel
The Grocer    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Wal-Mart is hoping to attract hordes of superhero fans into its stores with a new augmented reality app. The U.S. retailer has teamed up with Marvel to launch the Super Hero AR game, which is played using an app for smartphones and tablets available from the iTunes app store and Android Market. The app was recently rolled out in advance of the release of The Avengers film. More

Why retailers should move their retail supply chain to the cloud
Retail's BIG Blog    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
In the retail supply chain, it's essential to know what's going on and what is where at any given moment. Recently, at the Global Supply Chain Summit in Atlanta, Greg Johnsen, chief marketing officer and co-founder, GT Nexus, described how cloud technology isn't just a new way to store information, but a game changer for the industry. More

Shopper marketing: Mobile up, daily deals struggling
MarketingDaily via MediaPost    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
In a new analysis of the 17 digital tools most used in shopper marketing, Forrester finds that many of the most-buzzed about — including social networking, daily deal sites and QR codes — are struggling in earning their share of spending. And while others show much greater potential, including mobile, adoption rates are low. More

April retail sales hint at slower spending pace
Reuters    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Sales at retailers barely rose in April as the boost from an unseasonably warm winter faded, pointing to some loss of momentum in consumer spending early in the second quarter. More

7-Eleven to offer low-calorie Slurpees
Fox News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Attention, Slurpee fans: 7-Eleven has a new option for people watching their waistlines, Fox 31 News reported. The convenience store chain will soon offer "Slurpee Lite," a lower-calorie version of the popular Slurpee drink. More

US consumers hold back, even as gas prices fall
The Washington Post    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Lower gas prices in April weren't enough to embolden U.S. consumers to spend much more elsewhere. The Commerce Department said retail sales rose only 0.1 percent last month. After excluding gasoline station sales, consumers increased their spending on retail goods by just 0.2 percent. More

Wal-Mart to install solar panels on 27 stores in Massachusetts
The Boston Globe    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Retail giant Wal-Mart said it plans to install solar panels on top of about half of its roughly 50 Massachusetts stores as early as August as part of an expansion of solar power in the state. The installations for the 27 stores are still in the engineering phase, and local permits must be obtained, Wal-Mart officials said. But once the projects are done, they will be capable of generating a total of about 10.5 megawatts worth of energy, enough to power up to 2,600 homes. More

Exchange Chapter Announcements

National Veterans Conference
Department of Veteran Affairs    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The Department of Veteran Affairs will host the National Veterans Conference in Detroit from June 25-29. The three major facets of this National Conference include: the National Veterans Small Business Conference, the Veterans Open House and a Veterans Hiring Fair. the VA for Vets program is sponsoring the Veterans Hiring Fair, which will take place on June 26-28, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Click here for more information.

Military Surface Deployment and Distribution Command Customer Advisory
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(Note: There are still discussions in progress for how this will impact the Exchange Business.)

Subject: Lithium batteries prohibited in international/military mail

Purpose: To provide DOD shippers an immediate notification on mailing lithium batteries to/from APOs, FPOs or DPOs.

Be advised: Effective May 16, 2012, the United States Postal Service will prohibit the shipment of lithium metal batteries, lithium-ion batteries and devices containing lithium batteries by international/military mail. This prohibition includes mail sent to and from APO, FPO and DPO locations and applies regardless of quantity, size, watt-hours and whether the cells or batteries are packed in equipment, with equipment or without equipment.

Save the dates!
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May 21: Dallas Chapter/Commanders Cup Golf event
Bear Creek Golf Club
3500 Bear Creek Court, Dallas, Texas 75261
Click here for directions and here for the official flier.

June 25: ALA New York Chapter Golf Event
Click here for registration form and directions.

Exchange Announcements

ALA Exchange E-Blast week 5/18/12

Breaking news! (From the NDAA Full Committee Markup)
Military Resale Participation in Container Deposit Programs
AAFES Sales Flyers: Food Court Savings:

Download coupons and start saving on the food you love and brands you trust.
(Exchange Contractors/Vendors authorized) Chapter Announcements:

May 21: Dallas Chapter/Commanders Cup Golf event
Bear Creek Golf Club
3500 Bear Creek Court, Dallas, Texas 75261
Click here for directions and here for the official flier.

June 25: ALA New York Chapter Golf Event
Click here for registration form and directions.

Save the dates:

June 19, 2012 — Congressional Caucus, House Office Building Washington, D.C.
Sponsorship for the June 19 Caucus still open! Contact:

August 20–23, 2012 — Hawaii Conference & Food Show

Go to:, sign in and CHECK OUT the information.

Washington Update

Job fairs offer opportunities for transitioning soldiers, veterans, family members
U.S. Army    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Are you a soldier transitioning from active duty and looking for your next job? A veteran? Or a family member wanting to continue your career? Garrison Army Career and Alumni Program and Army Community Service offices support hundreds of job fairs on or near our installations every year. The following is a list of events for transitioning soldiers, veterans and family members coming up in the next three months. More

Ceremony marks the return of 4,000 Schofield soldiers
Honolulu Star-Advertiser    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Afghanistan is one of the world's toughest battlefields, and few areas of that country are tougher than the eastern provinces of Kunar, Nuri­stan and Nangarhar, Army Col. Richard Kim said at a recent homecoming ceremony for nearly 4,000 Schofield Barracks soldiers. More
Exchange online purchases fund MWR
Online store and catalog purchases help fund MWR facilities and quality-of-life programs at your installation.

Army one-star removed from job in Afghanistan    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The Army is investigating Brig. Gen. Jeffrey A. Sinclair, who has been reassigned from Afghanistan back to Fort Bragg, officials recently said. Earlier this month, Sinclair was removed from his job as the 82nd Airborne Division's deputy commanding general for support in Afghanistan. He had been deputy commander since July 2010. "This is a criminal investigation," said Ben Abel, a Fort Bragg spokesman. More

HASC rep vows BRAC is dead    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A top House Armed Services Committee Republican vowed Saturday that he and the rest of Congress would see to it that the Pentagon will not get its request to restart the Base Realignment And Closure progress. "I just don't see any way that's going to happen," said Virginia Rep. Randy Forbes, shortly after speaking at the annual military bloggers conference outside Washington. More

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Executive Briefing
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