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Home   About   Membership   Meetings   Government Affairs   Members Only Nov. 11, 2011
Executive Briefing

President's Message

Veteran's Day:

6 wars. 6 vets. 6 stories of courage.
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Parade Magazine, Lynn Sherr
Over the years, more than 42 million men and women have served in our armed forces. In honor of Veterans Day Nov. 11, PARADE invited six of them — one each from six of this nation's wars — to talk about what it means to be an American soldier. The scenes of their service have varied widely, from the Pacific theater of World War II to the rugged mountains of Afghanistan, yet these veterans all share one quality: a powerful sense of duty.


More veterans, disabled or not, finding jobs in US agencies
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The Washington Post, Joe Davidson
Just in time for Veterans Day, the administration is trumpeting its success in hiring those who served in uniform. It's a bit of good news to distract us from the Herman Cain circus. "The government is doing better that it ever has done" in hiring veterans, said Joseph Kennedy, the Office of Personnel Management's deputy associate director for employee services.

Acknowledging the veterans on their day in the limelight
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The New York Times, Stuart Elliott
For Veterans Day 2011, Madison Avenue will seem redder, whiter and bluer than it has in a long time. Advertisers had for many years marked the holiday in prosaic, almost formulaic ways, primarily by offering consumers Veterans Day sales on merchandise like cars, clothing and furniture. But more recently, with Americans at war in Afghanistan and Iraq, campaigns have become more creative and heartfelt — echoing the patriotic ads that showed support for the troops during World War II.

Happy Birthday Marines:

United States Marine Corps birthday message 2011
For ten years now, our corps ahs been engaged in continuous combat operations against those who threaten the security of America and out allies. We turned the tide in the Anbar Province of Iraq and continue to see success today in Southwestern Afghanistan. While it has come at a cost, we have much to be proud of.

This past year in operations around the world including humanitarian disaster relief, counter-piracy, theater security cooperation, special operations, counter-insurgency and many more, you continued to solidify our place as America's expeditionary force in readiness. Since the continental Congress created two battalions of Marines 236 years ago, our legacy as an ever-ready, ever capable, victory producing organization remains intact.

Our rich heritage of selfless service and fidelity to nation and to one another lives on in all who currently wear the eagle, globe and anchor — those who have answered the clarion call to duty with remarkable courage, dedication and unshakable resolve that Marines are so well known for. To all Marines — past and present — and especially to our families: I extend my deep gratitude for all you have done and all you continue to do.

As we celebrate out 236th birthday. let us look forward to future challenges — whatever they may be — and reaffirm our pledge to be America's premier crisis response force; to be the first to fight...and always ready for the toughest and most challenging assignments.

Happy birthday Marines, and Semper Fidelis.

James F. Amos
General, U.S. Marine Corps
Commandant of the Marine Corps


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No one saw this one coming:

Stanley leaves personnel office 'without a pilot'
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Army Times, Andrew Tilghman and Karen Jowers
The Defense Department's personnel and readiness office has lost its top official at a time when budget battles both inside and outside the Pentagon threaten to reshape pay, benefits and family programs that have defined military life for decades.


Lawmakers aim to stop defense cuts if debt panel fails
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The New York Times, Jennifer Steinhauer and Robert Pear
As pessimism mounted this week over the ability of a bipartisan congressional committee to agree on a deficit reduction plan, lawmakers began taking steps to head off the large cuts in Pentagon spending that would automatically result from the panel's failure.

Senators press Panetta for specifics of cuts
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Army Times, Donna Cassata
Top Republicans on the Senate Armed Services Committee are pressing Defense Secretary Leon Panetta to spell out the "devastating effects" to the military if a special bipartisan panel fails to produce a deficit-cutting plan and nearly $1 trillion in defense cuts kick in.

'Supercommittee' would reduce COLAs
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Kitsap Sun, Tom Philpott
A congressional "supercommittee" tasked to slow the nation's rising debt appears to have reached consensus on dampening future cost-of-living adjustments for federal entitlement programs, including military retirement, through use of a "chain-weighted" Consumer Price Index.

Leaders join deficit-reduction talks
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Government Executive, Katy O'Donnell and Dan Friedman
The supercommittee's talks are now primarily occurring at the leadership level, according to several committee aides, involving House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and their staffs. The three congressional leaders are working with super committee members to hammer out a deal.

GOP wants Pentagon protected from automatic cuts
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NPR, David Welna
Counting down, it is now exactly two weeks before the clock runs out for Congress's supercommittee. If its six Democrats and six Republicans fail to reduce deficits by more than a trillion dollars, automatic spending cuts kick in. Under this process, known as sequestration, the law would require half the cuts to come from defense spending.

McCain and Graham spell out how they'll get around the "supercommittee"
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The Cable, Josh Rogin
Two top Senate GOP defense hawks laid out for The Cable how they plan to save the defense budget — if the congressional "supercommittee" fails to reach an agreement, triggering $600 billion in defense cuts over ten years.

Defense Department:

Weighing Pentagon cuts, Panetta faces deep pressures
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The New York Times, Thom Shanker and Elisabeth Bumiller
Under orders to cut the Pentagon budget by more than $450 billion over the next decade, Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta is considering reductions in spending categories once thought sacrosanct, especially in medical and retirement benefits, as well as further shrinking the number of troops and reducing new weapons purchases.

Critics on left hit Pentagon on talk of budget disasters
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The Washington Times, Rowan Scarborough
Left-leaning Pentagon critics are panning congressional testimony by Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta and his top officers, who warned of catastrophes if the military is forced to cut $1 trillion if congressional budget talks fail.

Report: Pentagon weighing base closures, military benefits in face of budget cuts
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Government Executive
Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, in an effort to find $450 billion to cut from the Pentagon's budget, is considering wide-ranging measures that could include base closures, hikes in the cost of military health insurance, and possible cuts in retirement pay.

And last but not least:

White House highlights Patrick B. Nixon as "Champion of Change"
The White House and Joining Forces will honor six individuals at the White House as Champions of Change who are committed to helping military veterans. These individuals represent organizations and businesses who are working to improve the lives of veterans and military families by providing vital services or jobs to veterans.

The Champions of Change program was created as a part of President Barack Obama's Winning the Future initiative. Each week, a different issue is highlighted and groups of champions, ranging from educators to entrepreneurs to community activists, are recognized for the work they are doing to better their communities.

Patrick B. Nixon is president of the American Logistics Association, headquartered in Washington, D.C. The ALA is a voluntary, nonprofit organization of manufacturers, manufacturer's representatives, brokers, distributors, publishers and other companies that sell or provide products and services to the military resale systems and MWR/services. At ALA, we use the term "military resale systems" as a broad term that includes all military exchanges and commissaries, Department of State stores, Veterans Canteen Services, as well as all of the armed forces' Morale, Welfare, and Recreation activities that involve a product or service. Under Nixon's leadership, ALA is committed to promote the hiring of veterans in the military resale business channel, a business platform with annual sales of $20 billion. Nixon is a veteran having served in the United States Marine Corps from 1966-1969.

Patrick B. Nixon
President, ALA


House panel approves bill to shrink federal workforce
Government Executive    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee recently approved a bill that would reduce the federal workforce through attrition by 10 percent over the next three years. In a 23-14 vote, the panel approved the measure, which calls for hiring one federal employee to replace every three workers who retire or leave their job, shrinking the workforce across-the-board by 10 percent by 2015. More

40,000 jobs at risk in defense?
Orlando Sentinel via Press Display    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Already dealing with the wipe out of thousands of space shuttle jobs, Florida could lose as many as 40,000 defense-related jobs if huge deficit reduction cuts hanging over the U.S. military budget actually come to pass, a new industry- sponsored study concludes. More

Colin Powell: Why we serve
Parade Magazine    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Gen. Colin Powell writes, "Many people refer to the World War II generation as the greatest one, but we've had greatness in every single generation of Americans who have served. I know of none greater than the generation of GIs now fighting for our country in Iraq and Afghanistan and serving around the world. Someday soon, they'll need us to fight for them." More

Obama ups pressure on Congress over veterans job aid
Reuters    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
President Barack Obama announced new executive action to help veterans Nov. 7, marking the latest step in a White House "can't wait" campaign designed to show him acting on jobs while Congress stalls. More

3 percent repeal passes Senate
Government Withholding Relief Coalition    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
HR 674 passed Nov. 10, in the U.S. Senate by a vote of 95 to 0. Before final passage, an amendment to HR 674 was approved to include tax credits for veterans hiring, a Treasury study of tax delinquency among federal contractors and a technical clarification about the application of the existing federal levy program to reflect congressional intent that payments for property can be levied along with payments for goods and services. This amendment passed 94 to 1. Because HR 674 was amended, the bill must go back to the House for approval before going to the president for his signature. More

Commissary News

Dowling selected acting chief operating officer
Defense Commissary Agency    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Mike Dowling, executive director of the Defense Commissary Agency's Logistics and Engineering Group, will don another, more familiar hat as DeCA's acting chief operating officer effective immediately. The announcement came recently from Joseph H. Jeu, DeCA director and CEO. Dowling's selection follows the Nov. 1 retirement of Thomas E. Milks as COO. Dowling, who previously served as acting COO from November 2007 to July 2009, will continue to perform his duties as executive director of Logistics and Engineering. 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

Piggly Wiggly debuts cash-off coupons
Progressive Grocer    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Piggly Wiggly Carolina Co. Inc. has rolled out "Comeback Cash," a program that provides cash-off coupons for customers shopping with a Pig Card. As their cumulative monthly spending grows, customers earn coupons that enable them to save money. More

Costco vs Sam's: Which will save you the most on your groceries?
KNXV-TV    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Daphne Munro and Quita Jackson write, "We're taking you inside the battle for your hard earned dollars at warehouse stores across the Valley and found out where you will save the most on groceries. We shopped aisle after aisle and checked out dozens of products at Sam's Club and Costco." More

Krispy Kreme® expands grocery store product line with new chocolate flavored treats
The Sacramento Bee    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Krispy Kreme® is adding two delicious new chocolate flavored treats to its growing array of packaged doughnuts and sweets sold in participating grocery stores, convenience stores and mass merchants. Glazed Chocolate Pie and Dipped Cake Doughnuts are the newest in a line of popular Krispy Kreme treats available Nov. 11, in grocery stores throughout the country. More

Mobile groceries, headed to an app near you
BizReport    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Busy people alert: A new iPhone app allows you to grocery shop from home or work through an application interface. Sound too 22nd century to be true? It isn't, and it's one more way for CPG/supermarket brands to engage with shoppers. More

FDA: Pet foods may pose human health risk
Supermarket News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Amidst evidence that Salmonella-contaminated pet foods are making the humans who handle them sick, the Food and Drug Administration is working to remove foods serving as vehicles for transmitting pathogenic and antibiotic-resistant bacteria to humans, from the market. More

Commissary Announcements

Commissary Web Posts

The following commissary items were posted to the ALA Website:

DP #3, Worldwide Promotion Package, Be My Valentine/Black History Month.
Valentines, Update #1.
DP #1, Far East Promotion and Shipper Quantities.

12-05, Extension of Worldwide Pre-packaged Salad Program.

Adds/Changes/Deletes for Week 11-45.
Guard & Reserve On-Site Sale Schedule updates.
CRV Values.

ALA Meetings

2012 Exchange Roundtable

March 7-9, 2012
Sheraton Waterside
Norfolk, Virginia

Happy Holidays from a chapter near you!
ALA    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Many ALA chapters have holiday events scheduled in early December. Luncheons, auctions, dinners, meetings — benefiting a range of deserving groups: Toys for Tots, Military Commanders Scholarship Fund, AREA and others.

Visit the ALA events calendar for details and registration information on events across the country: New York, Hampton Roads, Dallas, Rocky Mountains and Northern California.

Don't see your chapter's event listed? Email the details to and we will add it!

Happy Holidays!

Northwest Chapter Christmas Open House Scheduled!

The Northwest Chapter will be having their annual Christmas Open House and fundraiser for children of military families on Dec. 7. The cost will be $15 per person and an unwrapped gift.

David Carey, Pacific Area director is expected to be our featured guest.

More details regarding the restaurant and location will be included in our flier which will be coming shortly.

Brad Colbo
President, ALA Northwest Chapter

Exchange News

Gift cards go virtual, mobile
Fox Business    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail
Last-minute couch-potato shoppers rejoice! It's become a whole lot easier to send gift cards almost instantly. Six big-name retailers and one major credit card issuer have rolled out e-gift cards, according to's 2011 Gift Card Survey, a nod to the growing popularity of online shopping. More

Report: Daily-deal sites face problems ahead
The Wall Street Journal    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The buzz of the daily-deal industry — soaring after Friday's IPO of trailblazer Groupon — may not last long, according to one research firm that polled online shoppers. Forrester Research e-commerce analyst Sucharita Mulpuru says in report due out Nov. 14, that the deal sites "face challenges that threaten to slow down, if not end their businesses." More

Wal-Mart wants to be nation's biggest primary care provider
Kaiser Health News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Wal-Mart — the nation's largest retailer and biggest private employer — now wants to dominate a growing part of the health care market, offering a range of medical services from basic prevention to management of chronic conditions like diabetes and heart disease, according to a document obtained by NPR and Kaiser Health News. More

Burger King ups the ante for youth customers
USA Today    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Burger King's creepy king might be dead, but his crown is set to challenge McDonald's clown and become the newest symbol of the growing childrens' meal melee. More

Female shoppers of all generations rely on print
Print in the Mix    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
It's estimated women control approximately $5 trillion in spending annually, according to Vertis Communications' examination of the buying power of women, and how the generations interact with and respond to marketing channels. Gen X/Y female shoppers are more likely to shop for value, are less brand-loyal than their older counterparts and are more likely to purchase store brands and generic products. More

Fast food's biggest customer: Not poor, but middle class
Time    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Contrary to popular wisdom, eating at McDonald's isn't exactly cheap, costing almost $28 for a family of four. This might help explain the results of a recent study from the University of California, Davis, which found people's visits to fast food joints increased along with their incomes, and poor people were spending fewer dollars on fast food than lower-middle and middle-income Americans. More

7-Eleven joins Coca-Cola's polar bear conservation effort
Convenience Store News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
7-Eleven Inc. is teaming up with Coca-Cola Co. to protect polar bears' Arctic habitat. The two companies will join forces during the holiday season to raise money under Coca-Cola's "Arctic Home" campaign, which supports the World Wildlife Fund's polar bear conservation efforts. More

Exchange Announcements

Capt. Eng receives 2011 International Leadership Award
Share   Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Capt. Edward Eng, commanding officer of the Community Services Command, is the International Military Community Executives Association Leadership Award winner for 2011. Eng is recognized for his innovative leadership in overseeing the increase of Morale, Well-Being and Recreation non-appropriated fund distribution to field commands by 100 percent over the previous year — a level not attained since 1994. Additionally, Eng is recognized for his support of the Coast Guard's affiliation with the Boys and Girls Clubs of America and bringing quality youth programs to Coast Guard families. (Note: We welcome Ed Eng back in his new role as President of GET Marketing.)

Washington Update

Author visits children of fallen heroes
U.S. Army    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
An award-winning children's author and illustrator visited the Fallen Heroes Family Center Oct. 26, to discuss the loss of a loved one. When Trevor Romain knelt down to share photographs of him petting giraffes and rhinoceroses in Africa, Michael Petersen, 3, reluctantly giggled and then turned toward his mother's hip. But the slender, upbeat motivational speaker's mannerisms and South African accent quickly seized the boy's attention. More

Send troops, families holiday cards
Family Matters Blog    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
As evidenced by the host of Christmas decorations springing up in stores across the nation, the holiday season is nearly at hand. While a time of celebration and festivity, it's also an opportunity to honor service members and their families serving far from home. More

Survivors visit Fort Carson support center
CNN    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
More than 100 survivors of service members who died by suicide visited Fort Carson Oct. 23, for an evening gathering at the Fallen Heroes Family Center. Hundreds of people traveled to Colorado Springs for the 3rd Annual National Military Suicide Survivor Seminar and Good Grief Camp, offered by the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors. They shared hardships, searched for answers and connected with others for three days at Cheyenne Mountain Resort. More

Hanks joining forces PSA
The White House    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
VideoBriefSeveral Hollywood legends, including Tom Hanks, have joined forces with first lady Michelle Obama to help shine the light on military families and their service and sacrifice. Please take time to view Hanks's encouragement of Americans to get involved in supporting our military families. More

White House invites military children to submit holiday cards
Family Matters Blog    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
First lady Michelle Obama would like to add a military flourish to the White House's holiday decorations this year. She's asking military children from throughout the world to create holiday cards honoring their service member parent and to send them to the White House no later than Nov. 16, according to a Navy news article by Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Monique K. Hilley. More

Gold Star Families join Fort Hood AFAP to improve Army programs
CNN    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail
The people who know Fort Hood best — the soldiers, family members and civilians of the Great Place — took part in the annual Army Family Action Plan Conference Oct. 25-28, in an effort to improve Army programs and issues both locally and Army-wide. The 101 delegates were split into eight different work groups where specific topics were discussed by the attendees. More

Keeping military marriages strong
Family Matters Blog    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Marriage is tough enough without tossing in the additional stressors of military life — frequent deployments, reintegrations, separations and moves, to name a few. But even the toughest military challenges can be weathered with some advance planning and healthy communication skills. And in the process, marriages can grow even stronger. More

Executive Briefing
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