New Report Supports Commissary Benefits

December 18, 2012 | Terry Howell

Source: The Military Resale and MWR Center for Research -

Threats to Commissary and Exchange Benefits Challenged by New Report  

Repeated attacks on the commissary and exchange benefit that would increase prices and eliminate the benefit entirely for retirees and other current beneficiaries have been challenged by a recently released report by commissary and exchange advocates.  

The Military Resale and MWR Center for Research, established by the American Logistics Association, released a major economic review of the military resale system documenting these benefits for the military community and the nation.

Pat Nixon, President of the American Logistics Association which released the report, Costs and Benefits of the Department of Defense Resale System, said, “the resale system demonstrates a remarkably high return for resources invested in this program, producing jobs, funding for vital military community programs, and promoting American industry.” According to Nixon, “The system blends the best of the private sector and government coming together to fulfill that reciprocal commitment to our men and women in uniform who have given so much.” 

The Department of Defense (DoD) operates hundreds of exchange and commissary outlets at installations around the globe producing $18 billion a year in revenue, providing a wide range of products and services at prices 24 to 50 percent below prices at commercial establishments.

The economic report challenges findings of the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) that have served as the basis for several Congressional actions in the past year including  measures passed by the Veterans Affairs Committee and introduced as amendments to the 2012 Defense Act as well as being cited as a cost-cutting measure in several reports by Washington think tanks. 

The report outlined nearly $24 billion yearly economic benefit to the nation or a twenty-to-one return on every dollar invested by the Government in its operation. The system “produces $10.97 billion in economic benefit to the Department of Defense for the $1.757 billion provided in taxpayer support, a $6.24 return for every $1.00 of appropriations used”, according to the report. 

The report found that the CBO recommendations would actually cost DoD $40 billion instead of saving the government money and that the impact to the National economy was even greater—placed at $80 billion. 

According to the report, commissaries and exchanges are the largest employer of military families in the world and the leading employer of veterans in the nation.   The report shows the system has taken out billions of dollars in costs over the years.  “Everyone says government should operate more like a business.  Well, this is one part of government that already operates like a business,” Nixon added.

Among other report findings: 

  • Provides $4.5 billion in annual savings to military patrons.
  • Reduces cost of living allowance payments by over $738 million per year.
  • Promotes the sale of nearly $3.7 billion annually in U.S. products overseas.
  • Provides $330 million in vital community support funding for military installations.
  • The system makes a major contribution to National Security, supporting deployed forces, often in forward combat areas valued at $117 million annually.
  • Is one of the most efficient organizations in Government with over $700 million in annual efficiencies.  If commissaries had not realized efficiencies, its appropriation requirement trajectory would have taken it over $2 billion. Instead, its costs are under $1.4 billion.  Another $500 million was saved by the Government in inventory reduction efficiencies. 
  • This includes $10.51 billion in economic benefit to military service members and families for a $5.97 return for every dollar of appropriations used.
  • When direct cash contributions by the system to the government are measured against the appropriations spent, the system yields $373 million per year in proceeds to the government.
  • Military personnel are shareholders in their own resale programs.  A portion of their paid transaction is allocated to recapitalization, saving the taxpayer money and building military family equity.  Over the past 20 years, this investment in facility and other capital investments have amounted to $12.5 billion.  The total amount of shareholder equity in the system is estimated at $12 billion.
  • Costs for these programs have been kept constant or dropped in real terms in the past ten years while costs of other DoD programs have doubled and even tripled.  Health care in DoD costs 28.8 times what the resale system costs taxpayers and represents only 2.2 percent of expenditures for health care and family support services.  The basic allowance for housing is 13 times higher than the appropriation for the military resale system.  Yet, commissaries and exchanges rank near the top for reasons military personnel stay in the service.

 For a copy of the report or to learn how you can help protect the military resale benefit, visit http://www.saveourbenefit.org/.

About Terry Howell

Before becoming the Managing Editor for Military.com, Terry served 20 years in the U.S. Coast Guard as an Aviation Electrician’s Mate and aircrewman. In his final role in the Coast Guard, Terry served as a Career Development Advisor, where he provided career, finance, education, and benefits counseling to servicemembers and their families. Since retiring from the Coast Guard, Terry has authored the book, The Military Advantage, managed the content for TurboTap, the DoD's online transition program and VAforVets, the VA's transition assistance website. Terry earned both his Bachelor's and MBA at Corban University using Military Tuition Assistance and his GI Bill benefits to help cover the cost.

Comments

  1. I have an idea, get rid of all the military benefits, close the Commissaries, Exchanges, gyms, bowling alleys, etc., and reduce the pay back to 1980's base pay and see who joins and what caliber of people actually choose to join.

    Increase the Welfare, free cell phones, medical care, food stamps, free housing for all those lazy Kings and Queens that have been on the government dole for ages and encourage their offspring to do the same. Keep giving and giving for free and see where that gets you!

    • Gee I thought you joined to serve your country not to be pampered, guess things have changed. Who serves who today? Just a thought.

    • blanketjackson says:

      hmmm. when i joined, it wasn't for the mrw or the commissaries and exchanges. nor was it for the pay. as a matter of fact, due to clerical errors, i didn't receive a paycheck until almost 3 months into language school. nonetheless, i was happy. maybe, it was because i joined as a matter of honor and duty to my country.

      • Ronald H. Mandell says:
      • Excellent comment! I joined because I felt it was an honorable thing to serve my country. I did not know of any privileges I might receive. Today I have an 80% service connected disability and would love to be able to shop at a PX. When comparing PX prices to places such as Wal-Mart. people are comparing delicious apples to crab apples. American made goods to those made in third world countries.

    • Welfare, free phones, food stamps etc make me sick. I searved in Korea 1951 Nov until 1953 April, disabled vet. Since then, I worked and made something of myself. I guess that is called self esteem. I do know people that worked a [little] and then went on goverment dole. Everything for free is the name of the game in this age. Sucks.

  2. I would like to know where they get the 25-50% savings from? Other than saving the local tax rate the prices aren’t that substantially less. They must have cherry picked a small number of items to substantiate that savings amount.

    • Well, for one thing, while the prices on …say clothing.. IS higher than I can find at "Costco", the "Kirkland" brand is not of the same quality as the similarly priced clothing available in the BX. price comparrisons are like comparing apples & applesauce.

    • If theres waste in the Commissary system then it is poorly managed all the way to the top. Prices are a bit cheaper but only some items are a 25%-50% savings. No sales tax but a sur charge. Like most Government jobs wages are higher that stores like Safeway, Albertson's or Kroger's.

    • Our grocery cost on base is appoximately 30% less than in town. It makes a HUGE difference in our life.

      • No Offence : 30% savings is = 30$ on every 100$ or 3$ on 10$;
        I believe you mean 3% savings. Please no offence to you. Thanks.

  3. I think we should fore-go our commissary benefits and use those dollars for our beloved leader, Baron Von Obama, to continue the perpetual extension of unemployment benefits. I mean the Baron apparently relates more to the chronically unemployed than he does to people who serve their country. All you retirees and active duty members should stop being so callous!!! Individuals who have effectively put time and effort in staying on the dole deserve our respect! C'mon, this is what we voted for…right?

    • Before you make comments like this you should pay attention to both sides of the issues, then you may not show your hind end!

      • Nam Vet from another Nam vet……
        Nobody is perfect!
        Each one of us is a mixture of good qualities and some perhaps not so good qualities. In considering OBAMA, we should remember his good qualities and realize that his faults only prove that he is, after all, a human being. We should refrain from making harsh judgement of OBAMA just because he happens to be a dirty, no-good SOB!!
        COPY???

    • You should be more mindful of what you put in print, you are a disgrace to the Military being a Vet or Active/Reserve.

      • 10th mountain says:

        Sorry civilians make sorry soldiers you can pretty much tell who served with honor and who just enlisted for a check. Give me a rifle and Im ready any day any time

    • blanketjackson says:

      this is probably not the best forum to voice your politics. support your Commander in Chief!

    • I have no idea how anyone of sane mind and body could have voted for such an azz.

      • stupid is a crime says:

        That's because you had your head up yours during the elections. I guess your one of those 250k a year middle class vets.

    • Kamdawg, Get a life. Do you really think the President sits up at night figuring our how to screw the vets? A little respect will go a long way.

    • 10th Mountain says:

      kamdawg you are the reason for the saying

      "Its better to be thought a fool than to open one's mouth and remove all doubt"

      Have you ever thought about the fact that a large number of the "chronically unemployed" are in fact vets. I served my country proudly and have been unemployed also so how do you handle that one genius. Funny you don't have much to say about George Bush 1 and 2 who lead our nation headfirst into this whole mess in the first place. If you want the benefits stay in and RETIRE FROM THE MILITARY!!! Sounds like you probably got a discharge for insufficient operator headspace.

    • Kamdaug You are one stuped Ass

    • Kamdog must be an absolute fool, ignorant of the law. It is Congress who decides and makes law, not the president.
      PRESIDENT Obama has absolutly nothing to do with commisary privilages.
      You must have been one hell of a low down serviceman to show such a disrespect for the President and Commander om Chief of the United States.
      Please keep your hateful political opinions to yourself.

  4. Robbie May E6 Ret says:

    I stopped shopping at the commissary years ago. I couldn't find a lot of those 25 – 50% savings they are talking about.

  5. How does telling retirees and veterans they cant shop there cost $40 billion?

  6. Privatizing will accomplish 3 things.

    1. Some large retail CEO will make an extra 10 million $$$ per year.
    2. Some large logistics CEO will make an extra 10 million $$$ per year.
    3. Some congressman will make an extra 10 million $$$ per year.

    • terrazas, you hit the nail right on the head. It's all about politics and how much more money can they make off of those who bare the burden!

  7. Here in the central valley of California we'd ove to have a commissary! After the closure of the local Navy base and Castle AFB the nearest commissary and BX is Travis AFB. It is over 50 miles for me and 125 miles one way for those some 12K retirees in the Atwater area. Our local Navy commissary was profitable only the major Alameda commissary supporting the Stockton one caused the closure with the BRAC. Vets getting VA benefits of 70% or more serviced connected can use the BX and commissary. We have many of these folks in our are too. Cong. McNerney says he's for the troops but only gives lip service.

    • Does All Veterans are allow to use Commissary for his/her family?

    • Disabled vet says:
      • Not one of the President's really care about the troops. I include the ones that served in military too! Any military that served and received an honorable discharge should have post or base privileges. Any military that was disabled during combat or injured while performing military duties should have base or post privileges. I disagree with privileges for anyone injured/disabled due to poor judgement, behavior (drugs) or DUI.

  8. The REAL problem here is that the government just cannot tolerate a program that REALLY WORKS!! And to all that find shopping on the economy cheaper overall, have at it!!

  9. I use both the commissary and exchange. I did a cost comparison between Giant in Bowie, MD and at Andrews AFB. For example, to purchase a package of hamburger meat 93% lean cost $4.80 and for Giant about the same weight but 88% lean cost over $7.00, look at spices a larger bottle of cumin at the commissary cost about the same for a small one at Giant. Look at the products you buy all the time at both the commissary and at Giant or Safeway. You will find there is a savings on many items even with a surcharge. I did find a saving anywhere from 5 to 25 percent and do see higher savings at times; don't forget to use coupons. There are savings at the Exchange, and they are willing to match prices if you bring the proof. Truth be told, " I am grateful for the savings

    • Thank you . I'm 100% Service Connected Disabled P&T with commissary privileges . I've never gone to check the savings . I will now . Merry Christmas .

  10. It's pretty obvious the above comments were made individuals with no connections to the military or are paid shrills for those who want to privatize the services. With a political troll thrown in for good measure whom seem to not know of the percentage of military families who benefit from the medical care, food stamps and free housing provided by welfare.

    The privateers are the same as in the past except now they are only interested in getting their foot in the door so they can start the looting. Except this time instead of ships it's government institution and their patrons/ beneficiaries!

  11. There is nothing wrong with enjoying the benefits of shopping at the commissary

  12. or any of the other benefits of being part of the military, its nice to feel appreciated for what we go through every single day. Not to mention, I would not call our life anything close to pampered!

  13. I believe they should let the military personnel run the establishments like they did back in the '50s.

    • I have recently stayed at a couple of the Space A lodging that was run by outside contractors. Holiday Inn runs the one in Ft. Worth at about twenty bucks more than right outside the base. And, they give Holiday Inn points.

  14. Johnny ray says:

    The 5 point Vets should be the ones crying. After serving our country (some combat vets) we don’t even have Post Privleges. The only ones that can use it is either retired military or disable vets. This is not fair at all

    • John Colburn says:

      Hello Johnnie, I am john Colburn I am a 90% Disabled combat Viet Nam vet and cannot go to Commisary or Exchange,it looks like we need to find those lawyers who handled the P.T.S.D. law suit against Big Brother and get this show moving.Lets forget about fair,you and I both know its about money and who has the best lawyers.So spread the word the Vets are out to get whats due them.

      • Johnny ray says:
      • If the disability is Service Connected and DD214 has Honorable Discharge, all one have to do is contact a VFW rep for assistance.The service rep is the one to help. Do not seek assistance from the VA directly. The VA rep is for the VA, to prevent VA from losing to Vets. The local County Vet Reps, VFW reps or DAV reps are the real Vet reps. If disability is NOT SC there is no way for getting an ID card. If the SC rating is a high enough percentage and the DD214 indicates "Honorable Discharge" all the Vet has to do is take the DD214 to a military base to see if they can get an ID card. The ID card is the key. The Service Connection designation will get the paperwork to get ID card. If a "disability" is a medical condition or injury post military, it is not service connected and rated differently. If the discharge is NOT honorable one should NOT have privileges.

        • Depending on the percentage of disability the card will be issued on a tempepary basis ( 4 years), or a permanent basis .

          • The non-veterans are probable dependants with the PX privilege those who work there are probable dependants with PX privilege but friends without a ID card can not even get on base.

          • Oh by the way SEMPER FI, DO OR DIE……

        • Craig Peters says:

          I am 40% service-connected and have asked about BX, Commissary, and other Base privilieges, but was told I was not entitiled to them. How recent is your information? I am in constant contact with my DAV rep / office. I'll bring up this subject with him again, but would like to know where found the information that states Base privileges are authorized. I have my VAMC medical ID card, but that only entitles me to medical center visits.

    • blanketjackson says:

      retired veterans and 100% disabled veterans. thank you for your service. we must take into account those veterans who completed a career on active duty and afford them this privilege because of their tenure. the 100% disabled vets, well, enough said.

    • WE FOUGHT AND WE CANT HELP IT WE GOT HURT I AM A DAV THAT HAS COMMISARY AND EXCHANGE PRIV AND MAYBE IF YOU WOULD QUIT CRYING ABOUT IT AND USE COUPONS YOU WILL SAVE MONEY.

    • As a retiree I earned that right and as a 100% disabled Vet I figure I would deserve that right. I must be honest I do not know what a 5 point vet is. ?

      • Craig Peters says:

        Based on your service-connected injury / disability rating, you are eligible for either five or 10 additional preference points when applying for a job, after you meet the minimum job application score requirements.

        I am rated at 40% service-connected. I (and you, at 100%) am eligible for a 10-point preference. That means I (and you) are considered 10-point veterans.

  15. I think the rationale is that we've outsourced everything else to civilian and military contractors…and it has worked out so well for the contract recipients…I see big price hikes and more Chinese imports in the future.

    • If you are a 100% permanent and total disabled veteran the VA will issue a card for the exchanges and space available lodging on bases.

  16. My opinion if it is doing so well they should allow veterans to shop there as well.

  17. I REALLY FEEL THAT THE CURRENT ADMINISTRATION WANTS THE DRAFT TO RETURN. WHAT WILL THE MILITARY LOOK LIKE THEN. THE MILITARY WILL BE A BABY SITTER FOR MISFITS, CRAZIES, AND DRUGGIES. GREAT PROTECTION FOR OUR COUNTRY.

    • Donald, many who served in Viet Nam were drafted. Are you saying they were all MISFITS, CRAZIES, AND DRUGGIES. GREAT PROTECTION FOR OUR COUNTRY? Because if you are, what does that say for you?

  18. I have shopped there and I don't see anywhere near a 50% saving. Maybe 10% and that is not worth a long drive to get there.

  19. I personnaly would like to see the Commissaries, Exchanges, etc. open to Disabled veterans, no matter how much time served in the military. DAV'ers from 0% to 100%. This would also provide an additional income to the US Government as well as provide a great service (benefit) to a portion of the veteran population that richly derserves it.

    • 100% DAV do have those benefits!

      • Gunny Korte says:

        Alot of us vet would love to use the commissaries, and exchanges but
        half to be 100% disabled and alot of us only have a 30% rating and are told we cant that just wrong a disabled vet is a disabled vet weather its 0% or100 % they should be able to use the comm. or exchange eather way a disabled vet, is a disabled vet !.

    • I wish to thank ALL Vets for their service. The privileges should go to honorably discharged Vets. Those who have medical condition disabilities, i.e., hypertension, diabetes,etc, are not Service Connected Disabilities. The Retired Military and honorably discharged with SC disabilities are the ones deserving of the post AD privileges. The exchanges are not cost saving for AD! Walmart is where the savings are! My recent visits to an AF Comissary was enligtening! There are better buys at Walmart–by far!

    • Well said, well said

  20. There is no deals at the PX or Navy Exchanges, The prices are far higher than Wal Mart,, After Vietnam the prices and profits went up with the exchange system after the military turned it over to non military profiteers . The Commissary is still a good deal with low meat prices and other items.

  21. The commissary does save money. The meat section of the commissary is outstanding regardless of location. The cut is restaurant quality versus grocery store cuts. The price of meats is less, overall, than on the economy. The Exchange, on the other hand, is not a great saver. The stock is usually at the top end and seems to cater to the officer versus the enlisted. A cross between Wal-Mart and and high-end stores would be a better mix for all.

  22. I am a 5 year lifetime disabled vet. Can't use the commissary or the exchange. WHY? I am glad that at least the system is working to help others….

  23. Ernest Jones says:

    Regardless of the savings, we earned these benefits where we use them are not. This is nothing more than some congressman/congressmen working with lobbist for gains for them selves. Crooked shit in washington is what got this country in the shape it is today. It really is bad when we can't trust our elected officials. As a military retiree, I have started telling young men/women to not go into the military, it's not good for their health.

  24. Mataalii Siu says:

    Does All Veterans are allow to use the Commissary no matter what percentage his/her received?

    • blanketjackson says:

      no. only those veterans retired from military service and those with a 100% disability rating.

    • brierforkfarms says:

      Who uses the commissary or the exchange anymore anyway? Costco and Sams club have better merchandise and better hours and customer service. And then there's target and wal-mart. The commissary and the exchange used to have considerably lower prices than other stores but not anymore. You are doing well to save the tax. They are obsolete stateside. Overseas they are probably still needed.

    • pidgin english?

  25. Gunny Korte says:

    i think all disabled vets should be able to use the commissary and exchange weather they are rated 0 % or 100 % disabled rating they earned it with there sacarfice !

  26. I shop both at the commissary, PX and on the local economy. I do save more money going to the commissary. A gallon of milk is about $2 cheaper, 12 pack of sodas about $1.50 cheaper and there are so much more. Savings at the PX are so-so. You really have to do your homework. I am very thankful for all this particular benefit. My husband is retired from the Army after 30 years and this is one benefit that is greatly appreicated. If Congress wants to do something to save money, take away their pay. Most of them are millionaires anyway, so they really do not need the money. Leave the miltary alone.

  27. are you so perfect

  28. Jim English says:

    Having served in both the Navy and Air Force I would really appreciate being able to shop at the commissay. Living on Social just doesn't cut it. Iuse the VA for medical because I am uninsurable intheinsurance world. When I go to the vA i use the Patriot store for select items to save a few dollars. No tax is a big help here in NC. Merry Christmas to all Veterans and to currently serving members and their families.

  29. When you look at positions staffed in DeCA the only positions Directors are willing to lose are those at store level…..and what if anything is the reason for zone managers what a total waste of taxpayer money. Deca's only mission is to save GS-12 and higher positions…….Close the stores in stateside metro areas and give business to the commercial chains. Thats the boost in employment……their may be a handful of full time employees in commissaries but trust me most are partime or temps……..

  30. My parents shopped commissaries for years and got really good savings however, when the services made the decision to consolidate into DeCA savings started to decline drastically and now seems to be cents on the dollar….with the advent of box stores and walmart and the savings they provide my parents haven't shopped in a Commissay since the late 90's. But to be fair Stateside remote locations should be able to manage a class 2 mini-mart style site on base for basics and maintain all OCONUS locations.

  31. To be slightly cynicial DeCA employees a large variety of GS-12 Commissary Management Specialists for accounting, meat, produce and grocery deartment issues whose jobs require a certain amount of travel to Commissaries within their regions that are out of country……with past and future budget cuts these CMS's (Commissary Management Specialists) are going nowhere and they fill the day by "Making Work" sitting behind their desks…..It's not their fault….it's DeCA's……The fix is close the Commissaries……give the business to commercial chains.

  32. Gosh, donna, how come you don't use caps like you should. I mean doesn't your name deserve a capital "D"? Gee, it must really be nice to be so perfect. I'm a 100% Disabled American Veteran who on top of all the physical things there is brain damage as well. It makes if very difficult to concentrate on many tasks, such as trying to type this without any mistakes. Back off, little girl, back off until you are perfect & stop trying to be better than the rest of us.

  33. Gosh.. geez.. Donna.. seems to me that you are a very bitter women. As I read this comment by you it would appear that your misery index is off the charts. Why don't you think about seeking some professinal help with the issues that are plaguing you and maybe your framing of what is and is not being done "out there", as to say outside the little small box that you in will change. You must be a very miserable and lonely person, as bitter and mean sprited as you are. Sad. Did you mother do this to you, or is this just a choice that along the way you made for yourself?

  34. I don't really have a comment but a question I cannot find an answer. Can a service connected veteran have commissary & BX privleges. If so, how does one go about getting them? Thank You, Lloyd

  35. Can a disabled vet receive commissary and BX privliges?

    • You have to be 100% service connected, or 100% unemployable. Both because of wounds or other medical conditions caused by the service. Both very hard to get.

      • Peter Harris says:

        You must be 100% (P&T) Permanent & Totally disabled to shop at the commissary, PX or BX or be allowed on any military base.

    • John Collins says:

      Veterans receiving 100% disability payments, not necessarily rated 100%, can receive commisary and BX privliges.

  36. I do not know where you people get the idea that the service mambers and retirees actually realiza anywhere 4.6 to 6.00 % saving either at the PX or the Commissary , that may be true if you all shop at TIFFANIES, OR OTHER FANCY PLACES ABROAD

    • I actually did my on test some years ago. I found it true about commissary but not with BX/PX. I did find out that everthing was cheaper at Walmart. Ha

      • I concur. A toy at the NEX in Great Lakes was priced $10 more than at Walmart. Most of the items are priced higher than local retailers. If one does a real comparison, even after the taxes that you pay out in town, you are sill paying more at the NEX.
        The commissary adds a surcharge to your overall bill, where if you go out in town, the prices may be cheaper, but you don't pay taxes on food.
        The best thing to do is to shop around.

  37. I am a disabled vet and I agree that all veterans should have the right to use the commisary! We should start a petition to include all vets in this. It would only help to increase the use and revenue taken in and thus, substantially show how important it is to all of us. I agree with Johnny Ray.

    • I agree as a veteran. It puts the money back into the military.

    • You can if you are 100%.

    • I agree kat. Start the petition and I will definately sign it!

      • Well if CharlesBryant says that's a great idea, but he won't. He says you did what you did and everybody else did what they did. So the agreements are different. The "contract" is ahmmmmmmm well no contract. Charles says it's spelled out? Very clear yet he can't tell us what they are. WTF? Ohhh I forgot Charles doesn't work, get's 2 government checks and a civilian check and tries to tell every veteran that they are whining. You wanna hear whining, take two of his checks away. LMFAO.

    • I'm with you Kat. If you start a petition, I will be happy to sign it and urge others to do the same!

    • If the same sex couple are about to get priviledges, why can disabled vets of all % get the same priviledges?

  38. SwabJockey says:

    I do not believe that a Vet, w/disabilities or not, can use PX & Comm facilities unless they are in Retired status. Been that way for as long as I can remember. Only other Mil to use facilities when not yet retired are those still serving in Guard or Reserve. In reply to Julius, above, I don't shop at Tiffany's, we shop to save money, period. PX/BX prices save especially during sales, and no taxes, and Comm savings are at least 25% over Stop & Shop, Krogers, Food Lion and all the rest, even with surcharge and bagger's tips tossed in. Save the Comm receipt and bump it item for item against Civlant and add it up!

    • If you have a 100% disability rating then yes you may use the PX/Comm.
      I have used it for years.

  39. Comm9isasrry benefit is an earned benifet

  40. Ken Coumerilh says:

    Mom, is that you?

  41. "you folks" ??? Thank The Good Lord that you're not one of us !

  42. I am a VN Vet who saved the life of a fellow vet who lost his leg, provided first aid, managed to get the medic for his air evacuation while still bleeding of my two injuries. He is 100% with commisary privileges. I was fortunate to only lose two fingers and shot on my leg. I am only 60% s/c but do not have commisary privileges. If we were both exposed to the same life threatening conditions and willing to give our life for our country…..Why should I be denied this privilege.

    • Because you are not 100%. Go back to VA and get your 100% total and permenant. You may deserve it put you need to fight for it.

  43. Robert Edwards says:

    I am a 30% disabled vet who was forced out due to my disability without the ability to retire after serving the country for 17+ years and can't use the commissary or the exchange/PX. I believe that if you are disabled because of doing your military duty than by all means we and they should be able to use the commisary and the exchanges. Where is the justice? Especially when your service was cut short due to a disability?

    • polly1acracker says:

      I'm right there with you! The army gave me 20% disability and kicked me to the curb after getting injured in Iraq and 3 surgeries; the VA gave me 50% but I still don't get to use the commissary or the PX and would love the opportunity to do so. I'd also like to know where the justice is!

    • Totally agree…same thing happened to my husband. it is just wrong. They need an ID for honerabley discharged disabled vets!!

    • I agree…rather than the commisarry leadership asking for handouts why dont they expand their customer base such as veterans who are not retired. Especially veterans who are not retired and is currently working as a govt employee.

    • I'm at 40% my friend and I hear ya. However, if the prices are similar to the prices at the exchanges at the hospital {which we can use} then I do not think they are all that great. I can walk from the VA hosp. at Albany to a Walgreens and do better. But, who knows, maybe they'll get the message and we will be able to add profits to the system.

  44. kamdawg,
    It is obvious that you do not like the President; but get your facts straight.
    He did not initiate these rules. The rules have been in existence for a very long time.

  45. Do not forget the Surcharge; outside you pay taxes; on post you have a surcharge and yes it goes back into the system, but that surcharge was not there in the past..

  46. The Ft. Hood Commissary allows civilians working on post to shop there, it is real and I have seen it many many times. Why ? I don`t know. I retired in 95 and I can tell the difference on savings from that time to now. Today savings are almost inexistent, maybe 5% or 10%, but no more; if you say 50% you are dreaming. You have Sales and that is good savings; it is not like it used to be , today it is all contracted out.

    • My Husband Served 15 .5 years in the Army. and when Clinton did the drawn down he happened to get caught in that due to no fault of his own he served in Desert Storm and was an outstanding solider… he is a disabled vet but has no ID because he didnt retire instead was forced out which is just wrong. I say all this because I think it is wrong that people who work on post civilians who have never served have privilages to shop on base but he dosnt have an ID so he cant. I think he should be acknowledged for serving faithfully for 15.5 years, we live in Fayetteville and alot of local business offer military discounts to active and retired / disabled vets but must have an ID which we dont….so I think they should have an ID for disabled vets who are not retired to atleast acknowledge them as a Honerabley discharged disabled vet.

    • rafael,

      After reading what you posted, I sent an email to the Ft. Hood Commissary and ask them about civilians shopping there. Below is what the Commissary Store Director sent me back. As you see, they don't allow civilians without an ID Card to shop there.

      "Mr. Bryant, being a civilian employee at Fort Hood does not authorize a person to shop in the Commissary; however, many civilian employees at Fort Hood are retired military, in the Guard or reserves or the dependent of an authorized commissary shopper and therefore authorized to shop in the commissary.

      Cashiers check the ID of every customer to ensure only authorized customers make purchases. Hope this clarifies any of your concerns. If I can be of further assistance, please don't hesitate in contacting me.
      Thanks,

      Beth E. Adams
      Store Director
      Fort Hood 2 Commissary
      Office: (254) 287-8025 X-3112
      DSN : 737-8025 X-3112
      Fax: (254) 287-9029"

    • An they will not allow disable vet of all % shop, whats wrong with that pic.

  47. GARY: As a 5 point vet and a commissary employee,those who are making policy. They should let the employees shop as they do in regular grocery stores. That way it would increase sales.

  48. I shop there and I can see the difference. Esecially in clothing/makeup/and groceries. Thanks for being there!!!!

  49. I was forced out under Clinton due to an accident 'on the job' and get 20% disability. I to am not allowed to use any base facilities-other than the hospital for the service connected issues. I feel ANYONE who has served honorably, no matter how many years, should be allowed the same benefits. I was forced out. I did not walk away, rather I was pushed away.

  50. Juan Lago Rodriguez says:

    Let Veterans awarded "PURPLE HEART" Medal, the use of The Commissary.

  51. John

    Why is that a veteran can lose a part of his body, or be blessed with agent orange or other chemicals, and not get commissary & exchange privelages
    and a guy can be in the reserves or guard,, and never be in a combat zone and get all privelages. Don't seen right to me.

  52. Why is it that their are people still worried about the discounts the military gets? Is anybody concerned about the politicians getting a raise even when their on vacation? think and talk about that! Semper Fi !!!!!!!

    • RD, we have veterans that state there is no comparison to what CON-gress makes and what veterans make. They have taken pay freezes since 2009. Lmao. That must hurt. I said taken, what I meant was they voted to NOT get a raise. It's automatic……now anybody else get to NOT vote themselves pay raises? Taxpayer salaries and we have no say? Who pays veterans salaries? TAXPAYERS. How is it that our servants…….that's right, they work for us, the citizens are subject to laws we can't control? If you can't understand the injustice of that while veterans have lost life, limbs and mental capacity defending this country from ALL conflicts what is or are the ramifications?

  53. All Active Duty, Retired, and Veterans should be entitled to use the Commissaries.

    • Miguel S. says:

      There should be a petition to allow Veterans and commissary employees to make purchases. Think of the money this would generate to help offset cost and put millions if not billions back into the military communities.

  54. I agree with all my veteran brothers if you served you should be able to use the services it will boost profits and it will help us vets a little in the wallet but that make too much sense you can sacrafice your life but you cant use our services really ???

  55. Brian Lawrence says:

    Based on all of these comments, it is plain to see that most making the comments about the Exchanges really don't understand how all the Exchanges really operate. They are quite different than the Commissary the military grocery stores. The Exchanges (BX, PX, NEX, Marine Exchanges, and Coast Guard Exchanges just to name some) are Non-Appropriated Fund Agency Instrumentality (NAFI), which means they operate mostly WITHOUT your tax dollars. They do receive some tax dollars mostly for overseas logistics but for the most part receive no tax dollars. Okay, what do they do with the profits? They turn around and turn over 70% of the profits to the Morale, Welfare & Recreation (MWR) for all the services so they can build new gyms, bowling allys, golf courses, Armed Forces Recreation Centers, etc. Anything to help with the morale, welfare and recreation of our hard working active duty service members, dependent families, retirees and reserve military service members. The other 30% the profits go to recapitalization in building new stores and fixing up old one. The savings that is quoted in this article is true. Each year they have outside consultants take a basket of goods and compare the prices with the Walmarts, Sears and yes Nieman Marcus stores. The basket of goods are typical goods that our service members need and want from a department store. Also, the Exchanges, I can talk for the Army & Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES) which has been in business for 115 years is essentially private. Yes, they are regulated by DoD and Congress but they run mostly by civilians with just hand full of military. The CEO used to be a one or two star general from the Army or Air Force but that has changed in the last year and he/she is now a civilian and the only GS civil servant type employee. The rest of the some 44,000 employees are paid by AAFES payroll and not by any agency which pays payroll out of the U.S. Government general fund. Again, your tax dollars do not pay for this benefit to our service members. It also gives back to the well deserving service members. Please remember that when you shop at the Exchange. When you shop at the Exchange you are helping the morale, welfare and recreation of the service members. I hope this put a more clear light on the Exchanges. It is a wonderful benefit that should never go away! God Bless our veterans and active duty service members throughout the world who sacrificed for our freedom!

    • Brian Lawrence says:

      Also, I might mention that if it were up to the Exchange management they would let all veterans shop at the exchange regardless of disability or not. To them more shoppers means more sales, more profits, more money for the MWR to help the service members and their families. This is the part that is regulated by Congress. Write your congressman to make changes. Vote for representatives that are pro-military and benefits. Tell them you deserve the same benefits as active duty or retirees.

    • Miguel Santos says:

      You are absolutely right. This is precisely why veterans should be allowed to shop at the exchanges and commissaries. As it is now, only active, reserves, and retired military personel have such priviledges. Why not all veterans who served and were honorably discharged? At least all employees at the exchanges are allowed to shop there, but DeCA employees are not. Can you imagine how much more money would go back into the military if commissary employees and all honorably discharged veterans were allowed these priviledges?

    • Having spent a year working at Navy Resale (I'm ex-Army), It was one of my first jobs in the logistics industry. I enjoyed it. From there I went to the logistics dept. of an F500 retailer. The processes were very similar, you can loose money on what you sell, or you can make profit on what you sell. Obviously, the more support (shoppers) they get, the more successful they can be.

  56. It's also a comfort to know that when my wife becomes a widow, she will at least be able to have the Commissary and Exchange benefits. Every bit helps.

    • Miguel S. says:

      Since many of the men and women working in the commissaries are veterans, why not allow them and the other employees purchasing privilages. The employees would definately spend a portion of their paychecks to feed themselves and their families who have been hit hard during these economic times. This in turn would create more funds that can be poured back into the military communities to support the various programs!

  57. I'm confused:
    everyone is saying they can't use the commissary. I am a 100% disabled
    Vietnam vet and I can't use the commissary or the base exchange?

    • Mac, check your benefit book that was sent to you when you were approved at 100% it should tell you that you are indeed entitled to that bene. If you don't have your book, just call and talk to a VA service rep. I am 100% Nam vet myself and I know I am entitled. Only problem, the closest one to me is a 2 hour drive away…..

  58. Steve F. USMC/USN says:

    When you go into the Military you are basically writing a blank check for this great country of ours. That check includes everything up to and including possibly lossing your life. I was an active duty Marine for 8 years. When I was honorably discharged from the Corps I went back to school and obtained a Master's degree in nursing for the soul purpose of servering our wounded, Ill, and injured service members (WII) in a different way. Since obtaining my degree I have also gone back into the active Navy Reserve nurse corps for a two year active duty reserve committment. In addition, I have worked as an RN at my local VA hospital for the past 20 years. When I left the active reserves I had to turn in my ID card which allowed me commissary/base benifits. Not only have I served but I continue to serve today. Only active duty?

  59. Veterans should be allowed to shop at the exchanges and commissaries. As it is now, only active, reserves, and retired military personel have such priviledges. Why not all veterans who served and were honorably discharged? At least employees at the exchanges are allowed to shop there, but commissary employees are not. I would bet that if commissary employees and veterans were allowed to shop there, they would easily spend 10% or more of their bi-weekly checks there! Can you imagine how much more money would go back into the military if commissary employees and all honorably discharged veterans were allowed these priviledges?

  60. The Commissary in Ramstein, Germany, is one of the largest in the world. However, the only people who are permitted to shop at the Commissary are those stationed in Germany as part of the NATO forces. The one exception is retirees who live in Germany. The reason for this is that purchases at the Commissary are not subject to German VAT (value added tax). NATO forces are exempt from VAT. Retirees living in Germany are required to obtain a special form and pay the VAT at the German tax office.

    Active duty and retired personnel visiting or transiting German or residing in neighboring countries are prohibited from using the Commissary and Exchange in Ramstein. When the SOFA (Status of Forces Agreement) was negotiated in the mid-50s, this was understandable. However, today there is no reason for this discrimination. The cash registers in the Commissary and Exchanges could easily be programed to add the appropriate VAT to all purchases made by non-exempt personnel.

    This would not require a modification of the SOFA. All it requires is a letter of understanding from the German government establishing a mechanism for remitting the VAT to the appropriate German authorities. So far, the German government has been unwilling to agree to such a process. It is hard to understand why Germany will not agree since it is loosing significant tax revenue.

    I hope that some one in a position to negotiate with the German government will read this.

  61. As a partially disabled and mostly financially challenged as a result of those disabilities, I strongly advocate PX priviledges for all of our Veterans.

    • Mike,
      I strongly agree that all veterans should have BX/PX priviledges as well as commissary priviledges! If someone who is well versed in the art of petitions would start one, I'd be happy to sign it and pass it on to others so taht they can sugn it too!