Constant dollars

DVIDS – News – CELEBRATION OF 31 YEARS: Since October 1, 1991, DeCA has delivered significant commissary savings to military members and their families

By DeCA Corporate Communications

FORT LEE, Va. A lot has changed for the Defense Commissary Agency (DeCA) in 31 years, including product selection, front-end checkout technology and other key grocery functions.

However, what remains constant is DeCA’s mission to provide a commissary benefit that improves the quality of life for service members by saving them money on their errands.

“From 1991 to 2022, our mandate has not changed: we are steadfast in our commitment to be the military’s grocery supplier of choice and to provide the benefits of stewardship with the best savings possible,” said Moore. “We want our eligible customers to know that if they don’t purchase their Commissary, then they’re missing out on saving at least a quarter of every dollar compared to ‘outside the door’ grocery store prices – this is $50 back in their pockets on a $200 grocery bill!

“As we spread the word about this much-needed benefit to all of our eligible customers, we’re also using technology to expand access in ways that are more convenient than ever before – like online shopping and curbside pickup with pay-as-you-go. online (available now in all stores) and now our ongoing testing of delivery services in eight locations – something our customers have come to expect,” he added.

DeCA’s mission began in earnest on October 1, 1991, when DeCA officially took on the responsibility of providing the Commissioner’s Benefit to U.S. service members and their families.

In the early military commissars, customers handed a list to a clerk behind the counter who filled out the list for them. By the 1930s, many bursars were run similarly to civilian grocery stores. At that time, some commissioners even offered a home delivery service for families residing in the post.

During World War II, the U.S. Army Quartermaster Corps helped supply each of the commissioners of the armed forces, and by 1948 each individual service was running its own commissioners with different procedures and systems. The Army ran the Army Troop Support Agency (TSA), the Navy ran the Navy Resale System Support Office (NAVRESSO), and the Air Force operated the Commissar Service. the Air Force (AFCOMS). In the early 1970s, the Commissioner of Services branch of the Marine Corps would operate its stores.

In 1989, after decades of separate services managing commissars, Congress directed the Department of Defense (DOD) to conduct a study of separate military commissar systems under Army Lt. Gen. Donald E. Jones. The Jones Commission report that followed suggested consolidating the separate service systems into one agency to improve service and save money.

Accordingly, the Defense Commissioner Agency was established on May 15, 1990 by a memorandum from the Under Secretary of Defense. Army Maj. Gen. John P. Dreska was named DeCA’s first director in June 1990.
On September 27, 1991, the U.S. Troop Support Agency (TSA) at Fort Lee, Virginia, and the Air Force Commissary Service (AFCOMS) at Kelly Air Force Base, Texas held deactivation ceremonies. The Navy Resale Services Support Office (NAVRESSO) relinquished its commissionership and became the Navy Exchange Service Command (NEXCOM).

Three days later, on September 30, the DeCA building’s activation and dedication ceremony took place at its new Fort Lee headquarters – although the activation was not official until October 1, the date at which DeCA took full control of all military commissioners.

Much of what was done in 1991 has been improved over time as DeCA embraces new and emerging methods and technologies.

Today, Commissars offer conveniences such as internet ordering and curbside pickup, self-checkouts, digital coupons, dietitian-approved resources for identifying healthy foods, sushi bars, hot meals, bakery-groceries, credit and debit card acceptance, gift certificates and much more. The continued evolution of the commissary business model with varying prices made private label items possible.

“We are a food safety resource for our customers, and as such, we do everything we can to provide our valued military families with the products they need – at the lowest possible price,” Moore said. “Throughout our agency, we are placing a renewed focus on customer service – every decision we make is through the eyes of our client – striving to meet their needs, whether it’s extended hours , special orders or commissary deliveries.”
-This side-

About DeCA: The Defense Commissary Agency operates a global chain of commissaries providing groceries to military personnel, retirees and their families in a safe and secure shopping environment. Commissars provide a military advantage, saving authorized customers thousands of dollars annually on their purchases over similar products at commercial retailers. Reduced prices include a 5% surcharge, which covers the costs of building new stores and upgrading existing ones. A vital part of supporting military families, and an important part of military compensation and benefits, commissioners help prepare the family, improve the quality of life for U.S. service members and their families, and help recruit and to retain the best and brightest men and women to serve their country.

Date taken: 28.09.2022
Date posted: 28.09.2022 09:44
Story ID: 430246
Location: FORT LEE, Virginia, USA

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