Defense Commissaries: A Benefit We Can’t Afford to Lose

Categories: DoD

The surest way to kill a business is to raise prices so much that customers go to other stores for the same products at lower costs.

Yet that’s what military commissaries around the world will be forced to do if proposed budget cuts take hold.

The Defense Commissary Agency (DeCA) provides military families with groceries and household goods at cost plus a 5% surcharge. Shoppers save an average of more than 30% on their purchases compared to commercial prices, adding up to thousands of dollars in savings every year for regular shoppers.

 

In addition to the financial benefit for military families, the commissaries employ about 18,000 people at more than 250 locations around the world – many of whom are military family members.

Unfortunately, the Pentagon has proposed slashing the Defense Commissary Agency’s budget by an astounding 70 percent during the next three years. If that happens, commissaries will have to increase costs significantly to stay open. Steep discounts will become steep markups, making commissaries less attractive to military families and leading to their demise

In addition, a military commission has proposed merging the commissaries with military exchanges and converting all commissary employees to a substandard personnel system. Commissary employees – many of whom are military family members – would see steep cuts to their wages and benefits.


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