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 On Base Benefits

  1. New company to handle shipping private vehicles

    Some troops will have to drive farther to drop off and pick up their vehicles under the Defense Department's privately owned vehicle shipping program, with the closure of seven vehicle processing centers May 1.

    • Apr. 17, 2014
  2. The Corps' top enlisted Marine disagrees with the idea that tobacco products should be banned from base stores. Marti Gatlin / Marine Corps

    SMMC says tobacco ban is a 'shameful idea'

    The sergeant major of the Marine Corps will fight for Marines' right to buy and use tobacco products on base, despite Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel's full support of a review of the product's use and sales aboard military installations.

    • Apr. 13, 2014
  3. Troops and and civilians enjoy American fast food at the Kaiserslautern Military Community Center's food court in 2009. Army & Air Force Exchange Service PAO

    40 lawmakers seek to halt closure of military fast food outlets

    Forty lawmakers have signed a letter asking the Labor Department to exempt some military morale, welfare and recreation and exchange operations — such as fast food concessions — from wage regulations affecting federal contractors on military bases.

    • Apr. 10, 2014
  4. Sen. Barbara Mikulski, D-Md. Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

    Key senator opposes commissary budget cut

    The chair of the powerful Senate Appropriations Committee strongly opposes a Pentagon plan to cut funding for commissaries, another signal that the drastic $1 billion proposed reduction will not survive the congressional budget process.

    • Apr. 9, 2014
  5. Thomas Brady, the new director of the Department of Defense Education Activity, says his experience as a soldier with children in DoDEA schools — as well as his experience as a base commander communicating with the local school district on behalf of parents — will help inform his decision-making. Tara Parekh/Defense Department

    New DoDEA chief has a military parent's perspective

    As a retired Army colonel, Thomas Brady brings a unique perspective to his new role as director of the Department of Defense Education Activity, which operates 191 schools for military children around the world.

    • Apr. 8, 2014
  6. Sailors participate in a morale, welfare and recreation (MWR) sponsored dodge ball league in the hangar bay aboard aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69). MCS Andrew Schneider / Navy

    Commissary cuts could hurt MWR programs

    Proposed cuts in commissary funding not only would drive shoppers away because their grocery prices would rise, but also could have a 'devastating' ripple effect on base morale, welfare and recreation programs, advocates said.

    • Apr. 1, 2014
  7. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel speaks during a March 31 press conference at the Pentagon. Hagel said that he supports a forcewide review of tobacco use and sales on military installations. Jim Watson / Getty Images

    Hagel supports review of on-base tobacco sales

    Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said Monday that he supports a forcewide review of tobacco use and sales on military installations.

    • Mar. 31, 2014
  8. The commissary review will be conducted by the Pentagon's Cost Assessment and Program Evaluation Office, according to an internal Pentagon email sent Thursday by Christine Fox, acting deputy secretary of defense. Steve Helber/AP

    DoD to look at consolidating commissaries, exchanges

    Defense officials have ordered a review of options that include consolidating commissaries and exchanges, as well as having commissaries adopt an 'Exchange-like business model,' according to information obtained by Military Times.

    • Mar. 28, 2014
  9. The Navy is on the verge of eliminating tobacco sales on all its bases and ships, according to sources. Army

    Navy mulls banning tobacco sales on all bases, ships

    The Navy is on the verge of eliminating tobacco sales on all its bases and ships, according to sources inside and outside the Defense Department.

    • Mar. 24, 2014
  10. House bill would delay commissary budget cuts

    Another legislative proposal has been introduced to ward off cuts in commissary funding — at least until the commission that is studying all military compensation completes its work.

    • Mar. 21, 2014
  11. The imminent closure of three McDonald's outlets on military installations may be related to new federal minimum wage requirements for contract employees of on-base fast food concessions — and industry sources say more such closures may follow. Rob Curtis/Staff

    Some fast food outlets closing on military bases

    Four restaurants, including three McDonald's outlets, will close within the next three weeks on Navy installations, according to Navy Exchange Service Command officials.

    • Mar. 17, 2014
  12. Customers would foot bill for commissary budget cuts

    As expected, commissary customers would foot the bill for operating the stores, according to details of the 2015 defense budget proposal released Tuesday.

    • Mar. 4, 2014
  13. DECA announced Feb. 26 that commissaries will no longer accept orders or issue refunds for 'unreasonable quantities of items.' Army

    Commissaries move to stem 'bulk buying,' coupon abuse

    A policy update posted Wednesday on Facebook by the Defense Commissary Agency is aimed at preventing abuse of the system through bulk buying and coupon redemption.

    • Feb. 27, 2014
  14. From right: Sergeant Major of the Army Raymond Chandler; Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy (AW/NAC) Mike Stevens; Sgt. Maj. of the Marine Corps Mike Barrett; and Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force James Cody testify during a Feb. 26 oversight hearing on the quality of life in the military on Capitol Hill. Rob Curtis / Staff

    Top enlisted members: Don't mess with commissaries

    The Marine Corps' senior enlisted adviser told lawmakers Wednesday that he believes focusing on the commissary benefit as a potential source of defense budget savings is a mistake.

    • Feb. 26, 2014
  15. A display of fresh produce in the Fort Bragg North Commissary, N.C. The American Logistics Association says the proposed 2015 defense budget essentially means commissaries will be shut down over time. Thomas Hannan / Defense Commissary Agency

    Industry group slams DoD plan to cut commissary budget

    The Pentagon's new proposal to drastically reduce commissary funding goes too far, says an association representing companies that supply products to commissaries.

    • Feb. 25, 2014
  16. DoD plan would slash commissary budget, raise prices

    The often-touted 30 percent average savings that troops and families enjoy in military commissaries would shrink considerably under the Pentagon's plan to slash taxpayer subsidies for the stores by two-thirds.

    • Feb. 24, 2014
  17. The Defense Commissary Agency is developing options for reducing taxpayer subsidies for commissaries by up to $1 billion a year, which could mean higher prices for patrons. U.S. Navy

    Commissaries won't close, but prices may increase

    Pentagon proposals to reportedly slice $1 billion from the annual commissary budget may not hinge on closing stores, but on raising prices for patrons, sources said.

    • Feb. 5, 2014
  18. Bill would block commissary closings, cutbacks

    A new bill introduced in Congress would bar the Defense Department from closing or reducing the operations of commissary or exchange stores before Jan. 1, 2017.

    • Feb. 5, 2014
  19.  Thinkstock

    Holiday deals at the exchanges

    As you develop your tactical plan for holiday gift buying — and your accompanying budget — check in with the military exchanges for specials on Cyber Thanksgiving, Black Friday and the following weekend, as well as Cyber Monday.

    • Nov. 27, 2013
  20. Defense officials have reportedly asked the Defense Commissary Agency to develop a plan to close all U.S. commissaries. Staff Sgt. John D. Strong II / Air Force

    DoD seeks plan to shut all U.S. commissaries

    Defense officials have reportedly asked the Defense Commissary Agency to develop a plan to close all U.S.

    • Nov. 21, 2013
  21. DoD to close domestic Tricare Service Centers

    The Defense Department will close its 189 walk-in Tricare Service Centers in the U.S., a money-saving move that is part of the reorganization of the military medical system under the Defense Health Agency.

    • Nov. 14, 2013
  22. Commissary cashiers worldwide soon will be scanning military ID cards at registers. Kevin L. Robinson / DeCA

    Commissaries start to scan IDs

    Commissary cashiers worldwide soon will be scanning military ID cards at registers under a Defense Commissary Agency program that is rolling out worldwide.

    • Nov. 7, 2013
  23. Use of food stamps in commissaries continued to rise last year, although not as sharply as in previous years, according to Defense Commissary Agency data. Pfc. Daniel Boothe

    Food stamp usage levels off at commissaries

    Use of food stamps in commissaries continued to rise last year, although not as sharply as in previous years, while redemptions through the nutrition program for women, infants and children have declined, according to Defense Commissary Agency data.

    • Oct. 29, 2013
  24. Josh Gillespie, 8, high-fives parent helper Shannon Morgan, right, after they solved a math problem during a lesson at the Andrews Air Force Base, Md., home schooling cooperative with a math class teacher Jennifer Whittaker, center. Susan Walsh / AP

    Military bases open their doors to home-schoolers

    A growing number of military parents want to end the age-old tradition of switching schools for their kids.

    • Oct. 27, 2013
  25. Lance corporals assigned to 1st Marine Logistics Group (Forward) take part in a leadership seminar at Camp Dwyer, Afghanistan, in 2011. Marine officials are developing a new education program focusing exclusively on lance corporals, and it will involve direct interaction with their unit leaders. Cpl. Kenneth Jasik/Marine Corps

    New training seminar designed for lance corporals

    Lance corporals will soon get face-to-face time with their unit leaders in a new seminar that will become part of their required professional military education.

    • Oct. 12, 2013
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