Posts

Scholarships for Military Children

One of the most daunting details of a college education is perhaps also the biggest blockade as well: the cost of school and the ability to afford tuition. Even local community schools often come with fees that are beyond the scope of a military family. Fortunately, Fisher House Foundation and select companies make scholarships earmarked for Military children possible.
Over the past 17 years, the Fisher House Foundation has administered scholarship grants to nearly 11,000 students. These grants are courtesy of the Defense Commissary Agency and its business partners. Fisher House Foundation has volunteered to award and administer the funds, ensuring that every penny raised is awarded to a deserving recipient.
The nearly 11,000 students over the years have been selected from over 90,000 applicants. Potential applicants are eligible if they are the child of an active duty servicemember, reservist, guard or a retired commissary customer.  All eligible applicants should also have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) and be enrolled or enrolling in a 2- or 4-year degree program for the upcoming fall. Applications are currently being accepted for the Fall 2019 Semester.
Do you have a college student or graduating senior? The 2019 program application is currently available. Applications must be submitted online by February 15th.
Applicants will be reviewed by Scholarship Managers, a scholarship management firm. This professional firm contracts with Fisher House Foundation. All applicants are evaluated and the most qualified of the group are awarded. 500 Grants will be awarded for the 2019-2020 Academic year. Each grant will be $2,000. To ensure that all funds raised are awarded as scholarship grants, Fisher House Foundation does not charge for its services and covers the cost of the scholarship management contract.
The entirety of the program is funded by Commissary business partners. It is through the extreme generosity that the scholarship fund is even possible. Manufacturers and suppliers keep products on shelves at Commissaries worldwide and the purchase of those products fund the Scholarships for Military Children program.
For more information regarding the scholarship program, application instructions and sponsor information, please visit https://militaryscholar.org/sfmc/index.html.
Per the Fisher House Foundation website and corresponding press releases regarding the Scholarships for Military Children program:
The Defense Commissary Agency and Fisher House Foundation gratefully acknowledge the support and monetary donations of all contributors and especially the following business partners for the 2018 scholarship program:
Four Star Donors – $50,000 or greater
Fisher House Foundation
Reynolds Consumer Products
Three Star Donors – $25,000 to $49,999
522 Foundation
Kahlert Foundation, Inc.
Kellogg’s
MDV, A SpartanNash Company
Procter & Gamble
Two Star Donors – $10,000 to $24,999
Dial, a Henkel Company
Ferrara Candy Company
Frank and Joanna Hogan
J.M. Smucker Company
Kimberly-Clark Corporation
Red Bull
One Star Donors – $2,000 to $9,999
American Logistics Association – Hampton Roads Chapter
Association of US Army – MG Greene Chapter
Bath Fitter
Commander William S. Stuhr Scholarship Fund
Dr Pepper Snapple Group
Elite Brands
Energizer
In Honor of MSgt. Loyd J. Rockhold, USMC
Mars Wrigley
Lt. Col. Ron Mattana Scholarship Fund
Pepperidge Farm
PepsiCo
PepsiCo “In Memory of Murry Greenwald”
Pharmavite
Pride Industries
SC Johnson, A Family Company
The Hershey Company
Unilever William and Helen Sherman
Supporting Brokers & Distributors Representatives
Acosta Sales & Marketing
Advantage Sales & Marketing
American Logistics Association
Coastal Pacific Food Distributors
Dunham & Smith Agencies
Exchange & Commissary News
Favata Bakery, Inc.
Military Media Inc.
Military Deli & Bakery Services, Inc.
Military Times / Sightline Media Group
Northeast Military Sales
Overseas Service Corp. / Webco Services Co
Sodexo
 

Should Exchanges and Commissaries Merge?

MCCommissary

Should Exchanges and Commissaries Merge?

By Debbie Gregory

If John H. Gibson II, the Defense Department’s new chief management officer has his way, the three military exchange services and the Defense Commissary Agency (DeCA) would be merged into a single resale enterprise. But executives of the Army & Air Force Exchange Service, Navy Exchange Command and the Marine Corps exchange systems are resisting the effort

The new venture, which would be called the Defense Resale Enterprise, would rely on the success of the Exchanges to reverse the failures of the commissary system.

While the commissaries, which are federally subsidized, are military grocery stores, for-profit base exchanges sell consumer goods and services to active duty, Reserve, National Guard, military retirees, totally and permanently disabled veterans and Medal of Honor recipients.

DeCA has relied on taxpayer dollars, to the tune of $1.3 billion in annual subsidies, in order to offer a wide array of brand products to military families and retirees at cost.

A draft legislative proposal for creating the new enterprise contends that the merge will “increase the enterprise’s agility to respond to dynamic mission, industry and patron requirements and trends; and ensure the long-term viability of these services.”

The priorities for families who use the commissaries and exchanges are to sustain shopper savings, improve the in-store experience and ensure proper funding of MWR programs, according to Eileen Huck, deputy director of government relations for National Military Family Association.

Many are of the opinion that defense officials should first focus on reversing the decreasing sales at the commissaries before launching a merger with exchanges to try to float the leaking ship.

The draft legislative also suggests that perhaps the exchanges and commissaries should combine into single stores.

Considering that many of the military shoppers are millennials (ages 22-36) who use technology to shop, the move to consolidate the locations may make the most sense.

 

DOD Allowing More Vets to Shop Exchanges Online

exchange1

By Debbie Gregory.

The Department of Defense has made a policy change to allow 16 million honorably discharged veterans to shop online for discounted military exchange products.

Not only does the change reward those who have served by giving them a 20 percent savings over commercial department stores, but it will also increase exchange revenues to offset recent declines.

Peter K. Levine, acting undersecretary of defense for personnel and readiness, signed a memorandum announcing the benefit expansion, effective Veterans’ Day 2017.

Months of preparation are needed to make e-shopping portals more robust and to allow the Defense Manpower Data Center (DMDC) time to create software for verifying veterans’ status using Department of Veterans Affairs records.

Several million vets already are eligible to shop in exchanges — on base or online — because they are active or reserve component retirees, or 100-percent disabled from service-connected injuries or ailments, or Medal of Honor recipients.

The military relies on the revenue from the exchanges to fund its Morale, Welfare and Recreational activities. By adding veterans to the online patron base, exchange services expect total annual online sales to jump from $250 million to $1 billion in less than four years.

The commissary shopping benefit isn’t involved, so there won’t be any dilution to that benefit, or any increase in crowding or product availability. Military retirees, 100-percent disabled veterans and Medal of Honor recipients would still be the only veterans allowed to shop in base exchanges.

The online benefit does not extend to veterans’ dependents, although spouses and family members theoretically could use the authorized customer’s log-in credentials, given the nature of an online shopping benefit.

Proponents were anxious to see the initiative approved before the Obama administration ends Jan. 20 to avoid having to re-argue its merits to new leaders.

Military exchanges acknowledge that they are losing sales to popular online sites such as Amazon, particularly as military patrons grow increasingly comfortable with using smart phones and tablets to shop.

Military Connection salutes and proudly serves veterans and service members in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, Guard and Reserve,  and their families.

Could Online Exchange Shopping Soon Be Available to All Veterans?

exchange

By Debbie Gregory.

The Defense Department’s Executive Resale Board has unanimously voted to recommend that military exchange services open online discount shopping to 19 million honorably discharged veterans.

The plan, which could begin at the end of next year, would extend shopping discounts to most American veterans.

Not only would the plan reward those who have served by giving them a 20 percent savings over commercial department stores, but it would also increase exchange revenues to offset recent declines.

Deputy Defense Secretary Robert Work is expected to give final approval to the Veterans Online Shopping Benefit within the next 2-3 months.

The military relies on the revenue from the exchanges to fund its Morale, Welfare and Recreational activities. Because of budget restrictions, some services have had to use exchange dividends for more basic needs rather than “frills.”

Army and Air Force Exchange Service CEO Thomas C. Shull has led the effort to expand online shopping. By adding veterans to the online patron base, exchange services expect total annual online sales to jump from $250 million to $1 billion in less than four years.

The commissary shopping benefit isn’t involved, so there won’t be any dilution to that benefit, or any increase in crowding or product availability. Military retirees, 100-percent disabled veterans and Medal of Honor recipients would still be the only veterans allowed to shop in base exchanges.

Exchanges are eyeing a “soft launch” of the expanded online benefit to segments of veterans by mid-2017, to gauge demand and test system capabilities including the process to verify veteran status. A full launch with much fanfare and promotion is expected by Veterans Day in November 2017.

Military Connection salutes and proudly serves veterans and service members in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, Guard and Reserve,  and their families.