Is the Commissary Really Going to Close?

bagger-commissary

Rumors that the Defense Department will be getting rid of the commissaries have been flying all over the internet since a November report from one Senator’s office labeled them as one more thing the military could do away with to save some coin.

The rumors, of course, are not true. Closing the commissaries would take an act of Congress (not just a report from one member of Congress) stripping their funding and shutting their doors.

But that doesn’t mean that there isn’t some validity to the fear that such a move may, eventually, come to fruition.

This isn’t the first time such a proposal has been made. Around this time last year one congressional committee voted to give the money  they usually spend on commissaries to another fund to take care of sick veterans. Instead they planned to have AAFES, which runs the Army and Air Force PX and BX systems, take over the operation.

That move was undone by a later vote, but in the meantime there was plenty of chance to debate whether or not unfunding the commissary was even a good idea. Some said “yes.” Most said, “no.” The “yes” folks pointed to a Congressional Budget Office report that said that doing so would save over $1 billion a year. The “no” people said that the higher costs to users – especially to those living oversees – would be debilitating.

In the end we all ignored the whole thing and moved on with our lives.

But now that the fiscal cliff is creeping closer and closer to becoming a reality – and we know that regardless budget cuts will happen – the commissary closures are starting to sound a good deal more likely. The recently released annual commissary report card touts, as it usually does, what DeCA sees as its invaluable nature to the lives of military families. And a commissary support organization continues to highlight the savings military families receive.

What do you think? Could you live without the commissary?

About the Author

Amy Bushatz
Amy is the editor in chief of Military.com’s spouse and family blog SpouseBuzz.com. A journalist by trade, Amy also covers spouse and family news for Military.com where she is the managing editor of spouse and family content. An Army wife and mother of two, Amy has been featured as a subject matter expert on CNN.com, NPR, Fox News, NBC, CBS, ABC and BBC as well as in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and Washington Post. Follow her on twitter @amybushatz.

135 Comments on "Is the Commissary Really Going to Close?"

  1. Absolutely NOT! We make a commissary run pretty much every Sunday and pay approximately 85-90% of the costs if we had gone to, say, Krogers. I am retired and on a fixed income and if it wasn't for the commissary we wouldn't eat nearly as good as we do. The only exception to our commissary purchases is in the meat department as it is my opinion that they are still letting suppliers give the commissary second-hand (less then prime) cuts of meat. Other than that, all of our staples are commissary bought.

  2. I love our commissary priviledges. We get the name brand products for less than what WalMart charges for their bargin brand. I don't know which commissary deyank shops at, but our meat department is outstanding! We get excellent cuts of meat especially the beef & pork for about 1/3 of the cost at the local grocers and about 1/2 of the cost of Wal Mart for far superior meet. My only complaint is the limited hours of operation. I work full time so I have to do my grocery shopping on weekends and that is when the commissary has the least open hours. We live about 25 minutes from the base but do 95% of our shopping at the commissary.

  3. William Sanderson | December 27, 2012 at 3:32 pm |

    As a Retiree I shop at the commissary three to five times a week. I save at least 40 to 50 percent by shopping at the commissary compared to shopping at local merchants off base in Alaska. Leave our Commissary benefits alone!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. The commissary is great, but if it is between that and the troops pay……the commissary needs to be cut.

  5. purpleheartpark | December 27, 2012 at 4:23 pm |

    Oh Please, Listen to yourselves..Its Me, me, me…These are Tax Dollars that pay for these Commisaries…If the DOD wants them and You want them Contract them out with NAF…Why should anybody in America pay for your family to Eat…

  6. Jon-Erik Suermann | December 27, 2012 at 4:33 pm |

    Serving in the Coast Guard I have yet to be stationed near a commissary so far in 7 years. Among the places where I have been stationed is Cape May, NJ where grocery prices are much higher than anywhere I have been. At the same time I did not receive COLA or anything else to offset the higher cost, so forgive me for not sympathizing with people worrying about the future of commissaries. I would say that within the U.S. there isn't necessarily a need to have a luxury such as a commissary. However rather than just saying that we would save "X" amount of dollars by getting rid of them they should also look at whether or not members would then be entitled to allowances, such as COLA, because of location. The end result could mean the government spending more money.

  7. The question is, “Could I live w/o the commissary” and I would honestly have to say yes. There are many products that I purchase, such as cleaning supplies, foreign products, coffee and meats. But I could live without it. HOWEVER, I do believe it should remain open outside the continental US due to the high cost of products in the open market, and non-availablity of US products to retirees and service members.

  8. Yet amother example of the lies Congress has hold about dupporting our troops. First was the end of the promised free medical care for life for retirees. Now this.

  9. Our congress need to shut down all the commissary and BX. With all that saving, our congress can give our friends around the world more in foreign aid so their people can come here and kill more of us . while our congress and the president are at it, they also need to find ways to eliminate Tricare for all military members and retirees. Don't think that congress won't do it. I used to pay nothing for CHAMPUS when ryinuI retired in 1986. Now, I have to pay a yearly premium for TRICARE. My family is no longer qualify for TRICARE Prime because we lived outside the forty miles radius.

  10. Need to start taking away from highest paid government personnal (the ones who get it all, and do NOTHING), instead of LOWEST paid (Military). Let the 'Big Wigs' live and support their families on a Soldiers pay……can't do it ! We need to bend over backwards and cater to our MILITARY and their families instead of taking, taking & taking from them. Deploy ALL the 'Big Wigs', starting at the very top, and let our Soldiers call the shots. Then America can make progress.

  11. Retirement Rocks! | December 28, 2012 at 10:48 am |

    As a retiree, I used to use the Commissary, then stopped due to travel costs and long drive–savings weren't worth it. So, we had to stop using them. But, you CAN survive on outside supermarkets….just takes getting used to. It is nice to have better quality meats and vegetables/fruits rather than the stuff DECA finds that fell off the trucks.

    If push came to shove on budget, I would vote to close the comissaries in CONUS only. While your at it….look at the on-base clubs, bowling alleys (really?) and the movie theaters (MWR sells passes to local theaters at most bases).

  12. I could live without the commisary but have always used them! It has helped our family over the years. Military families are on fixed incomes and it helps. I'm with those who say quit taking away from our military families. Find other ways to cut back!

  13. When I decided to make a career out of the service I did so because I was promised medical care for life, dental care, commissary and BX priviledges. Well Dental never was a reality, at age 65 medical care was not either we went on Medicare like everyone else, now talks about closing the commissary. Come on, nothing promised to me back in 1950 is coming true, the government lied to me. I get a 10% disability, they take 10% of my retirement pay, move it over to the VA where a seperate check is sent that is tax exempt from my taxes. My income is low, I don't ever pay taxes, so where is the 10% I should be getting, I am not getting one extra cent in my income. Just doesn't make sense at all. We took a screwing when we were promised all these goodies and ended up with only a few and those are now hanging loose. The government say how proud they are of our service men, and how they owe us much for sacrificing our lives for the country, but they sure don't show it. All talk and little action.

  14. When the congress stops buying votes with TAX PAYER funds to illegal aliens, then maybe. Or food stamps to certain groups in the country to vote for democracts. Stop the waste in spending tax payer money……Medicare fraud. Medicade fraud. Social Security disability fraud. Stop It Now!!!!!

  15. It's easy. Warren Buffett said it: Make a law that if the national debt exceeds 3% of CNP then no member of the Congress can be re-elected for another term. I this means reducing the number of base shopping centers and such in areas of average or below average income where soldiers can afford to live on the economy then figure it out and make sensible decisions. It doesn't have to be an all or nothing deal! I lived on the German economy for four years. Never shopped at the Commissary because it was TOO EXPENSIVE! Now as a disabled vet it's just too hard to get there but I don't miss what I never had!

  16. I live in Florida where groceries are a no sales tax item. The Florida state sales tax is 6% so it's a bit strange to have a 6% tax (called a 'surcharge') tacked onto my bill. I was under the impression that the commissaries were largely self-supporting with a small price mark-up and the surcharge to cover the cost of running them. As for priced at the commissary, most people know that you have to know what to shop for there, some things have a huge savings, others not so much. In our area, the commissaries (we have four) have the best meat, better than Walmart, Publix, Winn-Dixie, etc and at a generally lower price. We use the commissary for a large shopping trip every month or so and if we happen to be near one……..except for our planned trips, we don't go out of the way for it.

  17. Why woud the Commissaries close? It is run by Civilians, and the Civilian Retailers Association, strictly for military customers. Haven't any of you recognized the changes in pricing, and the stocking of items that were, at one time too expensive for the military income? It took a tremedous looby group to fianlly win over control and this was done so quietly not many realize what they have lost control of… the Commissaries are Civilians Stores!!! located on Military Installatios, to serve military Familes….
    The very same thing has affected the Post Exchanges (PX's)….Really the only saviongs are the taxes not charged….but I keep watchig the SUR CHARGES ELEVATE… Oh you may find a bargin or two, but nothig close to what it used to be, BEFORE IT BECAME A CIVILAN STORE with a military name. This another gift from the Bill Clinton dictatiorship, where most all te radical changes were put into play, and the Republicans did NOT CHANGE a thing to correct any of Clinton's boners……. .

  18. The question is not could I live without the Commissary. The commissary is going to saty. It will just be managed by a much better organization in AAFES. AAFES is one of the most efficient organizations on the planet and significat saving in the operating budget of the Commissary system out do what DECA does 100 fold.
    It is time to replace the lazy Federal workforce and it's DECA management that now occupies the DECA pay roll with a high speed no nonsense AAFES work force and management structure. This has been a long time coming.

  19. I no longer use the commissary. It is too far to drive, and the meager 5% savings is eaten up by high gas prices.

  20. The commissary and medical system has been working well for years, then along came Bill and started improving things. First we get tri care that ruined a good system and now give the commissary to the px which operates with a profit to support special services. It is just like most things in the military, it is working find so lets fix it. Get rid of all the improvements and things will remain good.

  21. The availability of at-cost foods in the commissary and free medical care have for a very long time been part of the justification for low military base pay. You then retire based upon that lower base pay and the benefits that compensated for that during your 20 years of service are gradually taken away by politicians who waste far more taxpayer money on all kinds of things than will be ever saved by cutting your benefits.

    What a deal.

  22. The commissary on my base is dirty, the meat is packaged so poorly I get blood all over my hands while picking it out of the cooler and you have to check the expiration date on everything before I buy it, most of its days away from expiration. I complain a lot but no one who works there cares. Half the time everyone is sitting somewhere with their head down. Congress can take it, just give me some extra money to make up for the difference of having to shop at a regular grocery store.

  23. I don't shop at the commissary. I find that it is cheaper and more convenient to shop at Walmart or other affordable stores. This may be different if I were oversees, but I have not been in that situation yet.

  24. They might want to think about letting civil service members who are vets shop in the commissary. They won't even let the employees of the commissary shop there. My husband is a war vet waiting on his disability packet to go through and he is a civil service employee and so am I and my father works at the commissary and none of us can shop there. But think how much more money they could take in that can help if they allow people like this shop there. The navy exchange let's there employees shop there stores and even gives them a discount.

  25. No. I could not live without my commissary. We've been in 19+ years and it's still my favorite place to buy groceries. You just can't beat the everyday prices especially on meat while stationed overseas. We are currently on our third overseas tour; Germany, Hawaii, & Alaska and the prices at the commissary save us a bundle! It's one of our great privileges in the military

  26. The commissary saves us. We made a run to Kroger near our house just for milk, cheese, bread, ham, and 3 12 packs of drinks and it was $59 while we were moving in. We bought all our groceries at the commissary and we started over so we bought everything you can think of and it was $150. We just moved and my husband had to pay $600 out of pocket to stay in lodging before we moved. Our commissary saves us tons of money. We moved last week and have a 3 year old. I’m not working yet and still waiting on over $1200 to be refunded to us because of moving costs. We’re able to do a lot of fresh foods and eat healthier because of commissary prices. If they close then I don’t see us eating as healthy because at Kroger (the only grocery store within 25 mins from our house) just a 3 lb bag of oranges is $7. So closing them will hurt a lot of families with eating healthy.

  27. Usafwife4811 | January 1, 2013 at 11:16 pm |

    I have shopped at the commissary once. Wouldn't really bother me or make a difference to me and my family if they close. We are kroger/smiths shoppers :)

  28. Commissaries are really only good for people who live on post. If you live off post you would be spending more in gas and the commissary really isn't much cheaper and it's expensive as heck here in Washington state. So if they close oh well.

  29. soldierswife | January 1, 2013 at 11:17 pm |

    There is a lot of overspending within the DoD. I am not against tightening the budget around loose ends. Nor am I against allowing private corporations the opportunity to provide comparative pricing groceries on military installations. In fact, I think that is a phenominal idea! What I question is with all the areas of massive pork in the defense budget… why stike funding to an area that generates revenue? AAFES, NEX, BX and the commissaries are areas that have revenue. Try cutting areas that do NOT generate revenue before striking those that do. For those of us fortunate enough to live close enough to a post, the commissary can provide a great deal of savings. Those that do not have the luxery of living close to a military installation should not be so willing to take away from those that do. That's like saying… "since I can't have it, no one should." That's simply childish.

  30. (Retired)SFC Ivan L. Baros Sr. | January 1, 2013 at 11:18 pm |
  31. The commissary isn't worth it. There is never anything on the racks unless it's payday. Plus, it's all brand name products when I can, and do, spend less off post buying store brands. Add on the convenience charge and tipping… it's over rated state side.

  32. Opened eyed | January 1, 2013 at 11:29 pm |

    The commissary is a great resource to millitary families. Think about the families that live on base. It is convient fir them to shop where they live. The other aspect if it is tha the brave men and women putting their lives on the line are really not financially vompesated enough. A senator can earn +$100k for sitting in an office all day and not worry about a pay cut but a E2 is worrying about how to feed and clothe their family. I see them shop at secondhand stores all the time and this is also true for E6 soldiers as well. Congress leave our soldiers alone. Commissaries also provide jobs. They work off tips to make ends meet. What do you do besides bicker and not work together.

  33. My family live in Japan. I used to wonder why our commissary carried so little local produce and meat, mostly importing it all from the U.S.. It was explained to me that having an established, regular pipeline of uncontaminated food in place for all U.S. military installations was what the commissaries are really for, having the food be a bit cheaper is a perk, not the point. When the 2011 tsunami/earthquake/nuclear crisis happened that point was brought home to us. Our food supply was not so much as interrupted. I think this point is key, commissaries don't exist simply to save military families some money, it's much more important than that.

  34. Another side of the coin. For decades when they compare military pay to civilian pay They always include a ridiculously high amount that they add to basic pay that they say comes from commisary savings. If they close the commissary will they boost pay for active duty and retirees? ya, right!!!
    Don't hold your breath.

  35. I have been living too far away from a commissary to justify going to one when WalMart is closer to where we live. And you may not pay taxes, but there is a surcharge that is just about equivalent to sales tax. Plus, the commissary closest to us is very small. I do agree, though, that for stateside bases, there is no need for commissaries, but I am in favor of them for our military overseas.

  36. Continue State side Commissary Operations for Retired Military, shut down most overseas commissary locations. Prices for food in Germany, Kuwait and Korea are no higher than the current stateside prices. Overseas is more about selection for American Products and not necessarily prices. Take those saved funds and contribute them to Veterans Administration jobs for the good of returning Vets. This would also reduce the Back-Log of cases at the VA in the near future as positions are filled at the understaffed VA. We cannot have it all but we can improve VET Health Care by this method or compromise.

  37. Richard M. Dobson | January 1, 2013 at 11:51 pm |

    The fiscal cliff is over with.
    The senate and the house voted to pass the bill.

  38. Louie (oldredleg) | January 2, 2013 at 12:08 am |

    ThQuestionere go the politicans again along with some of the smart bean counters in the Pentagon. Screw the service person again. I purchase material from Government Liquidation.com You can't imagine the waste that is out there. $100,000 5 ton trucks with maybe 4000-23,000 miles on the auction block & sold for as little as $5000. The Military take better care of their vehicles than most commercial owners. I bought a 3/4 ton trailer for $700, Uncle Sam's cost was about $3500, BUT it was a 1990 with very little miles. Yet you see BRAND NEW 3/4 t trailers in the Reserve/National Guard motor pools. The bean counters always take it out on their most prized possession, HUMANS.

  39. I am a disabled veteran and if the commisary was to close I would not be able to afford to feed my family

  40. IS it true that the AAFES has taken control of the Post Commissary system? I have been out of the loop for 30 years. I sold snacks to the Commissary back in the "70s & ALL items had to be relabeled at the wholesale cost. Is that still fact or has it changed?

  41. I shop at the Commissary and but every can is dented and all the mark down meat I can find every tuesday as soon I can travel 20 mles to get there, otherwhise we won't be able to eat at least one good meal a day, we are 74 and 76, been marry for 50 happy years and now worry about the prices on Tricare for Life, I have a Very Rare Autoimmune condition since 1997 among other health problems and take 11 pills a day plus 1500 mg of Calcium a day to keep it in control.
    If they will close the Commissaries it could be a death sentence for me and my Spouse as we could not afford what need to survive.

  42. dont close it, just run the koreans the heck out of them. they are rude and money hungry ugly people. bring back the kids to do the work and bagging etc. soldiers leave your korean wives at home or in korea. please, it has become torture to go to the com these days.
    how about making a kid thing again,

    please

  43. How about instead of taking away from the ones that actually work to protect this country and there families, how about we do some pay cuts from higher ups…better yet, how about our elected officials only get paid a salary while they are in office, and then when the term is up they have to go back to the real world and get real jobs like the rest of us.

  44. Hi,
    You know the commissary is as old as the armed forces. I simply don't understand how someone in the senate that has probably never served one day in the military and definitely has never used this awsome facility promote the idea to close down the commissary. This is the lifeline for all active, reserve, and retired service members. With the income that the service members bring home, the commissary is one of the biggest morale boosters we have. What ever you do don't take away the lifeline of the soldiers who are sacrificing their lives everyday to protect our nation. The commissary program is how we service members feed our families and have a few dollars left to spend on some family activities. For those serving in the senate and congress, if you are in that position to support our soldiers on active duty and retired, you will not allow our commissaries to close. You will by all means stand beside our troops and their families and not close any commissaries.
    Thank you,
    1SG Polson

  45. The commissary I shop at is nice and clean. They have a great meat department. I can get a can of Progresso Soup for $1.25 sometimes .99 that cost me $2.69 at a local grocery store. It is located on the JEB NAB Little creek

  46. My husband is currently stationed in Germany and if we didnt have the commissary here we would have to shop on the economy. Most things will cost too much for us to afford. Why would someone do that?

  47. Nicole Webber | January 2, 2013 at 1:15 am |

    don’t think you should worry about the tax payers…we are am active duty military family and I know we pay state and federal taxes and like every other military family we are paying taxes only to pay ourselves. Give any lower middleclass our paycheck and they will just laugh. Remember our soldiers are paid for 24 hours a day seven days a week and for E4 and below averages out to a little more than $2 an hour now subtract taxes add on groceries for those with families etc… The commissary is vital to our military to live just above poverty. I was under the impression that the purpose of these so called priveleges were so that each base could be self sustaining should anything happen. Just something to ponder.

  48. As someone who is stationed overseas with very limited shopping centers available I cant imagine how my family would get by without it. I understand the money could be going elsewhere but there is no way we could shop on the local economy without going broke. We have one commissary within reach and I dont know what we would do without it.

  49. I rely on the commissary for most of my husbands and my needs. Now for us, the closest commissary is close to 45 minutes away, but I make the drive before I go to our local store. For all the work our service members do, it's the least the government can give back to us as a family. I love how I can walk out of there with a full cart of groceries and not have to sweat whether or not I can afford it. Now, as said in previous posts, I will still go to the local delicatessen for my meat selection, but for everything else it's commissary for this family. Times are tough now as it is with the price of gas and other necessities, but having food in my kitchen is most important. In fact, the commissary is just about my favorite place; it always amazes me. I love going to different bases to check out how this one is or, how big that one is. The fact is, it helps so many of us out and without it, we could be devastated.

  50. We would not want to try to get along without the commissary, since that is where we do the bulk of our grocery shopping and we go monthly. Being retired it certainly helps stretch our budget, which is an added plus. Sure hope they do not do away with it.

  51. I am doing without a commissary overseas in an area that is known for it high prices because it's not easy to get supplies to this part of the world! Yes, the commissaries can be closed as I've found that the prices even with the tax break are still equal to or higher than off post. Then on top of that they want to charge a surcharge. I live where there is an exchange within 40 miles, but the prices there are unbelieveable, as this exchange is where troops are entering and exiting the war zone. AAFES knows that the troops haven't had much in the way of American items and charges an inflated amount of money for basic things. When is the government going to wake up and realize that they are being robbed by AAFES and DeCA.

  52. Edith Gordon | January 2, 2013 at 1:55 am |

    When my husband enlisted in the Army in 1966, he was promised that if he retire at 20 years he and his immediate family would get medical, dental, and vision care without cost, just as his father and my father who both retired with 26+ year did. 26+ years later, that is all out the window. We have to pay to bet basic medical care and copays on top of that. We have no vision or dental care coverage at all. We are planning to move so we can be closer to a military installation so we may be able to get care. The government has violated its promises and contract with the veterans and we don't seem to have any recourse.

  53. If they are going to close the commissarary don't do it overseas. At home in the USA why not have discounts (greater that the normal public would receive thru tax breaks) at Costco or Sams Clubs or for that matter any Civilian Grocery Store. Make our public responsible in taking care of our military.

  54. As a retired military spouse I depend on the privileges of the commissary and PX. We lost the privileges of the base at Ft. Gillem in the Atlanta/Forest Park area about two years ago. I drive over 1 1/2 hours to either Ft. Benning or Warner Robbins A.F.B. to use the privileges of the commissary about once every two to three months to grocery shop for most of my groceries. Although I spend money for gas to drive the distance, the long-term savings on grocery and quality food out weighs the expenditure of gas. Although there is a smaller commissary that was left open at Ft. McPherson in the Atlanta area, the larger commissaries still offer better savings. I hate it when I have to go to the local stores to shop to buy things that I run out of in between shopping at the commissary.

  55. So how about just making them self supporting? I really doubt how much a person could save Vs Walmart here in the States. Overseas would be a different story.

  56. spartacus2019 | January 2, 2013 at 3:59 am |

    I think it depends on where you are located and what is available in that region. Commissaries on bases close to bigger cities which have multiple shopping options should be closed. For instance, it costs me less to shop at Krogers or Wal Mart off base than the commissary on base, but if the base is not close to places such as these, the commissary should remain open.

  57. My husband and I are currently stationed in Germany, and the commissary is just a blessing. I do agree that maybe in the actual states you don't need it, but they should keep them open for overseas military members and in Hawaii as well.

  58. Here in Texas there are more Soldiers shopping Walmart than the Commisssary! On payday you can't even move at a Walmart while you could throw a rock at the commissary and never hit anyone. I believe it's a regional thing and should be treated as such. May not save that billion dollars, but it would save a lot!

  59. If Congress lived by the same rules and benefits as the rest of us Americans, they would be singing a different tune.

  60. I hope it will stay; however, I feel that "all" wartime vets should be allowed that privilege. Whether retired or 100%, we all dug fox holes, was shot a, whether we got hit or not, and most of all, we're all mentally scarred for life due to the ugliness of war. Just because you are retired or 100% doesn't mean you gave more than any other wartime vet; we all said the same pledge and was willing to do what we had to do. And I really think that all that are enjoying that privilege should be advocating for other wartime vets to do the same. What about "no man left behind"?

  61. And what about all the employees at the commissary?? They would loose their jobs and in this difficult it would be hard to find another job that pays as good as the commissary since we are federal employees, so my answer is no don't close the commissaries.

  62. Talitha Fain | January 2, 2013 at 7:30 am |

    Cut the proposed pay raise by excutive order to Congress and high level staffers first (also going to cost 1 billion a year), and leave our commisssarys alone, especially the ones in foreign countries, our Military desperately needs

  63. Charles Morris | January 2, 2013 at 7:34 am |

    We are blessed with two commissarys within driving distance, and although we do not use they really often, we do use them whenever we have the opportunity. We love the savings, as it really adds up.
    the priviledge of haveing a commissary is just one more of those benefits that we spent 20 plus years in the militarty for. It seems that all those benefits and promises are meaning less and less to elected officials. We worked for very low pay and in adverse conditions for many of those years just to get to where we are now, so I do truly believe that our politicians should stay away from making any negative ruling on those benefits that we worked hard for, and certainly deserve.

  64. when the congress people and senators get rid of some of their own perks then maybe they have the right to take away ours, but I haven't heard of anything like that happening so leave our Commissary alone!!!

  65. Paula Elliss | January 2, 2013 at 7:57 am |

    The commissary needs to stay. My husband served 30 years in the military. This is one of our privleges. We use the commissary on a regular basis. Some of the younger active duty personnel are even on food stamps! Oh yes, but give those who haven't or won't even serve our country more entitlements, collecting welfare and extend their unemployment! They need to get off their lazy butts, serve our country for at least four years then maybe have the right to complain about who gets what!

  66. I think the comisary is a big help to military families, however my only issue with it is that yiu cannot use the ECP card there. I think the ECP card should be accepted at the commissary.There are many young families in the military that are struggling. The card is accepted everywhere on base except the most importatnt place. the place where you can buy food to to supply your household.

  67. This is one of the last privileges that we have left. I utilize mine to during the week a lot. If they can afford to give us a pay raise to take up the slack of closing the comm. then so be it, but if not the comm. here is very nice clean, well run and sure does not need AAfes in it.

  68. THERE ARE A LOT OF JOB LOSS IF WE SHUT DOWN OUR COMMISSARIES, BX'S AND THE LIKE,JUST LEADS TO MORE UNEMPLOYMENT, ARE WE CHASING OUR TAILS HERE!

  69. Our health care has begun to cost us. When my husband entered the service he was told free health care for life. We have four children who are grown now. We could not have made it without the commissary. Now that we are retired it helps us as we do 99% of our shopping there. Many young enlisted are on food stamps. I think it is time congress and senate change their benefits. As a public servant there should be term limits and no health care for life. No one should retire from a public service job that was not the intention of our founding fathers. Bills should not be allowed to have all this pork barrel agenda added to it. That is why we are in this fiscal crisis.

  70. IT WORKS happily and for all involved if they want to do it.

    It would certainly be easy and save costs, to simply issue a card for purchases in any food store to military personnel that takes the tally into consideration on the computers. At the register, in one second, The Supermarkets can give special prices and the Army special allowance so that the result is the same great CommissaryPX or BX price at the consumer level, with all the Commissary maintenance costs gone.

    Widow of a vet, Commissary is only a happy memory of being a bride on newlywed budget , thrilled with Commissary prices, many years ago, so thank you for this update.

  71. Stephen Fazekas | January 2, 2013 at 9:04 am |

    Everyone talks about cutting the budget and only the items affecting the Americans. What we should do is cut the budget on foreign aid and save the commisary.

  72. Maybe they need to give control BACK to the Military. Get rid of the Union Workers that must be paid Union wages. When I was in, we didn't have a bunch of civilians doing the job that active duty personnel had as a career choice.

  73. The commissary will not fit everyone, but most people agree that the commissary work for most servicemen and their family.

  74. I believe that before any scum-bag ELECTED representative, spouts off about taking away BENEFITS that we all worked for, were promised, and DAMN rightly deserve, THEY should look at taking away their own benefits. It appears that many ELECTED officials seem to think they are royalty and CAN NOT be dethroned, or replaced. At the current rate, with all of the stupid BS on-going it might be a good time to clean house and start fresh!

  75. Robert Alexander | January 2, 2013 at 10:16 am |

    We do not shop in the commissary very often because we do not like having to pay tax on our food. In Florida and Texas it is cheaper for us to shop on the economy where there is no food tax. That being said living overseas for 5 years we needed the commissary because even with their food tax it was a lot cheaper than shopping in the German economy. Yes it is a tax, you can be like Obamy and call it whatever you want but it is still a tax that they add to the cost of the food.

  76. Navy Retired | January 2, 2013 at 10:54 am |

    We use and save quite a lot at the Commissary. One example is dog food for our 75 lb "puppy". Walmart charges $1.40 per can for choice one canned dog food plus tax. We pay $0.99 at the commissary and no tax. Quite a savings. Manufacturers also give discounts and coupons just for military use in the commissaries.
    If they do away with commissaries then they also need to do away with the politicians stores and special benifits. Why should congess get health benefits any different then the rest of us? They were not available 24/7 to be sent anywhere at anytime in harms way like the military is/was.
    Just my opinion. Politician self serving needs to stop NOW!

  77. Guy Fujiuta | January 2, 2013 at 11:09 am |
  78. My family has a long history of service in the military. Virtually every male in the family has been in one branch of the military. My father was a lifer and his father as well. My son is now in the military in "Special Ops". He just returned from Afghanistan and will return again in the summer. When I see how the men in uniform are treated these days, it makes me sad. They are putting their lives on the line for their country and they are treated like second class citizens. Their pay is unbelievably low and barely enough to live on. A lot of them are forced to find jobs outside of the military to supplement their meager military pay. What really steams me up is that the general public out there have the misconception that they are well paid, everything on base is free and groceries are a faction of the cost off base. It may have been like that years ago, but over time the military has cut the GI's benefits so drastically, that it is no longer the life that I remember as a child. My son does most of his shopping off-base because its cheaper. Because he has the option of shopping around at various stores for sales and good prices, he can spend far less than it would be for him to use the commissary. If that's the case, why not close the commissaries stateside and leave only the ones at foreign bases open. And for goodness sakes….raise the military pay!! Its pathetic that Americans choose to make our military men live like paupers, when they are there to protect the rest of the population and make this a better place to live. We don't reward them much for their efforts. Sometimes I feel ashamed . Very sad!

  79. Broaden the user ranks by allowing 50% plus disabled vets to shop there. User support would strengthen the operating base of these services.

  80. I believe that comissaries are a necessity over seas to insure healthy foods. In the US they are a benefit that can be eliminated so other things like pay to personel continue to increase.

  81. As most of the elected officials have never been part of a military culutre or served their country; I am tired of the military being tapped for cuts. Those of us that served we told we would get lifetime medical benefits and commissary privledges as an offset for the pay and job. Now, the easiest prey is those of us that did the job many in our country would never want to. The commissary is a way to give those in the service the most "bang" for their dollar. Taking this amenity away is just another way of putting our military further back on the shelf. The "benefit" of a commissary is that it is located on bases and affords us the opportunity to save a few extra dollars. As everyone is quick to point out; the private sector's pay is more than the average serviceperson's. Money being spent in the facility that otherwise would be spent in an outside commercially owned food store; is redundant.

  82. i.r.schoening | January 2, 2013 at 12:51 pm |

    closing the commissaries would be a severe blow to retention.

    Do not close the Commissaries ! Remember ? We have an all voluntary military. If you take away more and more benefits, the miltary will have a hard time attracting new recruits.

    rremember , we ahve an all volunteer military. I fyou more and moere of their benefits, noone will

  83. Widow of retire | January 2, 2013 at 1:25 pm |

    There is the problem. Congress takes the benefits away from us to save money but never gives the pay raises to compensate.

  84. When I joined the Army in 1948, I was promised health care for life. Also commissary and PX. We have been married 58 years and have used the facilities all that time. I retired near my last assignment so we could use the faciliies.We had a disabled son who the army never diagnosed properly, I got into Civil Service and took out the Federal Blue Cross. After 18 years with no insurance on him, we finally got him on SSI, Medicaid and on Blue Cross Last year we spent over $8,000.00 on Medicare and Blue Cross for coverage I was promised. He passed away in Mar. 2012 and I will suspend BC and we will use TFL as secondary ,use the army pharmacy and Tricare Mail order for prescriptions.

  85. They can't do that!!!!! Military families wouldn't be able to afford the simple cost of living if they did that.

  86. We use the commissary when we drive to use the pharmacy and exchange. We go once a month. We drive an hour to get there. It is worth the drive. The meat is excellent and lower cost than the local stores. Keep them open!!

  87. Jack H. Hayman | January 2, 2013 at 6:37 pm |

    Sounds like we should get rid of the Senator. During most of my 30 + years of Army service, most of my enlisted men (and women later) qualified for food stanps. Now, we are at the mercy of send us to war and reduce what meger benefits there are for families left behind to keep the home fires burning. A retired Airborne/Ranger.

  88. Why not just take all benefits away from us!!! First they are trying to make Tricare ridiculously high and now they want to take the commisary away too!! I agree I am retired and on a fixe income. I save a lot of money using the commisary. Not everyone can afford to go to Krogers or Walmart to pay their prices!!!

  89. LYDIA STEWART | January 2, 2013 at 10:05 pm |

    NO WAY, I WANT OUR COMMISSARY FOREVER. WHAT THE HECK ARE THEY TALKING ABOUT. WE MUST KEEP OUR COMMISSARY. WE R RETIRED AND THEY COME TO OUR NATIONAL GUARD TWO TIMES A YEAR FOR US WHO NO LONGER HAVE A BASE NEAR BY US. I DEPEND ON THEM VERY MUCH. I SPEND BETWEEN $1200.00 TO $3000.00 EVERY TIME THEY COME HERE. YOU WILL HAVE TO BATTLE ALOT OF WOMAN IF YOU TRY TO CLOSE IT DOWN. RETIRED AIRFORCE WIFE LYDIA M. STEWART

  90. navywife for 13 yrs | January 3, 2013 at 1:09 am |

    I’m a navy wife and have lived overseas most of my life.Commissaries should never close Fir us over here in overseas stations this is the only way we get American FDA meats
    Amd products! To eat the local meat markets is horrible ! Try coming to middle East ! As for my kids having the commissary is a must the diapers& milk is outragely exspensive and baby food you can’t even imagine! I save About $100 month getting the baby food on base and they don’t even carry the items we get back at home! So if you haven’t lived overseas Try going and see how much you will spend without a commissary !

  91. navywife for 13 yrs | January 3, 2013 at 1:09 am |
  92. navywife for 13 yrs | January 3, 2013 at 1:10 am |
  93. navywife for 13 yrs | January 3, 2013 at 1:10 am |
  94. navywife for 13 yrs | January 3, 2013 at 1:12 am |
  95. I am a Navy widow, and I could not make it without the commissary. It makes me feel sick inside just thinking that this could happen. But, for all the Navy retirees, and active duty, the commissary allows us to live a littel easier. The regular grocery stores are so expensive, I would actually have to go hungry

  96. Heck I think after being retired, the commissary is just about as high as walmart and in some cases higher. Its ashame , the commissary used to save me alot with three kids, now our kids have to pay for these higher prices. Not fair!!!

  97. janice m. washington | January 3, 2013 at 10:36 am |

    I am a military spouse and have been shopping at the commissary since married for three years now. I've never had a problem with the food or the service, it's been a Great experience and savings on top of savings and I love it! But, just like everything else in this country, all good things must come to an end so that the rich politicians can continue to pad their pockets with huge bonuses and send their children to ivy league schools at the cost of the less fortunate. I'm not the least bit surprised at them taking away another subsidy from those whom have really made it easy for THEM. It will all be over one day as we stand for judgment and give account for our every action we've done.

  98. there's only two commissaries in my area and they are both an hour to one hour and a half away. I agree with Jimbo the price of gas does put a strain on a retiree's budget if he has to travel that far to say 5%.
    I have a supermarket within walking distance of my home that gives me gas reward points for every dollar I spend, and in some cases doubles and triples those gas points

  99. at least you all have a commissary. We here in Atlanta only have a Class Six and small PX which will probably close soom

  100. Just recently on this website there was an article where a study said that they were profitable, and that the profits easily offset any costs the government provided, the report went on to provide some info as to where and how those profits were used. In addition, there were a number of comments from people who were disabled, at different percentage levels, who said that if the commissary were open to disabled vets as well, they would use it as well. Certainly, if profitability is an issue, opening it to disabled vets would lead to more eligable shoppers and increased profits. I see by some comments, that some of you seem not to need its use, thats all well and good for you, just remember, there are many vets out there, with or without a disability rating, who are struggling financialy. With the prices I see at the supermarkets I also would shop there. However, in my case there are none close by. But, my friends, please do not shut them down, all too many of our fellow vets need them, rather open them to our hero's who have been disabled, a much better idea.

  101. Karletta Hart | January 9, 2013 at 6:34 am |

    Although we live about 45 minutes from our commissary, we shop there at least twice a month. We DO save money at the commissary, We do get to use coupons to save even more, and, it pays for the Sur-charge most of the time. Our commissary(Moody AFB) has better meat than downtown, and, we only buy meat when it is on sale, on the Economy. And, since they intoduced White Label Products a couple years ago, we save money that way also. If you complainers do not like shopping there, DON'T!! Leave the complaints outside the door, and, don't make it easy to close them for those of us that Enjoy our commissary and BX privileges. Nuff said:)

  102. Wanda Cisneros | January 9, 2013 at 8:08 am |

    I shop the commissary and usually tip $2-3 per visit. However, I am concerned about the exchange.
    There clothing etc are higher than I can afford. Over the years it has increase considerably and I
    dumfounded why this so costly. I use to shop the exchange but no more.

  103. OliviasMommy | January 10, 2013 at 1:04 am |

    We are currently stationed in mainland japan. There is no way we could survive without the commissary. The Japanese grocery stores do not carry the same quality or quantity or even most of the same products as our commissary and it would cost of 4 or more times to feed my family of 3 if we had to do our grocery shopping in the local grocery stores. Not to mention that many of the local products here still contain much higher levels of radiation than that of the those sold in the commissary on base.
    When we lived in San Diego the commissary was neither here nor there. We could have done without it if we had to but at least for those stationed overseas the commissaries are essential to our day to day life!

  104. We have asked when a commissary will be coming to Alcoa, TN. Everytime they have a lot sale it is lined up and a wait in line for 2 hr sometimes. Have heard from grape vine that property has been purchased, but no time on when it will be built. We have enough retirees and on duty service people that would love to have a commissary built ASAP. I would enjoy the savings since TN food tax is high.

  105. I most definitely could not live without the commissary. Many of us struggle financially and the commissary is incredible. The prices are much better than at any other store out in town. The commissary is a very valuable part of the military community. If I went anywhere else, I would probably have to pay twice as much as I do there.

  106. Right now I don't live close enough to a Commissary to shop at one. Actually, I haven't for years. My last duty station I lived about an hour away and we would make planned trips to go there about once a month, but I got tired of doing that. Actually, we lived close enough to Florida where there is no grocery tax, it was cheaper to just cross the state line to the nearest Wal-Mart or Publix. I got pretty good at couponing because Publix is a great store to coupon at. I don't do that so much anymore because I live where there are Aldi stores. Almost all generic brands but I've never had an item from there that was bad. When it gets down to it, i'd say it wouldn't hurt my feelings if they closed a few. When I was in the Tidewater area of Virginia, there were Commissaries at almost every base. The AF base was less than 20 miles away from the Army base. Where there is a situation like that, why not close one down?

  107. I do support the concept of "one" entity managing ALL SERVICES exchanges and commissaries. Potential for even better contracting power and a reduction in management costs. We use the facilities on a regular basis. We military people are wise enough to plan our lives when it comes to using what facilities we have left. KEEP your inputs active with the various service activities and utilize the lobby as much as possible. Get positive actions going and quit bitching, ACTION!!!!

  108. It seems that the commissary issue is just one more in a growing string of ways the fed. government "leaders" show scorn to our military and veterans' families. As fewer and fewer of our congressmen/women have any history of military service in defending American freedoms, more and more of them show that they really don't have much understanding of, or respect for, the sacrifices our veterans have made or are making for our country. Shame on us for allowing this to happen!

  109. Beware!!!, this move is being pushed by the civilian grocery store lobby who want to rip off military members by making them drive off post and pay higher prices. They have also hired political activist companies who post in online forums such as this to confuse people and sway opinion. It is called an "astroturf campaign"
    Alert Alert Alert

  110. At bases where there are sufficient numbers of local vendors within a 20-30 minute drive from base, there is no need for a commissary/BX. In overseas bases where cost of living is high or areas where you have little in the outside community (Altus AFB/Clear AFS/Cavalier AFS/etc…), they are a valuable resource for military familiies. In most areas, a commissary is more of a "nice to have" than a necessity. I have commissary access, but don't generally shop there because I live off base and have other options nearby.

    Off-base stores have better hours (i.e. open before 9 AM and past 6-7 PM) and often the same or better prices overall. The commissary still "taxes" customers via a 5-6% surcharge, negating some of the cost benefits. In addition, you are expected to tip the guy/girl who bags your groceries, cutting into your savings even further.

  111. close the commissaries. Waste of tax payers dollars. Managers are overpaid and lazy.

  112. I am a Marine Corp widow, I lost him this year after 46 years of marriage. My husband a 26 year Veteran, was in Vietnam, came home with injuries to his lungs, that was rated 100 percent disabled. Could he sit at home, NO, his disability was not enough to care for his family, so he worked until his body would not let him. If we had not had the commissary and medical care available, we would have been homeless. That commissary is important to active duty and retirees, their income is not enough to live on. Our men and women give 100 percent to their country. The percentage of those who volunteer to protect our freedoms is not that high, that this rich country cannot afford a commissary.

  113. William F Fiegel | November 21, 2013 at 7:27 pm |

    I don't think they should close them I am a 100% disabled Vietnam
    Veteran with agent Orange and they help I love to go to commissary
    I am on a fixed income it helps

  114. I have one thing to say to all politicians.

    Remeber Bastile Day !!!!!!!!!

  115. Bernard Rader | November 25, 2013 at 4:28 pm |

    DON"T CLOSE ANY COMMISSARIES!

  116. dennis daddow | November 26, 2013 at 12:10 am |

    as a retired army we have to fight for benefits but they don't want give us more money to make up for it. they think of old mighty dollar don't give hoot for the gi out sight out mind . they waste more money trying to screw us of retirement hope they can retire sometime see whats it like they are big money officers that don't think to good

  117. Commissary is obviously not for everyone who has earned the privilege, but for those who do it is one of the things that is an important perk which should be kept.

  118. Dallas Christensen | November 27, 2013 at 11:41 am |

    I agree with a lot of what people are saying about commissary closings. Get rid of the billions of dollars that we spend to support other countries and we will have plenty of money for soldiers benefits. We will have a lot of money for promotions and raises. I am lucky I have retired and live close to a commissary. I use it all the time. We could even balance the budget.

  119. AAFES is a giant monopoly that owns every business on every military installation. Subway and Burger King franchises, gas station, etc, etc. are all owned by AAFES. I have been retired about 20 years. During my period of active service, I saw AAFES take over the liquor store (used to called class 6), and the prices tripled overnight. They took over the military clothing sales stores, prices went through the roof and service took a nose dive. They have been trying to take over the commissary for years, and this is just the latest push to do so. What do you tink will happen to the prices and the service?

  120. I remember when the commissary was always closed on Mondays. I see no reason why they cannot close the commissary on Monday and Tuesday as long as they don't close it permanently. I can live with that type of arrangement. That way our benefit will always be there.

  121. LadyGreenEyes | March 18, 2014 at 3:16 pm |

    We already purchase many things off post, as the store prices are often cheaper. Meats are usually lower on post, though not always. With the new ID scanning and the privacy violations that entails, our usage of the commissary has cut WAY down. This is just another way to monitor people, and I am glad we won't be a military family much longer.

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