[ The Real McCoy Online Home ]                                                                                                                       August 8, 2008
Armywide News

AAFES celebrates 113 years of service 
to Army, Air Force servicemembers

DALLAS (Army and Air Force Exchange Service Public Affairs) — As the Army & Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES) marked 113 years of service and support to America’s military, the command’s mission remains basically the same: provide quality goods and services at competitively low prices and generate earnings to support Morale, Welfare and Recreation programs.

Photo: Main Post Exchange Store Manager Renee Davis, (left to right) Miss Sparta 2008 Paige Peters (a PX employee), Little Miss Sparta 2008 Phoenix Bartels and Military Clothing Sales Store Manager Stacey Driggers prepare to cut a cake at the Fort McCoy Main Post Exchange to celebrate AAFES’ 113th anniversary. (Photo by Rob Schuette)
Main Post Exchange Store Manager Renee Davis, (left to right) Miss Sparta 2008 Paige Peters (a PX employee), Little Miss Sparta 2008 Phoenix Bartels and Military Clothing Sales Store Manager Stacey Driggers prepare to cut a cake at the Fort McCoy Main Post Exchange to celebrate AAFES’ 113th anniversary. (Photo by Rob Schuette)

Established July 25, 1895, when the War Department issued General Order number 46 directing post commanders to establish an exchange at every post where practicable, AAFES continues to deliver a comprehensive and customer-focused benefit to troops and their families at installations throughout America, Europe, the Pacific and Middle East.

In addition to its flagship main base and post exchange facilities (aka BXs and PXs), modern AAFES operations now include convenience stores, car care centers, military clothing sales stores, fast food restaurants, retail concession services such as flower shops and gift stores, vending, telecommunications support and a wide variety of personal services through more than 3,100 facilities in 30 countries, five U.S. territories and 49 states. The scope of current operations goes well beyond the conventional offerings the War Department might have envisioned in the late 1800s as AAFES even operates bakeries, water-bottling activities and provides 24,000 meals a day to troops’ sons and daughters at 92 Department of Defense Schools in nine countries.

Just like the merchants who supplied provisions to America’s troops in the late 19th century, AAFES associates continue to live and work alongside those they serve. In fact, more than 350 associates currently are deployed to Operations Enduring and Iraqi Freedom, actively delivering a slice of Americana to troops through 85 BX/PX operations, 75 phone centers and 197 fast food restaurants in the Middle East.

Closer to home, AAFES is focused on energizing outreach efforts to communicate the value, benefit and capabilities it brings to the military community.

Recognizing the pivotal role National Guard and Reserve troops are playing as they transition from a strategic force to an operational force, AAFES is specifically reaching out to "Citizen Soldiers’" families to ensure they understand the value of their exchange benefit not only downrange, but also on the installation, online or over the phone.

"AAFES commitment to America’s troops has never been stronger," said AAFES Senior Enlisted Advisor Chief Master Sgt. Bryan Eaton. "Whether at their home station, deployed overseas, providing support in the wake of a natural disaster, or even in the hospital, AAFES is there."

Since its establishment in 1895, AAFES has been involved in 14 major contingencies (to include the Spanish-American War, WWI, WWII, Korea, Vietnam, Grenada, Panama, the Balkans and Operations Enduring and Iraqi Freedom) and several dozen humanitarian and disaster relief contingencies.

 

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