|By Rob Schuette, Public Affairs Staff
The Army & Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES) senior
enlisted adviser said the Fort McCoy Post Exchange (PX) operation is
ensuring mobilizing Soldiers can obtain what they need to take overseas
and also provides many services, even though it is a smaller PX.
Chief Master Sgt. Jeffry Helm
(right), the Army and Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES) senior
enlisted adviser, answers questions about AAFES operations from
(Photo by Rob
Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Jeffry Helm, AAFES senior enlisted
adviser, visited Fort McCoy Sept. 9-10. He met with the garrison
leadership, customers and toured and inspected PX facilities at Fort
McCoy to address AAFES and customer-related concerns and to talk about
current and future projects.
“It’s important that AAFES educates, listens to and addresses our more
than 12.2 million customers,” Helm said. “This opportunity to interact
with our customers only strengthens AAFES ties in the military
Fort McCoy senior enlisted personnel asked Helm, during a
question-and-answer session, many questions about the AAFES operations
at Fort McCoy and what could be done to meet customer needs. Fort McCoy
AAFES General Manager Donna Walton accompanied Helm on his tour and
helped answer Fort McCoy specific questions.
One question involved clothing items at the Military Clothing Sales
Store (MCSS) that were on back order and hadn’t been received in several
Helm said some clothing items are limited only to U.S. manufacturers,
which can lead to a delay in making the items and getting them to MCSS.
In this case, Soldiers should ask if the procurement of the items can be
speeded up, such as through the shuttle service program — which also is
available with other AAFES merchandise — with other larger PX
“The Fort McCoy PX does a great job of meeting the needs of mobilizing
Soldiers and ensuring they have what they need when they deploy,” Helm
Work force can use
|Everyone in the Fort McCoy work
force, including military, federal civilian and contractor
employees, is authorized by Army Regulation (AR) and a local
command letter to buy single-serve food items from the Shoppette
in the Fort McCoy Post Exchange, building 1538, said Donna
Walton, the Fort McCoy Army and Air Force Exchange Service
general manager, said this policy specifically is approved by AR
60-20, which allows local commands to authorize usage if it is
difficult for personnel to get the goods and services off the
Everyone on the installation also is welcome to use the AAFES
food court facilities — both inside and outside the PX, she
“If you see something you want, tell the staff or the general
manager,” Helm said. “If you want something, the chances are other
Soldiers want it, too. That is the way many AAFES changes have happened.
We’re here to serve you.”
Several other policies are in place that benefit military shoppers,
such as price matching and no sales tax. Helm said price matching can be
done if the same AAFES item being sold is at a lower price elsewhere,
including sales promotions. Authorized patrons can verbally tell any
AAFES associate the lower price off post if the differential is less
than $10 or bring along proof, such as a sales ad, if it’s more than
$10. The associates are authorized to match the lower price.
Personnel who buy items from the PX do not have to pay state sales
taxes. Helm noted that unlike the commissaries, which receive
appropriated funds, AAFES funds all of its activities, including
facility and labor costs, from profits generated by its sales.
AAFES also gives back roughly 70 percent of its profits (after
expenses are met) to fund Army Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) and
Air Force Service programs to support quality-of-life programs and
initiatives. The other 30 percent goes to the AAFES capital improvement
programs which expands, renovates and builds new AAFES facilities for a
better shopping experience, Helm said.
The sale of gas is the one exception to the “no sales tax” rule as all
local, state and federal taxes apply to motor fuels. Walton said prices
are set by surveying stations in Tomah and Sparta and using the lowest
Helm said that AAFES offers a 5 cents a gallon discount (for a limited
time) for personnel using the Military Star Card. Other promotions will
include 11 cents a gallon off on Veterans Day (Nov. 11) and several
20-cents-a-gallon-off promotions, with the next one scheduled for Nov.
Walton said they also have PX trailers in the field to serve mobilizing
troops. Plans are under way to convert a building in the mobilization
area to a Shoppette, which would be open for business in the summer of
2010. This would provide Soldiers and other military personnel in that
area with more convenient AAFES service, she said.
For more information about AAFES services, visit the Web site
http://www.aafes.com. AAFES offers
more than 1 million items for sale online.
In the Fort McCoy community, authorized personnel can sign up for the
Buddy List at the PX, building 1538. The information is sent via e-mail
and tells about sales, item availability, other PX news, etc. Personnel
also can call 608-269-5574, Ext. 101, or 608-388-4343 for more
(Some information in this story is from an Army & Air Force Exchange
Service news release.)