Defense Commissary Agency
1300 E Avenue, Fort Lee, VA 23801-1800
Tel: (804) 734-8000, Ext. 8-6105 DSN: 687-8000, Ext. 8-6105
FAX: (804) 734-8248 DSN: 687-8248
Release Number: 29-18
Date: April 26, 2018
Media Contact: Kevin L. Robinson, public affairs specialist
Tel.: (804) 734-8000, Ext. 4-8773
Taking care of their own
Commissary surcharge pays for new stores, renovations
By Rick Brink,
DeCA public affairs specialist
Note: To see photos related to the commissary surcharge on DeCA’s Flickr site go to
FORT LEE, Va. – Commissary shoppers don’t have far to look in their store to see the impact the surcharge has on their shopping experience.
That’s because the surcharge – the 5 percent added to every commissary customer’s receipt – goes directly back into the benefit, paying for the modernization and replacement of stores. It’s the funding source for maintenance and repairs, store equipment and store-level information technology systems, such as checkouts.
Just last year, the agency replaced well-worn stores with new, modern commissaries at Naval Air Station Jacksonville, Florida, and at Fort Belvoir, Virginia, that cost more than $74 million to build and equip, all paid by surcharge funds.
And, in just a few weeks, commissary shoppers at Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida, will enjoy the culmination of a two-year major renovation, called an “architectural and refrigeration upgrade,” that was also paid for by the surcharge. While not a new store, the project makes the store more environmentally friendly with the installation of new, more energy-efficient equipment and greatly improves the shopping experience.
“Our store has a whole new look and feel to it, a new layout that better accommodates the shopping pattern for our customers,” said Diolita Abel, the Tyndall store director. “For the first time we are now serving hot food such as rotisserie chicken, wings and other items, and our sushi, deli and bakery are all conveniently located together at the front of the store. These are all changes that better serve our customers who enjoy the selection and convenience, especially for the lunch rush.”
Here are a couple surcharge facts:
- It is not a tax. Surcharge dollars go back into stores, paying for the construction and modernization. In fiscal 2018, the surcharge budget is nearly $271 million.
- The surcharge has been set at 5 percent since 1983, and cannot be changed without congressional approval.
The surcharge’s history traces back to 1879 and features various applications and rates through the years leading up to 1983. Through the years, thanks to the surcharge, patrons have a direct role in sustaining and enhancing their commissary benefit.
About DeCA: The Defense Commissary Agency operates a worldwide chain of commissaries providing groceries to military personnel, retirees and their families in a safe and secure shopping environment. Commissaries provide a military benefit, saving authorized patrons thousands of dollars annually on their purchases compared to similar products at commercial retailers. The discounted prices include a 5-percent surcharge, which covers the costs of building new commissaries and modernizing existing ones. A core military family support element, and a valued part of military pay and benefits, commissaries contribute to family readiness, enhance the quality of life for America’s military and their families, and help recruit and retain the best and brightest men and women to serve their country.
Stay Connected to Your Commissary Benefit
COMMISSARIES.COM: Visit www.commissaries.com to learn more about the Defense Commissary Agency: check out the latest news, find a store near you, see what’s on sale, create a shopping list, learn of food and product recalls, scan employment opportunities, read frequently asked questions, submit a customer comment form online through DeCA’s Your Action Line and more.
COMMISSARY CONNECTION E-NEWSLETTER: Stay connected with the latest news about your most valued benefit, Hot Links to additional savings, shopping sprees, contests, commissary promotions, events and more, go to www.commissaries.com/subscribe.cfm and subscribe to the Commissary Connection newsletter.
COMMISSARY CONNECTION BLOG: To see regular posts about topics of interest to commissary customers, including commissary news, human interest stories, shopping tips, videos and notifications about programs or events, go to http://commissaryconnection.dodlive.mil/. You can also subscribe to this forum by going to www.commissaries.com/subscribe.cfm.
FACEBOOK: Visit www.facebook.com/YourCommissary, DeCA’s Facebook page, where you can post comments and share news, photos and videos.
YOUTUBE: To see DeCA’s latest videos, visit www.youtube.com/DefenseCommissary.
TWITTER: To see DeCA’s latest “tweets,” visit www.twitter.com/YourCommissary.
PINTEREST: To see DeCA’s theme-based image collections, visit http://www.pinterest.com/YourCommissary.
FLICKR: To see DeCA’s latest photographs, visit http://www.flickr.com/photos/commissary/.
INSTAGRAM: To see DeCA’s latest photographs, visit https://www.instagram.com/YourCommissary/.
***This news release originally appeared on www.commissaries.com