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: 48-18
Date: July 12, 2018
Media Contact: Kevin L. Robinson, public affairs specialist
Tel.: (804) 734-8000, Ext. 4-8773
Bringing the benefit to you
On-Site sales bring commissaries to Guard/Reserve patrons
By Rick Brink,
DeCA public affairs specialist
Note: To see a video related to the Guard and Reserve On-Site Sale program, go on DeCA’s YouTube site to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=orhGmjG4l3c. For photos, go to DeCA’s Flickr site at
FORT LEE, Va. – “Bringing the benefit to you,” is a fitting slogan for the Defense Commissary Agency’s Guard and Reserve On-Site Sale program, which observes its 10th anniversary this year.
“For the past decade these sales have provided the commissary benefit to those who have earned it, but don’t live or work near a commissary, and its legacy is impressive to say the least,” said Willie Watkins, DeCA’s chief of e-business.
The program has served over 430,700 customers at more than 930 sales events, which have yielded more than $18 million in patron savings, Watkins noted.
The on-site sales have been held in diverse locations ranging from Marietta, Georgia, to Hilo, Hawaii, and Bismarck, North Dakota, and the agency is always on the lookout for more sale opportunities. Here’s how it works:
- Sales are cooperative efforts between sponsoring Guard and Reserve units, and commissary store directors who together determine sale locations and dates. A contingent at DeCA Headquarters gives guidance and oversees the process
- Sales average two or three days and are open to all authorized commissary shoppers
- Sales feature a wide variety of commissary products largely determined by shopper preferences at each location
- Customers shop and pay for purchases much like they would at a commissary. There are also preorder and prepay sales – where customers order their groceries on-line and pay for them prior to pick-up at the designated location – and hybrid sales that are a combination of conventional and preorder/prepay
- Sales are easy to find. DeCA’s website has a Guard/Reserve page that lists sales locations and dates along with contacts for more information on particular events
The program isn’t content to rest on its laurels. Watkins said they’re looking into the possibilities of joint ventures with the military Exchange services, which could serve as sale sites or sales pick-up locations since they have a number of stores at locations that don’t have commissaries.
“The commissary heritage is one of adapting to meet the needs of its patrons, and so we’re continuing to do that as we continue our tenth year of providing this valued service,” Watkins said.
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/.