The HASC Subcommittee on Military Personnel takes on what TCS considers one of the biggest boondoggles remaining in the world of personnel benefits: the commissary and exchange system.
A relic of the times when military bases were in remote locations and service members and their families were less likely to have cars, domestic commissaries and exchanges are no longer necessary to enhance the quality of life on base. Overseas commissaries and exchanges are a different topic and we understand the desire for folks serving overseas to be able to get American products – especially a big, fat turkey at Thanksgiving time.
But domestically? Those commissaries are the real turkeys. And we’re guessing that a poll of who walks through the doors of the local commissary or exchange would reveal that the most loyal customers are actually retired personnel. In a time of discount grocery stores in most towns, it’s time to retire this anachronistic benefit except in remote locations where the closest town is an inconvenient drive away.
Unfortunately, the HASC wants yet another study before anything is changed. Specifically, the subcommittee asks for a new “Business Case Analysis” before any commissaries and exchanges can be closed.
Do your study, and maybe ask exactly who is buying their turkey at the commissary, but let’s get on with ending this particular boondoggle.