Is the Commissary Really Going to Close?


Rumors that the Defense Department will be getting rid of the commissaries have been flying all over the internet since a November report from one Senator’s office labeled them as one more thing the military could do away with to save some coin.

The rumors, of course, are not true. Closing the commissaries would take an act of Congress (not just a report from one member of Congress) stripping their funding and shutting their doors.

But that doesn’t mean that there isn’t some validity to the fear that such a move may, eventually, come to fruition.

This isn’t the first time such a proposal has been made. Around this time last year one congressional committee voted to give the money  they usually spend on commissaries to another fund to take care of sick veterans. Instead they planned to have AAFES, which runs the Army and Air Force PX and BX systems, take over the operation.

That move was undone by a later vote, but in the meantime there was plenty of chance to debate whether or not unfunding the commissary was even a good idea. Some said “yes.” Most said, “no.” The “yes” folks pointed to a Congressional Budget Office report that said that doing so would save over $1 billion a year. The “no” people said that the higher costs to users – especially to those living oversees – would be debilitating.

In the end we all ignored the whole thing and moved on with our lives.

But now that the fiscal cliff is creeping closer and closer to becoming a reality – and we know that regardless budget cuts will happen – the commissary closures are starting to sound a good deal more likely. The recently released annual commissary report card touts, as it usually does, what DeCA sees as its invaluable nature to the lives of military families. And a commissary support organization continues to highlight the savings military families receive.

What do you think? Could you live without the commissary?

About the Author

Amy Bushatz
Amy is the editor in chief of’s spouse and family blog A journalist by trade, Amy also covers spouse and family news for where she is the managing editor of spouse and family content. An Army wife and mother of two, Amy has been featured as a subject matter expert on, NPR, Fox News, NBC, CBS, ABC and BBC as well as in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and Washington Post. Follow her on twitter @amybushatz.
  • deyank

    Absolutely NOT! We make a commissary run pretty much every Sunday and pay approximately 85-90% of the costs if we had gone to, say, Krogers. I am retired and on a fixed income and if it wasn’t for the commissary we wouldn’t eat nearly as good as we do. The only exception to our commissary purchases is in the meat department as it is my opinion that they are still letting suppliers give the commissary second-hand (less then prime) cuts of meat. Other than that, all of our staples are commissary bought.

    • Marta
      • guest

        no, no the worst thing they can do is take away or drastically increase the cost of your healthcare to bring it in line with private insurance

    • Keith
    • bloomie

      I agree, if the commissary closes in Jax FL, my family will be FORCED to become vegetarians and no more fresh fruits and veggies since the local community prices on these items are about 3 times higher per item……

    • Sharon

      I have to disagree with your comment about meat. It is the main reason I shop at the commissary. The meat at our local grocery store, HEB, is indelible. If the commissary closes, we will become vegetarians.

    • Lynn

      I disagree with you. Back in 1867 the post commissary was born to help young enlisted troops to buy goods at cost when they were paid dirt and received none of the bennies they do today—as usual, it has grown into something it was never intended to be, like so many other government programs, that we simply cannot afford! I once held this mentality when I was a regular commissary shopper, but there are better ways to offset the costs for military families (and retirees) who really need it (key words here), and can do so while shopping at local grocers, thereby helping our country from not having to borrow 2 billion a year (e.g. from China) just so 1% of the population can enjoy this benefit. I don’t see why a “tax free military discount” based on rank (20% up to E-5 and O-1 to O-2; and 10% for E-6 to E-9 and O-3 to O-4 including retirees (O-6 and above can afford to shop on the economy) can’t be established at ALL national grocers, for those who provide an active or retired military ID? I prefer more healthy organic goods, like Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods, and would have preferred to receive a tax free military discount by utilizing like grocery stores that offer a variety of food options than the commissary does. I’m sick and tired of the ” military me-me mentality” where pay and benefits are on par and oftentimes much better than most civilians jobs today because of the special pay (housing/food), tax advantages, free/low cost healthcare and education, etc. that citizens must pay out of their own pocket for, while paying your salaries/pensions too. Where does this “privileged mentality” come from? There are millions of citizens who serve this nation, struggling to get by and work just as hard, if not harder in very hazardous jobs such as police, fire, mining, logging, fisherman, transportation (no.1 hazardous job btw) and shouldn’t have to shoulder this financial burden when a large portion of the military can easily afford to shop on the economy like everyone else must do. We need to stop demanding more than what our nation can afford, period.

    • Nancy

      Let the overpaid and under worked lawmakers go without their perks, all of them. Then those who may have been in the military can appreciate the benefits of a commissary. No expenses paid but their wages. Take away their medical and dental and vision benefits too. They will buy their necessities at lower price stores just like the rest of us who put in our time at lower wages.

    • Patricia Lecroy

      My husband is retired military. I do not shop at at the PX. It is too expensive. Why pay over $100.00 for a purse, when I can get one at the Mall for a forth of that, or less….
      It is mostly designer stuff most people cannot afford.

  • S2_HH6

    I love our commissary priviledges. We get the name brand products for less than what WalMart charges for their bargin brand. I don’t know which commissary deyank shops at, but our meat department is outstanding! We get excellent cuts of meat especially the beef & pork for about 1/3 of the cost at the local grocers and about 1/2 of the cost of Wal Mart for far superior meet. My only complaint is the limited hours of operation. I work full time so I have to do my grocery shopping on weekends and that is when the commissary has the least open hours. We live about 25 minutes from the base but do 95% of our shopping at the commissary.

    • Just Me

      I agree S2. Yes within the commissary there are many name brands that are sold less than WalMart, which charges a little more for its products. I agree about the meats that are sold at many commissaries and they are quality meats. Another excellent point you bring up would be the hours of operations at many commissaries. Yes their hours are limited hours of operation, and like you have mentioned an individual who works full time the commissary may be closed when that individual gets off of work causing him or her to shop at a regular supermarket and paying a little more the the products he or she needs.

  • William Sanderson

    As a Retiree I shop at the commissary three to five times a week. I save at least 40 to 50 percent by shopping at the commissary compared to shopping at local merchants off base in Alaska. Leave our Commissary benefits alone!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • steve

      Watch OUT! ever hear of the EXECUTIVE ORDER binge this president is on….one of them will shut down the COMISSARIES, BY-PASSING CONGRESS, LIKE HE HAS SO MANY TIME SO FAR????

      • Rich
      • Rich
      • Rich
    • CAROL

      I agree one hundred percent,the retirees have very few benifits as at is. LEAVE OUR COMMISSARYALONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • S. Acel

      Igree with Mr. Sanders. The commissary is still the best deal around where I live.

    • Roalex

      Just out of curiosity, why would anyone in their right mind go grocery shopping 3 to 5 times a week? I mean seriously talk about wasting gas and time. We go once a month and it isn’t to a commissary that charges tax when we can shop on the economy and not pay tax.

  • Jay

    The commissary is great, but if it is between that and the troops pay……the commissary needs to be cut.

    • MIMI


      • Dee
        • JCOLE

          I agree with the travel. When my husband was at AIT they booked him a $600 flight when we could have gotten the same flight for $300 on Orbitz! How in the heck was the same ticket so much more through the travel agent on post then online.

    • Mrs. Noelsaint
    • Mrs. Noelsaint
    • Wanda

      Hi Jay, I agree with you in that aspect because the troops pay is important. I love the commisary though but if I had to choose it would be the troops pay.

  • purpleheartpark

    Oh Please, Listen to yourselves..Its Me, me, me…These are Tax Dollars that pay for these Commisaries…If the DOD wants them and You want them Contract them out with NAF…Why should anybody in America pay for your family to Eat…

    • Guest

      Risk my life for you. Feed me. Seems fair to me.

      • miliatary wife

        thumbs up — you’ve got that right! Plus the commissary serves as a way of reminding military families that they are not alone, their government cares enough to support them in this special way, and it serves as a way to establish familiarity and community for families who move so frequently.

    • Guest
      • Armywife
      • Armywife
    • Guest
    • Tony

      Another non educated person. Must not have served his/her country. Easy to open ones mouth when they have no idea what it is like to serve.


      don’t know where you are coming from.. the commissary 5% surcharge is used for commissary upgrades as well as salaries The baggers work for tips So where do you see TAX Dollars.

    • pat

      Isn’t that what we are doing for people on welfare. Leave the commissary alone. Cut welfare and get the deadbeats to work if they can find it that is.

    • Navy Mom

      Tax dollars that are used to protect you and your ignorant attitude. These military families and themselves serve our country, unlike yourself to PROTECT OUR FREEDOMS!!! You say ME, ME, ME???? Well, it seems like your ignorant comment was all about YOU, YOU, YOU. My gosh, have some respect for our military and their families. After all…they are protecting YOUR rights.

      • Marine Mom

        That is right! I am a Marine mom, I know the sacrifice these families make for our freedom! Preach it Navy Mom! You said it PERFECTLY!

        • Jeep Stablein

          As a Navy Vet. and, Navy Dad, I say BZ to Nany Mom, and Marine Mom. We need to help the military families any way we can.

    • ana

      guess what, military personal also pay taxes and on top of that they leave their families for long periods of time, and most of them put their lives in the line for you!

    • nita

      To simply answer your question.. Tax dollars should”pay” for us to eat because OUR soldiers die and fight for this country.

    • Laurence

      Another ignorant liberal

      • TNB
      • LTC

        WOW!!!! How ignorant are you? Please advise how many responses to this article are from liberals vice conservatives. Let me guess, you have ESP and is spot on with your ignorant response.

    • Lauren
      • Kitty Rice

        No doubt! About a year ago, my best friend, former Coastie, sent me a picture of the current price for a gallon of MILK in Safeway… a whopping $19.99 for ONE gallon! Insane!

    • Victoria Gilmore

      I don’t think it is about me…me…me as you mentioned. I served “Honorably” for 11 1/2 years in the U. S. Army and my husband is retired military (we both served in the first Persian Gulf War). I believe we deserve to have the commissary as an option to shop for groceries. Why is the military the target for a lot of closures, etc? If we are attacked as we were on 9/11 then people will want the military to rescue them. It is sad that military is being reduced and other organizations are increasing and we are paying for their debts, although some have not worked a day in their lives!!! I have worked almost all of my life and yet I cannot get any assistance for anything. In this day and economy, it is sad how people are so cold hearted to think the military members do not deserve a break. By the way, my husband is well educated (BS in Criminal Justice) and at age 55, I now have my degree in Paralegal Studies, so we are not a statistic as you might think.

    • Wanda


    • JAM

      Wow purpleheartpark that is sad! I have a loved one in the service and for what they are doing (risking their lives), they are so underpaid! The least we can do is have them get some perks and the BEST EQUIPMENT available! There are SO many “pet projects” of the different congressman/woman that really are useless and should be cut first before we look to cut the military. Military and Senior Citizens should be the last places we look to cut!

    • deb

      You, purpleheartpark, are a disgusting person. These men and women have sacrificed for us and deserve much more than the measley 5 – 10% they can save at the commissary. You idiot, you don’t pay for them to eat, they paid for your freedom to eat what you want and have the ability to shop, work and buy where ever or whatever you want. Please, don’t grace us with anymore of your unpatriotic comments.
      “Air Force Brat” and “Retired Army Wife”

    • ellyn wheeless

      What about what is sacrificed for you ? You are a selfish person to believe that tax Dollars pay for commissaries love. People sacrifice their lives to keep you safe and keep the war out of the USA . There are spouses and children that see their families for only a few months at a time. What is that equal to for you? The military works long hours on call 365 24/7 . As a person that shops in the commissary we pay a fee that helps to cover some of those expenses

    • USMCRetiree

      Way to go purpleheartpark. Ive managed NOT to respond to idiots like you for many years but you take the cake. Get your facts straight before you comment on issues you know nothing about and while you are at it why not enlist for a tour or two- you might actually learn something..

    • D.Gav Roff

      purpleheartpark…Really? It’s ok that ALL Americans can pay those politicians to have life-long benefits that no other Americans are eligible for…a REAL lifetime retirement pension-after only ONE term in office, PLUS they have their own health benefits! Are THEY living at poverty levels? Or many of the Americans that you say “pay for the military families” to eat? Did Obama hand out FREE “Obamaphones” to any of the military familys? What about all the military men & women overseas that weren’t even able to vote?!!! Our country OWES our military personnel & their families all the benefits that they were given when they enlisted.

    • Este

      It is outrageous to comtemplate closing our commisaries. First my medical expenses going up and we earned these privaleges. We went without extras that civilian wages would have enabled us to live better to dedicate our lives in the military with the promise of “when we retire we will maintain the so called added privalegas. Now one by one our govenrment wants to take away from the military to cut expenses.
      How many government full wage retirements would add up to considerable added saved money!

    • For the soldier

      I heard the term freemed isnt cheap and is vary true it must be that paople that are against soldier saving some money havent served or even risk there life over seas for freed omg!!! wow steal fro the soldier thats a good idea….NOT!!!! you selfish person you …..Tax dollar or not its a good benifit for soldier next thing you will do ask him pay for own bullets

    • ivdad

      Gee, a decision on whether to have my tax dollars support families of those that defend the country or those that could work, should work and sit on their butts getting food stamps and welfare. Let me think… pay for the commissary, our take extra money from those that contribute nothing.

    • Sally
    • Jeep Stablein

      They are protecting you, you, you. Since it is the taxpayers, one of which IS the service member, who pay the military, it would seem that you are about as out of touch as anyone can possibly be. As a member who was stationed overseas, I see the need for the commissary, as it is the only way to get some of the items you are used to, which aren’t available a lot of places overseas. The PX is cheaper, and usually close by. Since we don’t pay our military a hell of a lot, any way we can help the members and their families, is a good thing.

    • Mike

      Purpleheartpark….get back to servicing people at the highway rest stop and leave this issue to real people

    • Mimi

      Certain benefits were promised to generations of soldiers , sailors , Marines and coast Guard active duty and veterans. Until these people are compensated adequately to offset the benefits they were promised when they signed on, those promises must be kept. The services are not just a 9-5 job, it is a lifestyle and not one that you can just give 2 weeks notice to when the going gets tough. That puts this in a whole different category as far as I can see. Duty is one thing, but like any other contract , if the rules get changed, you should also be able to walk when you want to and that simply isn’t going to happen.

    • NSK

      purpleheartpark-did you serve? We were payed pennies to serve 24 hours a day for as many years as each of served. The government is taking back benefits slowly but surely. Next you will say contract out our military.

  • Jon-Erik Suermann

    Serving in the Coast Guard I have yet to be stationed near a commissary so far in 7 years. Among the places where I have been stationed is Cape May, NJ where grocery prices are much higher than anywhere I have been. At the same time I did not receive COLA or anything else to offset the higher cost, so forgive me for not sympathizing with people worrying about the future of commissaries. I would say that within the U.S. there isn’t necessarily a need to have a luxury such as a commissary. However rather than just saying that we would save “X” amount of dollars by getting rid of them they should also look at whether or not members would then be entitled to allowances, such as COLA, because of location. The end result could mean the government spending more money.

    • mmmcvr

      You’re not in the military, you are part of DHS, not DOD. PERIOD.

      • Jon-Erik Suermann

        Congress in 1915 said otherwise.

    • Tony

      That is because you are in the Coast Guard you idiot! DHS!

      • Phil Culver

        DHS yes, DoD no. But military? Absolutely! “The U.S. Coast Guard is one of the five armed forces of the United States and the only military organization within the Department of Homeland Security.” The quote is from the USCG About Us web page. Tony and mmmcvr can quibble all they want but Coasties are as much military as any of the other 4 services. Get off their but.
        AF Vet

      • Jon-Erik Suermann

        I would be assigned to base housing in places such as Charleston, SC and Camp Legeune, NC, to name a couple. When I am in an area where there are commissaries and exchanges I am allowed to shop there just like the rest of the military and their dependents. Lastly, I receive the same pay and benefits.

        If these comments are all in good fun of “service hating” that’s fine, but if not I find it disheartening and ignorance driven.

        • 24kg
        • Chas

          During 20+ years of service in the United States Navy (4+ years active, balance reserve) I had a number of opportunities to work closely with the United States Coast Guard. I was impressed with the professionalism of both the officer corps and enlisted ranks. To suggest that individuals serving this nation in the Coast Guard should not be considered to be members of our “military” simply because of the fact that they are not part of the DOD bureaucracy is foolish and frankly, a bit offensive.

    • Johnathan

      well thats because the coast guard isnt a military force that actually combats against foreign enemies… OK you say you are a military but until you actually have bullets flying over you while doing 3-5 second rushes youll never be considered a military force in the eyes of Americans… Your just glorified lifeguards.

      • Dee
      • coastie wife
      • Guest
      • Guest
      • Liz
      • Guest
      • Josh

        You’re clueless. You should probably do a little more research before making such bold statements. I agree that we in the Coast Guard may not be considered the military by most because we are not in the DOD, a quick scroll through a history book and you’ll see how involved we have been. Bullets flying over us? You do realize that Coast Guard members drove the Higgins boats on D day. We also patrolled the inland waterways during Vietnam. We take the same oath, we’re on the same pay scale and we have the same rank structure. Your ignorance proves your cluelessness about “military” history.

        • Josh

          Oh yeah, we also get the same shopping and medical benefits when they’re available to us. Oddly enough, we dont pay baggage fees on U.S. Airways either and I’m constantly being thanked for my service. Just remember that we’re not in the military the next time a coastie goes to the head of the line at your local exchange because he or she is in uniform.

    • Toni

      In one sentence you complain about the cost of living being high in Cape May, NJ then in the next you call a commissary a luxury. Ok your pissed about not receiving COLA to off set the higher cost of living. But to call a commissary a luxury, you of all people should see why we need them. Look at the actual numbers, losing our commissaries is not going to save so COLA can be implemented in every higher cost of state side living, COLA would be a much higher cost. It won’t happen not when they are trying to take so much from our military as it is.

    • Christina
    • Josh

      Jon, for a married E4 with 2 children, a commissary isn’t a luxury but rather a necessity regardless of branch. We joined a branch of service that doesn’t provide these services so we need to suck it up.

    • jim usa ret.

      The CGES or Coast Guard Exchange System is NOT a commissary! They charge whatever they want and claim the profit goes to the MWR (Morale, Welfare & Recreation) fund on the base. I say BS! It’s a way for the CG to screw it’s EM. Gas Station prices are equal to off base, so they don’t negatively affect local services. What a bunch of crap. CGES is the biggest rip off of all Uniformed Services. Check it out!!

  • RJCas

    The question is, “Could I live w/o the commissary” and I would honestly have to say yes. There are many products that I purchase, such as cleaning supplies, foreign products, coffee and meats. But I could live without it. HOWEVER, I do believe it should remain open outside the continental US due to the high cost of products in the open market, and non-availablity of US products to retirees and service members.

    • Cindy


      • Michelle
        • guest

          So become a dual income household if you have problems paying your bills…that’s what we had to do as jr enlisted

      • Christina
    • Lauren
    • Wanda


    • Ashley

      I agree, maybe not so much with the offset in cost of food, for me it has more to do with being able to get the small comforts that you can get food-wise and knowing just where you can get toilet paper is a plus. Grocery shopping overseas is something to ease into, especially in places like Korea, where hardly anyone speaks English, or in some places in Germany, the grocery store is a little farther away from post or housing that is offered. Not all countries have a “Walmart” you can’t get everything in one store that you need. I had to hunt for simple things that I would have never thought to look for outside of a regular corner store.

      • Ashley

        Also, my husband and I never really used the commissary back in the states. We normally would shop at the local Mom & Pop grocery store. You don’t really NEED it stateside with all the Save-A-Lots, Walmarts, and Piggly Wigglys. We all have to be conscientiousness like the rest of the country has to be. But I am extremely grateful to have a commissary to go to till I figure out what’s out there on the economy when we are overseas.

    • Mike

      Alert^ This guy could be a grocery store lobby agent or a hired hand of some political activism company…fraudulent post. His post jives perfectly with what Senator Coburn says.

  • Chief

    Yet amother example of the lies Congress has hold about dupporting our troops. First was the end of the promised free medical care for life for retirees. Now this.

    • Kristofer

      Hooyah Chief, they just keep chipping away at the things we retirees expected to be there after we served, in my case 34 years. The madness has to stop. There are plenty other places of government waste to cut rather than the benefits of those who actually served their Country.

    • Bobby Welch


      This what you get, when you send people to Washington,DC. They don’t give a dame about our men and women in uniform, and the one that are retired veterans now. Member of Congress shame on you, we retired military, men and women that are in the military now, is not “Rich,Rich” like you’ll.

    • Cathy
    • GMGCChapman

      Congress is trying to get rid of the things that were promised to us back in the ’60’s.Got a little better during the Gulf Wars,Now they are back to the busness as usual, We don’t need them anymore ,so why keep the promises that were made. Retirees are big on the list of they are costing to much. So they are trying to grab all they can from us.

    • Carol Bush

      Amen to this!!!!!!! Just lies on our spouses backs.

  • Sams Die

    Our congress need to shut down all the commissary and BX. With all that saving, our congress can give our friends around the world more in foreign aid so their people can come here and kill more of us . while our congress and the president are at it, they also need to find ways to eliminate Tricare for all military members and retirees. Don’t think that congress won’t do it. I used to pay nothing for CHAMPUS when ryinuI retired in 1986. Now, I have to pay a yearly premium for TRICARE. My family is no longer qualify for TRICARE Prime because we lived outside the forty miles radius.

    • Nanny56

      If you no longer qualify for Prime, you do NOT pay the annual fee, because with Standard and Extra, there is NO annual fee, and never has been. How do I know? Because we’ve been using TRICARE Standard for 13

    • Victoria Gilmore

      First of all, I served! Second….why do you want everything taken away from the military? Wow, there are other programs that should be eliminated instead….We have never used Champus and have always paid our premiums, etc for Tricare Prime. However, that may change with the 40 mile radius! I do not think that is fair, but I don’t want all the privies taken from military members, retirees and their families. Savings? the commissary makes profits and it goes back into the system…

    • SLC

      Why aren’t you using Tricare Prime remote? When we lived more than 40 miles from a base, we were automatically switched to Tricare prime remote- didn’t cost us a penny (except for our prescriptions- I believe they were only $5… and could be written off on taxes).

  • SpartanMomma

    Need to start taking away from highest paid government personnal (the ones who get it all, and do NOTHING), instead of LOWEST paid (Military). Let the ‘Big Wigs’ live and support their families on a Soldiers pay……can’t do it ! We need to bend over backwards and cater to our MILITARY and their families instead of taking, taking & taking from them. Deploy ALL the ‘Big Wigs’, starting at the very top, and let our Soldiers call the shots. Then America can make progress.

    • Toni

      And the parking!! Labeling parking spaces for them on the off chance they MAY be at the commissary. Lol. What a joke. It use to be that our leaders were out there leading not sitting behind the safety of a desk. And yeah I get that some positions require that, but not ALL of them. Maybe things would be better if we had real leaders, in our country and military

    • 2dalefan

      Totally agree!

    • AF Wife Ret.

      Yes, it time for the Congress, Senate, VP, and President plus all the other big wigs in Washington to take a cut in pay and benefits. They do not work enough to or do enough for the betterment of the people who vote them in to earn the big bucks they get. It is time for a change.

      • ita

        SOOOO true, then maybe us people who do have work ethics can get a job!

    • ita

      LOL – very funny, that it hurts, but true! THE TRUTH HURTS but as SpartanMomma says, “Then can America make progress”.

  • Mlsncma
  • Retirement Rocks!

    As a retiree, I used to use the Commissary, then stopped due to travel costs and long drive–savings weren’t worth it. So, we had to stop using them. But, you CAN survive on outside supermarkets….just takes getting used to. It is nice to have better quality meats and vegetables/fruits rather than the stuff DECA finds that fell off the trucks.

    If push came to shove on budget, I would vote to close the comissaries in CONUS only. While your at it….look at the on-base clubs, bowling alleys (really?) and the movie theaters (MWR sells passes to local theaters at most bases).

    • jerry

      AAFES Sucks they cant even run their stores with ass holegt

    • Wanda

      I hear ya!

    • CAROL


    • ita

      I needed a hearty laugh @Retirement Rocks, you are really funny, in a good way. honesty is always the best medicine.

  • Pam

    I could live without the commisary but have always used them! It has helped our family over the years. Military families are on fixed incomes and it helps. I’m with those who say quit taking away from our military families. Find other ways to cut back!

    • Rrmom
  • Hugh

    When I decided to make a career out of the service I did so because I was promised medical care for life, dental care, commissary and BX priviledges. Well Dental never was a reality, at age 65 medical care was not either we went on Medicare like everyone else, now talks about closing the commissary. Come on, nothing promised to me back in 1950 is coming true, the government lied to me. I get a 10% disability, they take 10% of my retirement pay, move it over to the VA where a seperate check is sent that is tax exempt from my taxes. My income is low, I don’t ever pay taxes, so where is the 10% I should be getting, I am not getting one extra cent in my income. Just doesn’t make sense at all. We took a screwing when we were promised all these goodies and ended up with only a few and those are now hanging loose. The government say how proud they are of our service men, and how they owe us much for sacrificing our lives for the country, but they sure don’t show it. All talk and little action.

    • Dave

      While I can empathize with your situation, you’re not alone. These are the SAME broken promises those in the private sector are experiencing as well. Pensions have disappeared, retirement health insurance has been eliminated, and the market has destroyed much of our 401K savings.

      • David B, PA

        I am orginally from Ontario, Canada and moved down to Pennsylvania back in 2004. From a financial point of view the US Economy SUCKS compared to the Canadian Economy and the amount of Govt. WASTE and STUPID and UN-NECESSARY FOOLISH spending by the democrats is what is literally bankrupting this country in the USA !!!
        ALL the politicans are are a bunch of SELF SERVING EGOTISTICAL phoney’s who do NOT serive the people who elected them – all they do is look at the latest gallap polls and say what the voters want to hear. LIES LIES LIES !!! The USA is going down the path Finanically to being a third world country and this country will financially colapse – MARK MY WORDS this is going to happen you CANNOT SPEND and MAKE FAKE MONEY and NOT BALANCE a BUDGET for years and years and years without it coming back to bite you in the butt.
        When are the US Govt going to wake up and smell the coffee ???

    • Victoria Gilmore

      So true!!! My husband was promised medical care for life…we pay for it through Tricare Prime! Dental Care???? never received it and it is expensive through Tricare. It seems the military personnel that served have been misled. Now, we may not be able to keep our current health care plan if we live further than 40 miles to any base? Wow, really seems unfair if it is true. Military sacrifice a lot and it seems unfair.

    • Bill Cooke

      I came in the service in (1953- 1974)and I got no disability. I pay all my Taxes,and get nothing,except my retirement check. That’s very little,after Medicare and (Bleed)me for the other things. I would tell,all that’s wrong with me,but I told them and it get me A cent….

  • T.A.

    When the congress stops buying votes with TAX PAYER funds to illegal aliens, then maybe. Or food stamps to certain groups in the country to vote for democracts. Stop the waste in spending tax payer money……Medicare fraud. Medicade fraud. Social Security disability fraud. Stop It Now!!!!!

  • Theophilus

    It’s easy. Warren Buffett said it: Make a law that if the national debt exceeds 3% of CNP then no member of the Congress can be re-elected for another term. I this means reducing the number of base shopping centers and such in areas of average or below average income where soldiers can afford to live on the economy then figure it out and make sensible decisions. It doesn’t have to be an all or nothing deal! I lived on the German economy for four years. Never shopped at the Commissary because it was TOO EXPENSIVE! Now as a disabled vet it’s just too hard to get there but I don’t miss what I never had!

    • Dwayne

      Yeah, Warren Buffet said the wealthy should pay more taxes to but doesn’t do so personally.

      • Toni

        Cause he doesn’t have too.

  • Dwayne

    I live in Florida where groceries are a no sales tax item. The Florida state sales tax is 6% so it’s a bit strange to have a 6% tax (called a ‘surcharge’) tacked onto my bill. I was under the impression that the commissaries were largely self-supporting with a small price mark-up and the surcharge to cover the cost of running them. As for priced at the commissary, most people know that you have to know what to shop for there, some things have a huge savings, others not so much. In our area, the commissaries (we have four) have the best meat, better than Walmart, Publix, Winn-Dixie, etc and at a generally lower price. We use the commissary for a large shopping trip every month or so and if we happen to be near one……..except for our planned trips, we don’t go out of the way for it.

    • rlk

      Dwayne the 6% surcharge is for the equiptment that it takes to operate the store plus operating supplies. The only profit they make is in the meat and produce department to cover the lost for spoilage. The cost to the Goverment is the bujilding and the hired help. Mac took all the mil out and put civ in I suppose it was cheaper. You should save between 23 to 26 % in most stores. Maybe this will help some to understand how the store operates. OLE commissary man

      • Joseph
  • steve

    Why woud the Commissaries close? It is run by Civilians, and the Civilian Retailers Association, strictly for military customers. Haven’t any of you recognized the changes in pricing, and the stocking of items that were, at one time too expensive for the military income? It took a tremedous looby group to fianlly win over control and this was done so quietly not many realize what they have lost control of… the Commissaries are Civilians Stores!!! located on Military Installatios, to serve military Familes….
    The very same thing has affected the Post Exchanges (PX’s)….Really the only saviongs are the taxes not charged….but I keep watchig the SUR CHARGES ELEVATE… Oh you may find a bargin or two, but nothig close to what it used to be, BEFORE IT BECAME A CIVILAN STORE with a military name. This another gift from the Bill Clinton dictatiorship, where most all te radical changes were put into play, and the Republicans did NOT CHANGE a thing to correct any of Clinton’s boners……. .

    • deyank

      Holy cow, Mate. Dial it back a little please. I hear your rant all the time and yet I still find plenty of bargains at the Commissary so, please, don’t push the blame onto everyone even remotely connected with “government”. I have no idea how old you are, but wait until you are on a completely fixed income and then come complaining again. My retirement is now based (as of the last COLA) on 2005 figures and I see no raise in the future so I get bargains wherever I can.

      • Dave

        You’re lucky. Out here in the real world salaries have reverted to pre-2000 levels.
        I WISH I had a “fixed income”.

    • Melawian

      You are wrong–the commissaries are run by the Department of Defense. Aafes is non appropriated funds. Surcharges haven’t changed in over 16 years. The surcharges are only used by the commissaries for maintenance, bags, etc. The commissary changes its prices on the 1st and the 16th of each month. Some prices go down, some prices go up, but most of that has to do with the suppliers. I work for the commissary and know way more about this than you obviously do.

  • RVN69

    The question is not could I live without the Commissary. The commissary is going to saty. It will just be managed by a much better organization in AAFES. AAFES is one of the most efficient organizations on the planet and significat saving in the operating budget of the Commissary system out do what DECA does 100 fold.
    It is time to replace the lazy Federal workforce and it’s DECA management that now occupies the DECA pay roll with a high speed no nonsense AAFES work force and management structure. This has been a long time coming.

    • Mac

      I worked for both AAFES and DeCA and found that AAFES is far more wasteful than DeCA. AAFES department managers did not even know what they had in stock or stored. At least DeCA ordered daily so that items could be restocked as needed and not just be “lost” in a warehouse.

    • Master chief

      hay RVN69, I can tell your part of AAFES, they have been so badly run, for ages. We used to only shop them for Beer and smokes. Than only if there was no ship or Airforce commassary around ! Even over seas they could close AAFES !

    • Melawian

      I have worked for both–you have absolutely no idea what you are talking about. I have worked retail for 26 years–AAFES is the most poorly run company I have ever worked for. What a nightmare of ineffeciency and waste. You really shouldn’t talk about things that you know nothing about.

    • baxtr2

      AAFES efficient? Whom are you kidding – yourself or yourself.

  • Jimbo

    I no longer use the commissary. It is too far to drive, and the meager 5% savings is eaten up by high gas prices.

  • D Charles

    The commissary and medical system has been working well for years, then along came Bill and started improving things. First we get tri care that ruined a good system and now give the commissary to the px which operates with a profit to support special services. It is just like most things in the military, it is working find so lets fix it. Get rid of all the improvements and things will remain good.

    • D Charles

      Opps “it is working find” should read “it is working fine”

  • Winston

    The availability of at-cost foods in the commissary and free medical care have for a very long time been part of the justification for low military base pay. You then retire based upon that lower base pay and the benefits that compensated for that during your 20 years of service are gradually taken away by politicians who waste far more taxpayer money on all kinds of things than will be ever saved by cutting your benefits.

    What a deal.

    • jerry

      You arre right I was toldI would be takened the rest of my life for free after In retired 20yrs 1 month and 24 hrs Fuck this Deal AAFES SUCKS

  • Paul

    The commissary on my base is dirty, the meat is packaged so poorly I get blood all over my hands while picking it out of the cooler and you have to check the expiration date on everything before I buy it, most of its days away from expiration. I complain a lot but no one who works there cares. Half the time everyone is sitting somewhere with their head down. Congress can take it, just give me some extra money to make up for the difference of having to shop at a regular grocery store.

    • Louie (oldredleg)

      No Commander likes getting a red bordered letter from a congressman/woman.

      • Louie (oldredleg)

        When you do WRITE, submit edvidence to back your story to your congressman/woman & MAKE SURE YOU ARE RIGHT. When the Commander of that installation/unit gets that letter from congress, he MUST answer within 10 days. (that was 40 years ago)

    • Melawian

      Complain. The commissary takes those complaints very seriously.

    • Susie Amrine

      There is something called a “COMMISSARY REPRESENTATIVE.” Go to the Commanding Officer of your Post or Base and request a Commissary Council who will ridw rough shod on your commissary.
      I was on a Commissary Council on three different posts and I made a difference!!! Stop complaining and do something about the condition of your commissary.

    • baxtr2

      You sir makes an idiot look intelligent. If these conditions existed at that commissary: the commander of the base and the commissary upper management would be replaced period.

  • JBird

    I don’t shop at the commissary. I find that it is cheaper and more convenient to shop at Walmart or other affordable stores. This may be different if I were oversees, but I have not been in that situation yet.

  • lori

    They might want to think about letting civil service members who are vets shop in the commissary. They won’t even let the employees of the commissary shop there. My husband is a war vet waiting on his disability packet to go through and he is a civil service employee and so am I and my father works at the commissary and none of us can shop there. But think how much more money they could take in that can help if they allow people like this shop there. The navy exchange let’s there employees shop there stores and even gives them a discount.

  • Nicolle

    No. I could not live without my commissary. We’ve been in 19+ years and it’s still my favorite place to buy groceries. You just can’t beat the everyday prices especially on meat while stationed overseas. We are currently on our third overseas tour; Germany, Hawaii, & Alaska and the prices at the commissary save us a bundle! It’s one of our great privileges in the military

  • Kayla

    The commissary saves us. We made a run to Kroger near our house just for milk, cheese, bread, ham, and 3 12 packs of drinks and it was $59 while we were moving in. We bought all our groceries at the commissary and we started over so we bought everything you can think of and it was $150. We just moved and my husband had to pay $600 out of pocket to stay in lodging before we moved. Our commissary saves us tons of money. We moved last week and have a 3 year old. I’m not working yet and still waiting on over $1200 to be refunded to us because of moving costs. We’re able to do a lot of fresh foods and eat healthier because of commissary prices. If they close then I don’t see us eating as healthy because at Kroger (the only grocery store within 25 mins from our house) just a 3 lb bag of oranges is $7. So closing them will hurt a lot of families with eating healthy.

    • Nanny56

      Where is your Kroger? Ours here in SC doesn’t charge anywhere near $7 for the 3 lb bag…….

    • Melawian

      I live in Georgia and there is absolutely no comparison between the commissary and the local stores. The local stores are sometimes as high as double what the commissary is. They also do not have the selection that the commissary has. Here, in georgia, I would not be surprised to pay $7 for a bag of oranges. Walmart can sometimes be cheaper–when they are are running a special, but Winn Dixie, Publix, and Piggly Wiggly are all much more expensive. I know I work at the commissary and comparison price on all of the rest. I hit the sales on some of them sometimes, but overall the commissary is much cheaper.

  • Usafwife4811

    I have shopped at the commissary once. Wouldn’t really bother me or make a difference to me and my family if they close. We are kroger/smiths shoppers :)

    • Melawian

      It would make a difference if you lived overseas.

  • Shey

    Commissaries are really only good for people who live on post. If you live off post you would be spending more in gas and the commissary really isn’t much cheaper and it’s expensive as heck here in Washington state. So if they close oh well.

  • soldierswife

    There is a lot of overspending within the DoD. I am not against tightening the budget around loose ends. Nor am I against allowing private corporations the opportunity to provide comparative pricing groceries on military installations. In fact, I think that is a phenominal idea! What I question is with all the areas of massive pork in the defense budget… why stike funding to an area that generates revenue? AAFES, NEX, BX and the commissaries are areas that have revenue. Try cutting areas that do NOT generate revenue before striking those that do. For those of us fortunate enough to live close enough to a post, the commissary can provide a great deal of savings. Those that do not have the luxery of living close to a military installation should not be so willing to take away from those that do. That’s like saying… “since I can’t have it, no one should.” That’s simply childish.

  • (Retired)SFC Ivan L. Baros Sr.
  • Jackie

    The commissary isn’t worth it. There is never anything on the racks unless it’s payday. Plus, it’s all brand name products when I can, and do, spend less off post buying store brands. Add on the convenience charge and tipping… it’s over rated state side.

  • Opened eyed

    The commissary is a great resource to millitary families. Think about the families that live on base. It is convient fir them to shop where they live. The other aspect if it is tha the brave men and women putting their lives on the line are really not financially vompesated enough. A senator can earn +$100k for sitting in an office all day and not worry about a pay cut but a E2 is worrying about how to feed and clothe their family. I see them shop at secondhand stores all the time and this is also true for E6 soldiers as well. Congress leave our soldiers alone. Commissaries also provide jobs. They work off tips to make ends meet. What do you do besides bicker and not work together.

  • Olivia
  • Olivia
  • Jennifer

    My family live in Japan. I used to wonder why our commissary carried so little local produce and meat, mostly importing it all from the U.S.. It was explained to me that having an established, regular pipeline of uncontaminated food in place for all U.S. military installations was what the commissaries are really for, having the food be a bit cheaper is a perk, not the point. When the 2011 tsunami/earthquake/nuclear crisis happened that point was brought home to us. Our food supply was not so much as interrupted. I think this point is key, commissaries don’t exist simply to save military families some money, it’s much more important than that.

    • Bellsnest
  • lorna
  • murf

    Another side of the coin. For decades when they compare military pay to civilian pay They always include a ridiculously high amount that they add to basic pay that they say comes from commisary savings. If they close the commissary will they boost pay for active duty and retirees? ya, right!!!
    Don’t hold your breath.

  • Tennille

    I have been living too far away from a commissary to justify going to one when WalMart is closer to where we live. And you may not pay taxes, but there is a surcharge that is just about equivalent to sales tax. Plus, the commissary closest to us is very small. I do agree, though, that for stateside bases, there is no need for commissaries, but I am in favor of them for our military overseas.

    • Melawian

      The surcharge is only used for the purpose of maintaining the commissary.

  • Joe Talks

    Continue State side Commissary Operations for Retired Military, shut down most overseas commissary locations. Prices for food in Germany, Kuwait and Korea are no higher than the current stateside prices. Overseas is more about selection for American Products and not necessarily prices. Take those saved funds and contribute them to Veterans Administration jobs for the good of returning Vets. This would also reduce the Back-Log of cases at the VA in the near future as positions are filled at the understaffed VA. We cannot have it all but we can improve VET Health Care by this method or compromise.

  • Richard M. Dobson

    The fiscal cliff is over with.
    The senate and the house voted to pass the bill.

    • Jenny

      The Senate passed it….the House did not.

  • Louie (oldredleg)

    ThQuestionere go the politicans again along with some of the smart bean counters in the Pentagon. Screw the service person again. I purchase material from Government You can’t imagine the waste that is out there. $100,000 5 ton trucks with maybe 4000-23,000 miles on the auction block & sold for as little as $5000. The Military take better care of their vehicles than most commercial owners. I bought a 3/4 ton trailer for $700, Uncle Sam’s cost was about $3500, BUT it was a 1990 with very little miles. Yet you see BRAND NEW 3/4 t trailers in the Reserve/National Guard motor pools. The bean counters always take it out on their most prized possession, HUMANS.

  • douglas

    I am a disabled veteran and if the commisary was to close I would not be able to afford to feed my family

    • Bellsnest

      @Jenny House also passes 1/1/13 late.

  • Old redleg

    IS it true that the AAFES has taken control of the Post Commissary system? I have been out of the loop for 30 years. I sold snacks to the Commissary back in the “70s & ALL items had to be relabeled at the wholesale cost. Is that still fact or has it changed?

    • Melawian

      No it is not true. The commissary does get its cigarrettes from AAFES.

  • Elvira

    I shop at the Commissary and but every can is dented and all the mark down meat I can find every tuesday as soon I can travel 20 mles to get there, otherwhise we won’t be able to eat at least one good meal a day, we are 74 and 76, been marry for 50 happy years and now worry about the prices on Tricare for Life, I have a Very Rare Autoimmune condition since 1997 among other health problems and take 11 pills a day plus 1500 mg of Calcium a day to keep it in control.
    If they will close the Commissaries it could be a death sentence for me and my Spouse as we could not afford what need to survive.

  • patron

    dont close it, just run the koreans the heck out of them. they are rude and money hungry ugly people. bring back the kids to do the work and bagging etc. soldiers leave your korean wives at home or in korea. please, it has become torture to go to the com these days.
    how about making a kid thing again,


  • rayday1

    How about instead of taking away from the ones that actually work to protect this country and there families, how about we do some pay cuts from higher ups…better yet, how about our elected officials only get paid a salary while they are in office, and then when the term is up they have to go back to the real world and get real jobs like the rest of us.

  • Mike

    You know the commissary is as old as the armed forces. I simply don’t understand how someone in the senate that has probably never served one day in the military and definitely has never used this awsome facility promote the idea to close down the commissary. This is the lifeline for all active, reserve, and retired service members. With the income that the service members bring home, the commissary is one of the biggest morale boosters we have. What ever you do don’t take away the lifeline of the soldiers who are sacrificing their lives everyday to protect our nation. The commissary program is how we service members feed our families and have a few dollars left to spend on some family activities. For those serving in the senate and congress, if you are in that position to support our soldiers on active duty and retired, you will not allow our commissaries to close. You will by all means stand beside our troops and their families and not close any commissaries.
    Thank you,
    1SG Polson

  • Marie

    The commissary I shop at is nice and clean. They have a great meat department. I can get a can of Progresso Soup for $1.25 sometimes .99 that cost me $2.69 at a local grocery store. It is located on the JEB NAB Little creek

  • Emily

    My husband is currently stationed in Germany and if we didnt have the commissary here we would have to shop on the economy. Most things will cost too much for us to afford. Why would someone do that?

  • kimber
  • Nicole Webber

    don’t think you should worry about the tax payers…we are am active duty military family and I know we pay state and federal taxes and like every other military family we are paying taxes only to pay ourselves. Give any lower middleclass our paycheck and they will just laugh. Remember our soldiers are paid for 24 hours a day seven days a week and for E4 and below averages out to a little more than $2 an hour now subtract taxes add on groceries for those with families etc… The commissary is vital to our military to live just above poverty. I was under the impression that the purpose of these so called priveleges were so that each base could be self sustaining should anything happen. Just something to ponder.

    • guest

      but how many actual times do they work 24 hrs a day 7 days a week…I know my husband did like once a month as a lower enlisted usually on gate or staff duty….deployed it was a 12 hour day or more, at home it was 9 or under with a 4 day at least once a month…he NEVER would have gotten 40+k/yr 30 days vacation adn and additional 24 days for “family time” and holidays anywhere in the outside world. You want real poverty, try finding a job with those benefits (plus free medical so for a family tack on an additional 8 or 9k a year to his pay), that amount of time off, and that little of an education requirement…I promise you that you won’t find it in this day and age

      • mel

        Even though my husband isn’t physically at work 24 hours a day he is still a Marine 24 hours a day who can be called at any time to handle a work related issue. Also, when deployed to a war zone, you are technically working 24 hours a day because at any moment you have to be prepared for anything that could happen. There is no complete distancing from the job because you are living the job. In a lot of civilian jobs you get paid overtime at time and a half for more than 40 hours a week and get double time when working holidays. Our servicemembers work as many hours as needed to complete their mission and they don’t get overtime. Your husband must have had a nice cushy job if he was only working 9 or under during normal circumstances and had a 4 day at least once a month. For my husband 12 hour days are the norm and it is guaranteed that work follows him home and he devotes an additional 1-2 hours dealing with the latest issue. That’s not counting the time away training in the field.

        • mel

          Not all can take 30 days leave over the course of a year. It depends on the training and deployment schedule. For 2012, he was able to take 2 weeks, but not sequentially because of two sessions of 6 weeks of training in the desert, a 7 month deployment and having to actually be at the unit to get things ready for the deployment. My husband earns every dime he gets and every benefit he gets. No we aren’t at poverty level due to the fact that he has been in for so long, but he has worked hard and has sacrificed alot to get to where he is today.

        • Guest

          99.99% of companies no longer pay overtime. If you are a salaried worker you get paid the same if you work fourty or eighty hours. My husband started out as an E1 he is now a company commander on the promotable list His hours generally run long into the night when someone gets in trouble or there are field exercises. However he doesn’t have a single soldier under him that works more than 9 hours a day and it is CG policy to have one three to four day weekend per month. Pay and benefits for the military, especially lower enlisted are tremendous for the lack of experience and education they require. He was making as an E2 with BAH what I made in my first job out of grad school…schooling that required a nearly 100k investment on my behalf (and no my parents never paid a dime). And I worked 60 plus hours a week there no overtime. He was able to take one week of leave this year but his other 25 roll over to next year so he’s not loosing them. The point is the benefits are there, try to find something comparable in the civilian world…you won’t. All I keep hearing on these boards is why the military shouldn’t have to sacrifice anything… flash,with this economy everyone is going to have to sacrifice something and I’d take the commissary any day over a change in medical or retirement

  • Ana

    As someone who is stationed overseas with very limited shopping centers available I cant imagine how my family would get by without it. I understand the money could be going elsewhere but there is no way we could shop on the local economy without going broke. We have one commissary within reach and I dont know what we would do without it.

  • Maggie

    I rely on the commissary for most of my husbands and my needs. Now for us, the closest commissary is close to 45 minutes away, but I make the drive before I go to our local store. For all the work our service members do, it’s the least the government can give back to us as a family. I love how I can walk out of there with a full cart of groceries and not have to sweat whether or not I can afford it. Now, as said in previous posts, I will still go to the local delicatessen for my meat selection, but for everything else it’s commissary for this family. Times are tough now as it is with the price of gas and other necessities, but having food in my kitchen is most important. In fact, the commissary is just about my favorite place; it always amazes me. I love going to different bases to check out how this one is or, how big that one is. The fact is, it helps so many of us out and without it, we could be devastated.

  • georgeanna
  • Austin

    We would not want to try to get along without the commissary, since that is where we do the bulk of our grocery shopping and we go monthly. Being retired it certainly helps stretch our budget, which is an added plus. Sure hope they do not do away with it.

  • Sandra

    I am doing without a commissary overseas in an area that is known for it high prices because it’s not easy to get supplies to this part of the world! Yes, the commissaries can be closed as I’ve found that the prices even with the tax break are still equal to or higher than off post. Then on top of that they want to charge a surcharge. I live where there is an exchange within 40 miles, but the prices there are unbelieveable, as this exchange is where troops are entering and exiting the war zone. AAFES knows that the troops haven’t had much in the way of American items and charges an inflated amount of money for basic things. When is the government going to wake up and realize that they are being robbed by AAFES and DeCA.

  • Edith Gordon

    When my husband enlisted in the Army in 1966, he was promised that if he retire at 20 years he and his immediate family would get medical, dental, and vision care without cost, just as his father and my father who both retired with 26+ year did. 26+ years later, that is all out the window. We have to pay to bet basic medical care and copays on top of that. We have no vision or dental care coverage at all. We are planning to move so we can be closer to a military installation so we may be able to get care. The government has violated its promises and contract with the veterans and we don’t seem to have any recourse.

  • MLH
  • MLH
  • SVargas12
  • MLE
  • Allen

    If they are going to close the commissarary don’t do it overseas. At home in the USA why not have discounts (greater that the normal public would receive thru tax breaks) at Costco or Sams Clubs or for that matter any Civilian Grocery Store. Make our public responsible in taking care of our military.

  • Jackie

    As a retired military spouse I depend on the privileges of the commissary and PX. We lost the privileges of the base at Ft. Gillem in the Atlanta/Forest Park area about two years ago. I drive over 1 1/2 hours to either Ft. Benning or Warner Robbins A.F.B. to use the privileges of the commissary about once every two to three months to grocery shop for most of my groceries. Although I spend money for gas to drive the distance, the long-term savings on grocery and quality food out weighs the expenditure of gas. Although there is a smaller commissary that was left open at Ft. McPherson in the Atlanta area, the larger commissaries still offer better savings. I hate it when I have to go to the local stores to shop to buy things that I run out of in between shopping at the commissary.

  • JerryF

    So how about just making them self supporting? I really doubt how much a person could save Vs Walmart here in the States. Overseas would be a different story.

    • phiblant

      I read just a few days ago, an article in this very on-line publication that the commissary’s were profitable in that the profits are greater than the government allocates to run them. In addition some have suggested that they could be even more profitable if all disabled veterans were to be eligable to use them as well. I see nothing but “GOOD” if that were to occur!

  • spartacus2019

    I think it depends on where you are located and what is available in that region. Commissaries on bases close to bigger cities which have multiple shopping options should be closed. For instance, it costs me less to shop at Krogers or Wal Mart off base than the commissary on base, but if the base is not close to places such as these, the commissary should remain open.

  • Ashley

    My husband and I are currently stationed in Germany, and the commissary is just a blessing. I do agree that maybe in the actual states you don’t need it, but they should keep them open for overseas military members and in Hawaii as well.

  • Jeff

    Here in Texas there are more Soldiers shopping Walmart than the Commisssary! On payday you can’t even move at a Walmart while you could throw a rock at the commissary and never hit anyone. I believe it’s a regional thing and should be treated as such. May not save that billion dollars, but it would save a lot!

  • Jerry

    If Congress lived by the same rules and benefits as the rest of us Americans, they would be singing a different tune.

  • Kay
  • kim Ellis
  • Eugene

    I hope it will stay; however, I feel that “all” wartime vets should be allowed that privilege. Whether retired or 100%, we all dug fox holes, was shot a, whether we got hit or not, and most of all, we’re all mentally scarred for life due to the ugliness of war. Just because you are retired or 100% doesn’t mean you gave more than any other wartime vet; we all said the same pledge and was willing to do what we had to do. And I really think that all that are enjoying that privilege should be advocating for other wartime vets to do the same. What about “no man left behind”?

    • phiblant

      Yes-Yes my friend, and if we cannot get that from them, then at least any Vet who has any level or percentage of a disability associated with their having served should, without question.

  • irene

    And what about all the employees at the commissary?? They would loose their jobs and in this difficult it would be hard to find another job that pays as good as the commissary since we are federal employees, so my answer is no don’t close the commissaries.

  • Talitha Fain

    Cut the proposed pay raise by excutive order to Congress and high level staffers first (also going to cost 1 billion a year), and leave our commisssarys alone, especially the ones in foreign countries, our Military desperately needs

  • Charles Morris

    We are blessed with two commissarys within driving distance, and although we do not use they really often, we do use them whenever we have the opportunity. We love the savings, as it really adds up.
    the priviledge of haveing a commissary is just one more of those benefits that we spent 20 plus years in the militarty for. It seems that all those benefits and promises are meaning less and less to elected officials. We worked for very low pay and in adverse conditions for many of those years just to get to where we are now, so I do truly believe that our politicians should stay away from making any negative ruling on those benefits that we worked hard for, and certainly deserve.

  • tlaSpouse

    when the congress people and senators get rid of some of their own perks then maybe they have the right to take away ours, but I haven’t heard of anything like that happening so leave our Commissary alone!!!

  • Paula Elliss

    The commissary needs to stay. My husband served 30 years in the military. This is one of our privleges. We use the commissary on a regular basis. Some of the younger active duty personnel are even on food stamps! Oh yes, but give those who haven’t or won’t even serve our country more entitlements, collecting welfare and extend their unemployment! They need to get off their lazy butts, serve our country for at least four years then maybe have the right to complain about who gets what!

  • esther

    I think the comisary is a big help to military families, however my only issue with it is that yiu cannot use the ECP card there. I think the ECP card should be accepted at the commissary.There are many young families in the military that are struggling. The card is accepted everywhere on base except the most importatnt place. the place where you can buy food to to supply your household.

  • Na
  • beverly

    This is one of the last privileges that we have left. I utilize mine to during the week a lot. If they can afford to give us a pay raise to take up the slack of closing the comm. then so be it, but if not the comm. here is very nice clean, well run and sure does not need AAfes in it.



  • Joan

    Our health care has begun to cost us. When my husband entered the service he was told free health care for life. We have four children who are grown now. We could not have made it without the commissary. Now that we are retired it helps us as we do 99% of our shopping there. Many young enlisted are on food stamps. I think it is time congress and senate change their benefits. As a public servant there should be term limits and no health care for life. No one should retire from a public service job that was not the intention of our founding fathers. Bills should not be allowed to have all this pork barrel agenda added to it. That is why we are in this fiscal crisis.

  • IT WORKS happily and for all involved if they want to do it.

    It would certainly be easy and save costs, to simply issue a card for purchases in any food store to military personnel that takes the tally into consideration on the computers. At the register, in one second, The Supermarkets can give special prices and the Army special allowance so that the result is the same great CommissaryPX or BX price at the consumer level, with all the Commissary maintenance costs gone.

    Widow of a vet, Commissary is only a happy memory of being a bride on newlywed budget , thrilled with Commissary prices, many years ago, so thank you for this update.

  • Stephen Fazekas

    Everyone talks about cutting the budget and only the items affecting the Americans. What we should do is cut the budget on foreign aid and save the commisary.

  • BJC

    Maybe they need to give control BACK to the Military. Get rid of the Union Workers that must be paid Union wages. When I was in, we didn’t have a bunch of civilians doing the job that active duty personnel had as a career choice.

  • Sonny

    The commissary will not fit everyone, but most people agree that the commissary work for most servicemen and their family.

  • kaylork

    I believe that before any scum-bag ELECTED representative, spouts off about taking away BENEFITS that we all worked for, were promised, and DAMN rightly deserve, THEY should look at taking away their own benefits. It appears that many ELECTED officials seem to think they are royalty and CAN NOT be dethroned, or replaced. At the current rate, with all of the stupid BS on-going it might be a good time to clean house and start fresh!

  • Robert Alexander

    We do not shop in the commissary very often because we do not like having to pay tax on our food. In Florida and Texas it is cheaper for us to shop on the economy where there is no food tax. That being said living overseas for 5 years we needed the commissary because even with their food tax it was a lot cheaper than shopping in the German economy. Yes it is a tax, you can be like Obamy and call it whatever you want but it is still a tax that they add to the cost of the food.

  • Navy Retired

    We use and save quite a lot at the Commissary. One example is dog food for our 75 lb “puppy”. Walmart charges $1.40 per can for choice one canned dog food plus tax. We pay $0.99 at the commissary and no tax. Quite a savings. Manufacturers also give discounts and coupons just for military use in the commissaries.
    If they do away with commissaries then they also need to do away with the politicians stores and special benifits. Why should congess get health benefits any different then the rest of us? They were not available 24/7 to be sent anywhere at anytime in harms way like the military is/was.
    Just my opinion. Politician self serving needs to stop NOW!

  • Guy Fujiuta
  • aritc10

    My family has a long history of service in the military. Virtually every male in the family has been in one branch of the military. My father was a lifer and his father as well. My son is now in the military in “Special Ops”. He just returned from Afghanistan and will return again in the summer. When I see how the men in uniform are treated these days, it makes me sad. They are putting their lives on the line for their country and they are treated like second class citizens. Their pay is unbelievably low and barely enough to live on. A lot of them are forced to find jobs outside of the military to supplement their meager military pay. What really steams me up is that the general public out there have the misconception that they are well paid, everything on base is free and groceries are a faction of the cost off base. It may have been like that years ago, but over time the military has cut the GI’s benefits so drastically, that it is no longer the life that I remember as a child. My son does most of his shopping off-base because its cheaper. Because he has the option of shopping around at various stores for sales and good prices, he can spend far less than it would be for him to use the commissary. If that’s the case, why not close the commissaries stateside and leave only the ones at foreign bases open. And for goodness sakes….raise the military pay!! Its pathetic that Americans choose to make our military men live like paupers, when they are there to protect the rest of the population and make this a better place to live. We don’t reward them much for their efforts. Sometimes I feel ashamed . Very sad!

  • l hay

    Broaden the user ranks by allowing 50% plus disabled vets to shop there. User support would strengthen the operating base of these services.

    • phiblant

      I do agree with you, allowing disabled vets to be able to use them as well would increase profitability, or so it would seem. Its no secret that many of our fellow Vets are not doing well financialy, so tell me, why not at least let a Vet at any percentage shop there? Why 50%, or 40% or 60% for that matter? Many ,myself included, live too far away to use one. I am, however, 100% in favor of letting any Vet at any disability level be eligable to use one. I would like to see our comrads at arms support that, say one, say them all.

  • Harold

    I believe that comissaries are a necessity over seas to insure healthy foods. In the US they are a benefit that can be eliminated so other things like pay to personel continue to increase.

  • Paula
  • Terry

    As most of the elected officials have never been part of a military culutre or served their country; I am tired of the military being tapped for cuts. Those of us that served we told we would get lifetime medical benefits and commissary privledges as an offset for the pay and job. Now, the easiest prey is those of us that did the job many in our country would never want to. The commissary is a way to give those in the service the most “bang” for their dollar. Taking this amenity away is just another way of putting our military further back on the shelf. The “benefit” of a commissary is that it is located on bases and affords us the opportunity to save a few extra dollars. As everyone is quick to point out; the private sector’s pay is more than the average serviceperson’s. Money being spent in the facility that otherwise would be spent in an outside commercially owned food store; is redundant.

  • i.r.schoening

    closing the commissaries would be a severe blow to retention.

    Do not close the Commissaries ! Remember ? We have an all voluntary military. If you take away more and more benefits, the miltary will have a hard time attracting new recruits.

    rremember , we ahve an all volunteer military. I fyou more and moere of their benefits, noone will

  • Widow of retire

    There is the problem. Congress takes the benefits away from us to save money but never gives the pay raises to compensate.

  • Pete

    When I joined the Army in 1948, I was promised health care for life. Also commissary and PX. We have been married 58 years and have used the facilities all that time. I retired near my last assignment so we could use the faciliies.We had a disabled son who the army never diagnosed properly, I got into Civil Service and took out the Federal Blue Cross. After 18 years with no insurance on him, we finally got him on SSI, Medicaid and on Blue Cross Last year we spent over $8,000.00 on Medicare and Blue Cross for coverage I was promised. He passed away in Mar. 2012 and I will suspend BC and we will use TFL as secondary ,use the army pharmacy and Tricare Mail order for prescriptions.

  • N/A

    They can’t do that!!!!! Military families wouldn’t be able to afford the simple cost of living if they did that.

  • Kate Bell

    We use the commissary when we drive to use the pharmacy and exchange. We go once a month. We drive an hour to get there. It is worth the drive. The meat is excellent and lower cost than the local stores. Keep them open!!

  • Jack H. Hayman

    Sounds like we should get rid of the Senator. During most of my 30 + years of Army service, most of my enlisted men (and women later) qualified for food stanps. Now, we are at the mercy of send us to war and reduce what meger benefits there are for families left behind to keep the home fires burning. A retired Airborne/Ranger.

  • Lorraine

    Why not just take all benefits away from us!!! First they are trying to make Tricare ridiculously high and now they want to take the commisary away too!! I agree I am retired and on a fixe income. I save a lot of money using the commisary. Not everyone can afford to go to Krogers or Walmart to pay their prices!!!



  • navywife for 13 yrs

    I’m a navy wife and have lived overseas most of my life.Commissaries should never close Fir us over here in overseas stations this is the only way we get American FDA meats
    Amd products! To eat the local meat markets is horrible ! Try coming to middle East ! As for my kids having the commissary is a must the diapers& milk is outragely exspensive and baby food you can’t even imagine! I save About $100 month getting the baby food on base and they don’t even carry the items we get back at home! So if you haven’t lived overseas Try going and see how much you will spend without a commissary !

  • navywife for 13 yrs
  • navywife for 13 yrs
  • navywife for 13 yrs
  • navywife for 13 yrs
  • J. Widow

    I am a Navy widow, and I could not make it without the commissary. It makes me feel sick inside just thinking that this could happen. But, for all the Navy retirees, and active duty, the commissary allows us to live a littel easier. The regular grocery stores are so expensive, I would actually have to go hungry

  • Emma

    Heck I think after being retired, the commissary is just about as high as walmart and in some cases higher. Its ashame , the commissary used to save me alot with three kids, now our kids have to pay for these higher prices. Not fair!!!

  • janice m. washington

    I am a military spouse and have been shopping at the commissary since married for three years now. I’ve never had a problem with the food or the service, it’s been a Great experience and savings on top of savings and I love it! But, just like everything else in this country, all good things must come to an end so that the rich politicians can continue to pad their pockets with huge bonuses and send their children to ivy league schools at the cost of the less fortunate. I’m not the least bit surprised at them taking away another subsidy from those whom have really made it easy for THEM. It will all be over one day as we stand for judgment and give account for our every action we’ve done.

  • Gerry

    there’s only two commissaries in my area and they are both an hour to one hour and a half away. I agree with Jimbo the price of gas does put a strain on a retiree’s budget if he has to travel that far to say 5%.
    I have a supermarket within walking distance of my home that gives me gas reward points for every dollar I spend, and in some cases doubles and triples those gas points

  • dvent

    at least you all have a commissary. We here in Atlanta only have a Class Six and small PX which will probably close soom

  • phiblant

    Just recently on this website there was an article where a study said that they were profitable, and that the profits easily offset any costs the government provided, the report went on to provide some info as to where and how those profits were used. In addition, there were a number of comments from people who were disabled, at different percentage levels, who said that if the commissary were open to disabled vets as well, they would use it as well. Certainly, if profitability is an issue, opening it to disabled vets would lead to more eligable shoppers and increased profits. I see by some comments, that some of you seem not to need its use, thats all well and good for you, just remember, there are many vets out there, with or without a disability rating, who are struggling financialy. With the prices I see at the supermarkets I also would shop there. However, in my case there are none close by. But, my friends, please do not shut them down, all too many of our fellow vets need them, rather open them to our hero’s who have been disabled, a much better idea.

  • Karletta Hart

    Although we live about 45 minutes from our commissary, we shop there at least twice a month. We DO save money at the commissary, We do get to use coupons to save even more, and, it pays for the Sur-charge most of the time. Our commissary(Moody AFB) has better meat than downtown, and, we only buy meat when it is on sale, on the Economy. And, since they intoduced White Label Products a couple years ago, we save money that way also. If you complainers do not like shopping there, DON’T!! Leave the complaints outside the door, and, don’t make it easy to close them for those of us that Enjoy our commissary and BX privileges. Nuff said:)

  • Wanda Cisneros

    I shop the commissary and usually tip $2-3 per visit. However, I am concerned about the exchange.
    There clothing etc are higher than I can afford. Over the years it has increase considerably and I
    dumfounded why this so costly. I use to shop the exchange but no more.

  • OliviasMommy

    We are currently stationed in mainland japan. There is no way we could survive without the commissary. The Japanese grocery stores do not carry the same quality or quantity or even most of the same products as our commissary and it would cost of 4 or more times to feed my family of 3 if we had to do our grocery shopping in the local grocery stores. Not to mention that many of the local products here still contain much higher levels of radiation than that of the those sold in the commissary on base.
    When we lived in San Diego the commissary was neither here nor there. We could have done without it if we had to but at least for those stationed overseas the commissaries are essential to our day to day life!

  • Virginia

    We have asked when a commissary will be coming to Alcoa, TN. Everytime they have a lot sale it is lined up and a wait in line for 2 hr sometimes. Have heard from grape vine that property has been purchased, but no time on when it will be built. We have enough retirees and on duty service people that would love to have a commissary built ASAP. I would enjoy the savings since TN food tax is high.

  • Leticia

    I most definitely could not live without the commissary. Many of us struggle financially and the commissary is incredible. The prices are much better than at any other store out in town. The commissary is a very valuable part of the military community. If I went anywhere else, I would probably have to pay twice as much as I do there.

  • boatdeck98

    Right now I don’t live close enough to a Commissary to shop at one. Actually, I haven’t for years. My last duty station I lived about an hour away and we would make planned trips to go there about once a month, but I got tired of doing that. Actually, we lived close enough to Florida where there is no grocery tax, it was cheaper to just cross the state line to the nearest Wal-Mart or Publix. I got pretty good at couponing because Publix is a great store to coupon at. I don’t do that so much anymore because I live where there are Aldi stores. Almost all generic brands but I’ve never had an item from there that was bad. When it gets down to it, i’d say it wouldn’t hurt my feelings if they closed a few. When I was in the Tidewater area of Virginia, there were Commissaries at almost every base. The AF base was less than 20 miles away from the Army base. Where there is a situation like that, why not close one down?


    I do support the concept of “one” entity managing ALL SERVICES exchanges and commissaries. Potential for even better contracting power and a reduction in management costs. We use the facilities on a regular basis. We military people are wise enough to plan our lives when it comes to using what facilities we have left. KEEP your inputs active with the various service activities and utilize the lobby as much as possible. Get positive actions going and quit bitching, ACTION!!!!

  • upstate mema

    It seems that the commissary issue is just one more in a growing string of ways the fed. government “leaders” show scorn to our military and veterans’ families. As fewer and fewer of our congressmen/women have any history of military service in defending American freedoms, more and more of them show that they really don’t have much understanding of, or respect for, the sacrifices our veterans have made or are making for our country. Shame on us for allowing this to happen!

  • Mike

    Beware!!!, this move is being pushed by the civilian grocery store lobby who want to rip off military members by making them drive off post and pay higher prices. They have also hired political activist companies who post in online forums such as this to confuse people and sway opinion. It is called an “astroturf campaign”
    Alert Alert Alert

  • Joe

    At bases where there are sufficient numbers of local vendors within a 20-30 minute drive from base, there is no need for a commissary/BX. In overseas bases where cost of living is high or areas where you have little in the outside community (Altus AFB/Clear AFS/Cavalier AFS/etc…), they are a valuable resource for military familiies. In most areas, a commissary is more of a “nice to have” than a necessity. I have commissary access, but don’t generally shop there because I live off base and have other options nearby.

    Off-base stores have better hours (i.e. open before 9 AM and past 6-7 PM) and often the same or better prices overall. The commissary still “taxes” customers via a 5-6% surcharge, negating some of the cost benefits. In addition, you are expected to tip the guy/girl who bags your groceries, cutting into your savings even further.

  • jon

    close the commissaries. Waste of tax payers dollars. Managers are overpaid and lazy.

  • Linda

    I am a Marine Corp widow, I lost him this year after 46 years of marriage. My husband a 26 year Veteran, was in Vietnam, came home with injuries to his lungs, that was rated 100 percent disabled. Could he sit at home, NO, his disability was not enough to care for his family, so he worked until his body would not let him. If we had not had the commissary and medical care available, we would have been homeless. That commissary is important to active duty and retirees, their income is not enough to live on. Our men and women give 100 percent to their country. The percentage of those who volunteer to protect our freedoms is not that high, that this rich country cannot afford a commissary.

  • William F Fiegel

    I don’t think they should close them I am a 100% disabled Vietnam
    Veteran with agent Orange and they help I love to go to commissary
    I am on a fixed income it helps

  • Jay Foster

    I have one thing to say to all politicians.

    Remeber Bastile Day !!!!!!!!!

  • Bernard Rader


  • dennis daddow

    as a retired army we have to fight for benefits but they don’t want give us more money to make up for it. they think of old mighty dollar don’t give hoot for the gi out sight out mind . they waste more money trying to screw us of retirement hope they can retire sometime see whats it like they are big money officers that don’t think to good

  • James E

    Commissary is obviously not for everyone who has earned the privilege, but for those who do it is one of the things that is an important perk which should be kept.

  • Dallas Christensen

    I agree with a lot of what people are saying about commissary closings. Get rid of the billions of dollars that we spend to support other countries and we will have plenty of money for soldiers benefits. We will have a lot of money for promotions and raises. I am lucky I have retired and live close to a commissary. I use it all the time. We could even balance the budget.

  • Mark

    AAFES is a giant monopoly that owns every business on every military installation. Subway and Burger King franchises, gas station, etc, etc. are all owned by AAFES. I have been retired about 20 years. During my period of active service, I saw AAFES take over the liquor store (used to called class 6), and the prices tripled overnight. They took over the military clothing sales stores, prices went through the roof and service took a nose dive. They have been trying to take over the commissary for years, and this is just the latest push to do so. What do you tink will happen to the prices and the service?

  • guest

    I remember when the commissary was always closed on Mondays. I see no reason why they cannot close the commissary on Monday and Tuesday as long as they don’t close it permanently. I can live with that type of arrangement. That way our benefit will always be there.

  • LadyGreenEyes

    We already purchase many things off post, as the store prices are often cheaper. Meats are usually lower on post, though not always. With the new ID scanning and the privacy violations that entails, our usage of the commissary has cut WAY down. This is just another way to monitor people, and I am glad we won’t be a military family much longer.