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Commissary Agency Names 1999's Best Stores

By Kevin Hennelly
Special to American Forces Press Service

FORT LEE, Va., May 16, 2000 – McChord Air Force Base, Wash., Picatinny Arsenal, N.J., and Yongsan and Taegu, South Korea have the military's best commissaries for 1999.

The Defense Commissary Agency announced the winners of its 1999 Best Commissary Awards during ceremonies May 4 at the DeCA 2000 training conference in Reno, Nev.

The McChord Commissary won the Bill Nichols Award as the best large commissary in the United States. Picatinny's store won the Richard M. Paget Award for best small commissary in the United States. In South Korea's sweep of overseas titles, Yongsan won the Dan Daniel Award for the best large commissary and Taegu captured the L. Mendel Rivers Award for the best small store.

"The spirit of competition helps motivate our managers and employees to make every commissary a more pleasant and easier place to shop," said Air Force Maj. Gen. Robert J. Courter Jr., DeCA director.

"I congratulate all the nominees, and especially all the winners," he told the Reno conferees. "Let's increase the competition next year, with more stores in the game. This dedicated teamwork truly increases the value of the commissary benefit to our military forces."

The Best Commissary Awards are named in memory of statesmen who protected the commissary benefit and championed quality of life issues for the military and their families. Competition winners received engraved trophies and finalists received smaller engraved trophies at the ceremony.

The U.S. finalists were:

o Large Commissary: Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz.; McConnell Air Force Base, Kan.; Patrick Air Force Base, Fla.; Barksdale Air Force Base, La.; and Bolling Air Force Base, Washington, D.C.

o Small Commissary: Dyess Air Force Base, Texas.; Marine Corps Logistics Base Barstow, Calif.; Naval Air Station Barbers Point, Hawaii; Rock Island Arsenal, Ill.; and Marine Corps Air Station New River, N.C.

The overseas finalists were Vogelweh Air Base, Germany, large commissary; and Naval Station Keflavik, Iceland, and Cairo, Egypt, small commissary.

Three DeCA headquarters teams conducted on-site evaluations of the 17 nominees. The evaluations covered six major areas of commissary operations: management, customer service, grocery, meat, meat and produce departments, and accountability controls. Team members evaluated each commissary against a comprehensive list of criteria and talked with managers, employees, customers and installation officials.

(Kevin Hennelly works in the Defense Commissary Agency Public Affairs Office, Fort Lee, Va.)

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