DeCA Announces Best Stateside, Overseas Commissaries
By Cherie Huntington
Defense Commissary Agency
FORT LEE, Va., May 9, 2014 Each year, the Defense Commissary Agency honors select military commissaries worldwide for exceptional service and dedication in delivering the commissary benefit.
Known as the DeCA Best Commissary Awards, the honors continue a 50-year tradition, dating back long before DeCA’s inception.
“Achieving this honor has never been easy,” said DeCA Director and CEO Joseph H. Jeu. “To win, a store has to exceed our normal criteria for customer service, accountability, safety, operations and sales.
“But for 2013, it seemed like every challenge possible impacted commissaries, including furlough, budget cuts, hiring freezes and customers stressed by the government shutdown,” he continued. “Our commissaries worked with our industry partners and military stakeholders to not just prevail but excel in delivering the benefit. These awards highlight the best of what our stores do every day for our service members and their families.”
The awards are named in honor of American statesmen who protected the commissary benefit and championed quality-of-life issues for the military community.
Winning commissaries by category are:
Bill Nichols Award for the Best Large Commissary in the United States
-- First Place: Naval Station Mayport, Florida;
-- Second Place: Fort Jackson, South Carolina;
-- Honorable Mentions: Fort Drum, New York; Fort Polk, Louisiana; Fort Riley, Kansas; Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi; Naval Air Station North Island, California; and Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Maryland.
Richard M. Paget Award for the Best Small Commissary in the United States
-- First Place: Vance Air Force Base, Oklahoma;
-- Second Place: Naval Air Facility El Centro, Calif.
-- Honorable Mentions: Camp Merrill, Georgia; Columbus Air Force Base, Mississippi; Goodfellow Air Force Base, Texas.
Dan Daniel Award for the Best Large Commissary Overseas
-- First Place: Misawa Air Base, Japan;
-- Second Place: Yokota Air Base, Japan.
-- Honorable Mentions: Kadena Air Base, Okinawa, Japan; Naval Fleet Activities Yokosuka, Japan.
L. Mendel Rivers Award for the Best Small Commissary Overseas
-- First Place: U.S. Army Garrison Camp Humphreys, South Korea;
-- Second Place: U.S. Army Garrison Camp Casey, South Korea.
-- Honorable Mentions: Cairo, Egypt; Marine Corps Base Camp Courtney, Okinawa, Japan; U.S. Army Garrison Camp Zama, Japan.
Director’s Award for the Best Superstore
-- First Place: Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, North Carolina;
-- Second Place: Naval Air Station Jacksonville, Florida.
-- Honorable Mentions: North Post Commissary at Fort Bragg, North Carolina; McChord Commissary at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington; Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, California.
All stores were measured first against specific pass-fail criteria in accountability, commissary customer satisfaction survey results, sales, unit cost and safety. Those that pass that first phase are given a score on each of those criteria. The winners were those whose combined score was the highest in their award category.
The Defense Commissary Agency operates a worldwide chain of commissaries providing groceries to military personnel, retirees and their families in a safe and secure shopping environment. Authorized patrons purchase items at cost plus a 5-percent surcharge, which covers the costs of building new commissaries and modernizing existing ones. By shopping regularly in the commissary, patrons save an average of 30 percent or more on their purchases compared to commercial prices -- savings amounting to thousands of dollars annually.
A core military family support element, and a valued part of military pay and benefits, commissaries contribute to family readiness, enhance the quality of life for America’s military and their families, and help recruit and retain the best and brightest men and women to serve their country.