The Department of Defense announced today that with the president’s signing of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2004, effective immediately, the following members and their dependents will be permitted unlimited access to commissary stores:
- Members of the Ready Reserve (which includes members of the Selected Reserve, Individual Ready Reserve and Inactive National Guard) and members of the Retired Reserve who possess a Uniformed Services Identification Card.
- Former members eligible for retired pay at age 60 but who have not yet attained the age of 60 and who possess a Department of Defense Civilian Identification Card.
- Dependents of the members described above who have a Uniformed Services Identification Card or who have a distinct identification card used as an authorization card for benefits and privileges administered by the Uniformed Services.
“Instructions have gone out to all continental U.S. stores informing them that reservists now have unlimited shopping and telling store managers how to welcome members of the National Guard and Reserve to the full use of the commissary benefit,” said Patrick Nixon, deputy director of the Defense Commissary Agency. “Commissary shoppers will begin to see banners saying ‘Welcome Guard and Reserve to Full Time Savings,’ along with other events recognizing these new full-time shoppers.”
Guard and Reserve members were authorized only 24 commissary shopping days per calendar year until today when the president signed the National Defense Authorization Act, which contained provisions eliminating the restrictions. Commissaries have immediately adopted the new provisions, which means Guard and Reserve members will no longer have to present a Commissary Privilege Card when they shop.
“I want to thank Congress and the Department of Defense for their efforts in bringing the commissary shopping privilege to the total force,” said Patrick Nixon, deputy director of the Defense Commissary Agency. “The Congress included unlimited commissary benefits in the National Defense Authorization Act thus making full time shopping possible for the men and women who serve their nation in the National Guard and Reserve.”
Nixon noted that special thanks should go to Charles Abell, principal deputy under secretary of defense for personnel and readiness. Abell acted decisively and immediately in providing interim authority for the Reserve component to have full-time commissary shopping just in time to take advantage of holiday savings.
For more information about the Defense Commissary Agency, see their Web site at http://www.commissaries.com/.