In March 2014, the Department of Defense proposed eliminating $1 billion of funding from the Defense Commissary Agency's (DeCA) budget over between FY2015 and FY2017 while converting the agency into a Non-Appropriated Fund Instrumentality (NAFI). The intent of the Department is to no longer offer a non-pay compensation benefit to military personnel and their families by offering food and household items at cost. The commissaries would be required to become self-sufficient and be managed like any other grocery chain.
The Armed Forces Marketing Council believes the proposal breaks faith with military families while conceiving a system that has not been studied, analyzed or proven. There will be numerous adverse impacts on both the military families and the military community as a whole, as well as on retention and readiness.
We support the Congressionally-mandated study, which requires the Department of Defense to have an organization that has experience and qualifications in retail analysis, to study the proposals offered by the Department to make DeCA mostly self-sustaining and determine the potential impacts on the benefit and military patrons.