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Old 11-10-2020, 10:34 PM   #1
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Military Commissaries

Looking for input from the active duty military and retirees among us.

Here in Alaska, specifically at Joint Base Elmendorf/Richardson, the out of stocks in the Commissary are just crazy high and have been even well before COVID-19 burst onto the American scene.

While we were out of state last year our commissary was reset (after being reset previously just a year before) and upon our return there were many empty shelves. This seemed to us to have been a very poorly planned and executed project, but normally the supply system will eventually catches up. Not this time. Some things came back. Many never did.

After COVID started of course there was a huge impact in the supply system, and that was understandable. Now, about nine months later, there has been a little improvement, but there are still many empty shelves, and even most of the out of stocks generated by the store reset are STILL out of stock.

I, and of course the DW, are very frustrated by this and we're about to launch a major complaint. We're willing to accept that this may not the fault of local store management, but something needs to be done.

So, before launching this complaint, we thought perhaps we should find out if this is a commissary system wide issue, or could it be unique to off shore stores like ours with long supply lines.

How extensive are the out of stocks at the commissaries you frequent?

This is our question our current and retired military RVers: Is this situation also happening at the commissaries you shop at, or are yours reasonable well stocked?
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Old 11-10-2020, 10:58 PM   #2
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My wife and I are both retired Air Force but don't live anywhere close to a military facility and pretty much haven't shopped on base since we retired in 1994. My wife did go to the commissary and Bx at Peterson AFB a couple of months ago when we visited our daughter and S-I-L in Colorado Springs. She just said everything was pretty well stocked when she went but that was just one visit.
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Old 11-10-2020, 11:01 PM   #3
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My commissary (Ft Rucker, AL) is generally well stocked with name brand goods - but other than meat I generally shop at Walmart. Its closer and is competitive (price wise). I prefer the commissaries meat over Walmart.


While on post I also shop at the Class VI (for my booze) and pick up my Rx at the Health Clinic pharmacy.
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Old 11-10-2020, 11:46 PM   #4
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what is meant by ‘commissary reset’?
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Old 11-11-2020, 03:03 PM   #5
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We are close to a big commissary at WPAFB OH. Since the pandemic they have been out of some things but seem to have recovered pretty well. Not a big deal to us. They do limit some things to 1-3 each though.
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Old 11-11-2020, 03:15 PM   #6
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Article on it recently...

https://www.militarytimes.com/pay-be...itical-levels/
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Old 11-11-2020, 04:14 PM   #7
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Commissary here at NAS Fallon is fairly well stocked except for toilet paper and paper towels. We shop in town more than we use the commissary or the exchange for that matter.
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Old 11-11-2020, 05:29 PM   #8
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We shop at the Oceana master jet base commissary. It has remained pretty well stocked up on items since covid arrived. Occasionally something I want/need is out of stock. The usual covid items are sometimes low or out of stock like bleach, toilet paper. Your problem may be a local problem with the people doing the inventory and ordering and possibly the remoteness of the location. I would make your concerns known the the store manager or region manager. It could be an employee problem. There likely is a civilian boss and a military boss in the regional command.
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Old 11-11-2020, 05:39 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by rk911 View Post
what is meant by ‘commissary reset’?
That's when they reset every shelf on every aisle, changing the locations of all products. The only exceptions are the refrigerated and freezer sections.

I'd agree that its probably necessary once in a while because old products are often eliminated and new ones are added.
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Old 11-11-2020, 05:59 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by camper8251 View Post

Good article, and one I would have expected. While us old retired guys and gals as well as senior active duty officers and enlisted can pretty easily shop off base, I suggest we really need to be concerned about the lower ranking "kids" who are not making much money.

I vividly remember how tight money was in the early years of my career. Married and a base pay of $270 a month. Our meals generally consisted of scrambled eggs, balogna sandwiches, pancakes, and washed down with Kool-Aid or Tang.

We have to wonder how the young folks are doing now days, especially when the base commissary has so many out of stocks of staple items.
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Old 11-11-2020, 08:41 PM   #11
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The local grocery stores in Camp Verde/Cottonwood AZ are having 'stocking' issues also...so not just Military Commissaries

Our meals still consisted of scrambled eggs, bologna sandwiches, pancakes but washed down with apple juice/orange juice/water
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Old 11-11-2020, 08:59 PM   #12
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We have to wonder how the young folks are doing now days,

"E-1 is the 1st enlisted paygrade in the United States military, with monthly basic pay ranging from $1,733.10 for an entry-level E-1 to $1,733.10 per month for E-1 personnel with over 40 years of experience."
Source: https://www.federalpay.org/military/grades/e-1


I know times have changed but ... but I believe that's about what my base pay was when I retired (at 50%).
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Old 11-11-2020, 09:55 PM   #13
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We have to wonder how the young folks are doing now days,

"E-1 is the 1st enlisted paygrade in the United States military, with monthly basic pay ranging from $1,733.10 for an entry-level E-1 to $1,733.10 per month for E-1 personnel with over 40 years of experience."
Source: https://www.federalpay.org/military/grades/e-1


I know times have changed but ... but I believe that's about what my base pay was when I retired (at 50%).
In 1963 I was an E-2 in the Navy. I remember getting my monthly check of $80. I never ever saw $1,700 even as an E-5 when I got out in 1967.
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Old 11-13-2020, 11:47 AM   #14
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here in North Florida we have 3 bases pretty close. Most all of them are low on the basic items like Hand soaps, toilet paper and things of this nature. shopping I see very few lower grade enlisted or officers shopping. Most all head down to Wally World. Majority of the folks are older ranks and retired.
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