For 29 years, Karen Anderson has built a lasting legacy through the many people she has supported during her Exchange career.
As manager of the Exchange’s Military Clothing Store in the Pentagon, Anderson regularly serves the Department of Defense’s most senior leaders—a tough, rewarding and highly visible responsibility.
Recently, Secretary of the Air Force Heather Wilson and Air Force’s Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein presented Anderson with coins for her outstanding rollout of the Operational Camouflage Pattern uniform to 900 Airmen this fall.
According to Anderson, running the Pentagon’s Military Clothing Store is a team effort.
“It’s so humbling to receive an honor like this,” she said. “I don’t accomplish anything without my team and everyone who supports us, so thank you to my senior leaders and all of the MCS buying team.”
‘Passionate about her customers’
Among the accolades Anderson has received through the years include signed pictures from President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama thanking Anderson for fitting two uniforms for Chief of Staff of the Army Gen. Mark Milley. Gen. Milley, who was nominated by the President in early December to serve as the next Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, also presented her with a coin.
In total, Anderson has received at least eight coins from Army and Air Force leaders, plus coins from Exchange Director/CEO Tom Shull.
“She is very passionate about her customers and her team,” said Region Vice President Rebecca Santee. “When Fort Meyer needed her assistance, she was ready to step in and make sure customers at the Fort Myer Military Clothing Store were cared for. She truly reflects what the Exchange is about—‘Family Serving Family.’”
Serving those who serve has been a cornerstone for Anderson throughout her Exchange career. She’s gone from Burger King at Fort Campbell to Military Clothing Store associate, customer service representative, supervisor, and then positions at Fort Belvoir’s main store.
Anderson continues to feel a special connection to the Warfighters she is proud to support.
“When you are helping them purchase a new uniform and ensuring the proper fit, that makes them, and you, feel good,” Anderson said. “When I see a service member on TV and he or she looks sharp and precise in their uniforms, I feel pride that we helped achieve that look.”