Retired Army COL Fred Hannah and retired Air Force Col. Andy Weaver are taking the Exchange message directly to wing and garrison commanders to further strengthen organizational relevancy, service and mission support.
Hannah and Weaver are the link between the Exchange leadership team and senior military commanders throughout the United States.
Their experience as commanders while in uniform makes them particularly well-suited for the position of Vice President of Command Outreach. Both of them know the Exchange shopper because they have been Exchange shoppers.
Served as Exchange’s Europe commander
Hannah, who retired from the Army in July after 32 years, served as Commander, 157th Field Service Company, 553rd Corps Support Battalion while assigned to the 64th Corps Support Group, 13th Corps Support Command at Fort Hood and as Battalion Commander at Fort Carson.
He previously served as the Exchange-Europe/Southwest Asia Commander from 2011 to 2014.
Multiple roles at Exchange
In his 25-year Air Force career, Weaver served two Pentagon tours and was assigned as special assistant to two four-star generals. At Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, he served as wing commander to more than 5,000 airmen.
After he retired from the Air Force, Weaver served in multiple roles for the Exchange, including in Corporate Communication and Policy.
Enhancing, strengthening existing relationships
The command outreach efforts of Hannah and Weaver aim to enhance and strengthen the existing relationships between general managers and all levels of command. Speaking peer-to-peer can help commanders see the Exchange as a partner in their mission.
“Sometimes it’s helpful for commanders to talk with someone who has had the same experiences as a wing or garrison commander,” Weaver added. “My goal is for them to be better informed about what the Exchange does on their installation than when I was a wing commander.”
With better information, commanders can make more informed decisions, enabling them to work across communities, including the Veteran and National Guard communities.
Weaver briefs new CONUS Air Force commanders at their pre-command courses, helping them understand how the Exchange supports them in creating a military community on their installation.
Bring feedback to Exchange leaders
Hannah and Weaver also bring feedback from CONUS installations back to the Exchange’s leadership team.
“I don’t visit facilities in the traditional way,” Hannah said. “I’m not a retailer. I want associates to talk to me about customers—what are the issues frustrating our customers? What do they need me to take back to headquarters to advocate for them?”
Gregg Cox, senior vice president of government affairs, describes the Command Outreach team as a “force multiplier” in supporting local Exchange management.
“Both Andy and Fred have been senior military leaders and their experience helps develop a common bond with current installation leadership,” Cox said. “We support general managers, facility managers and their teammates—the face of the Exchange to the installation—in coordination and communication with commanders.”