DALLAS – Sergeant Major of the Army Michael A. Grinston visited the Exchange’s headquarters Sept. 23 to learn about how the Department of Defense’s largest retailer supports Soldiers, Airmen and their families around the world.
“When you join the Army, it’s like joining a family,” Grinston said. “The services the Exchange provides to our Soldiers on our installations help make it a better experience. If you didn’t have a good place to buy some clothes, get some food and get a haircut, you probably wouldn’t want to be a part of that community. The Exchange is extremely important for the readiness and resiliency of our Soldiers and their families.”
Grinston, who serves on the Exchange Board of Directors, appreciated the role the Exchange plays as force multiplier. 100% of Exchange earnings support military communities, including a dividend paid to Quality-of-Life programs for Soldiers, Airmen and military families. In 2018, the Exchange generated $223 million for these programs.
“The Sergeant Major of the Army understands the needs of Soldiers and military families who shop at the Exchange, so it’s crucial to have his guidance and support as a board member,” said Tom Shull, Exchange director/CEO. “We’re happy to provide all the information we can to keep him updated on our efforts to better serve the men and women who serve all of us.”
Grinston met with Shull; Chief Master Sgt. Luis Reyes, Exchange senior enlisted advisor; Jim Jordan, executive vice president/chief financial officer; Anna Iosefo, senior vice president, merchandising; Exchange military personnel and other leaders to discuss Exchange operations such as military clothing, the Exchange Credit Program, logistics, and services, food and fuel. He also awarded his coin to deserving Exchange associates as he visited several departments.
“I love the Exchange – it’s where I shop, where I get my gas, and where I get my haircut, right there on the base,” said Grinston, who has served for nearly 32 years. “I‘m pretty loyal, and I think it’s a great place to shop. It’s always provided good products and services, and that’s maybe part of the reason why I stayed in the Army so long. It’s a good community, and the Exchange is part of that.”
Grinston is the 16th Sergeant Major of the Army, a sole position and the highest enlisted rank of the Army. He provides direction for the enlisted force and represents their interests, as appropriate, to the American public and to those in all levels of government. He serves as the personal advisor to the Chief of Staff and the Secretary of the Army regarding the welfare, readiness, morale and proper utilization of the enlisted force.