Archive for September, 2012

Exchange Now Accepting Medagate Worldwide

Friday, September 21st, 2012

MEDIA CONTACT: Chris Ward
MEDIA ADVISORY: 12-054
RELEASE DATE: Sept. 21, 2012

DALLAS – As of Sept. 8, the Army & Air Force Exchange Service is officially the first retailer to accept the Medagate Over the Counter (OTC) benefits card on a worldwide basis.

Medagate is a card-based program provided by Medicare and Medicaid Services that enables merchants to accept payment at the register for medicine and medical supplies covered by medical insurance plans.

Medagate OTC cards are issued to Medicare and Medicaid members on behalf of insurance providers and are periodically reloaded by Medicare, Medicaid and other health plan companies.

These cards have been issued in ten states with more states expected to participate in 2013.

Cardholders can simply bring qualifying items to an Exchange checkout (including Express, Troop Store and Main Store locations) where the Medagate OTC card is swiped to pay for all eligible items.

“This new capability is just one of the many ways the Exchange strives to serve military veterans,” said the Exchange’s Senior Enlisted Advisor Chief Master Sgt. Tony Pearson. “With the Medagate card, shoppers no longer need to complete health care forms or use off-line systems for claims after purchase.”

Insurance providers, in conjunction with Medagate, produce a catalog that identifies medicine and medical supplies that qualify for reimbursement coverage/payment. 

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The Army & Air Force Exchange Service is a joint non-appropriated fund instrumentality of the Department of Defense and is directed by a Board of Directors which is responsible to the Secretaries of the Army and the Air Force through the Service Chiefs of Staff.  The Exchange has the dual mission of providing authorized patrons with quality merchandise and services at competitively low prices and generating non-appropriated fund earnings as a supplemental source of funding for military morale, welfare and recreation programs. To find out more about the Exchange history and mission or to view recent press releases please visit our Web site at http://www.shopmyexchange.com.

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Media Notes:

For more information or to schedule an interview with an Exchange representative please contact Chris Ward, 214-312-2714 or wardchr@aafes.com.

In Store or Online, Exchange Aims for Consistency

Thursday, September 20th, 2012

MEDIA CONTACT: Chris Ward
MEDIA ADVISORY: 12-053
RELEASE DATE: Sept. 20, 2012

DALLAS – According to Practical Ecommerce, shoppers frequently use both online and physical stores to browse and buy products. As a result, it is important for retail sites to emulate the stock assortment found in their brick and mortar locations.

Recognizing this fact, military shoppers will soon have greatly expanded online merchandise options as the Army & Air Force Exchange Service is increasing its online product selection to mirror its biggest main stores. The expanded Exchange Online Store assortment at www.shopmyexchange.com began with an August launch that added eight brands and 214 items.

“The August launch was just the beginning,” said the Exchange’s Chief of Staff Col. Tom Ockenfels. “Six additional brands will come online in October and November. Ultimately, National Guard, Reserve, retired and active duty shoppers will be able to enjoy the same selection online as they would find at Fort Campbell, Kadena or the KMCC.”     

Brands available at brick and mortar Exchanges can be found by searching by brand name or within a product category at shopmyexchange.com with an intuitive layout that helps shoppers find what they want and need more easily. Additionally, products will now be visible prior to log-in with a username and password required only for checkout.

“By adding store assortments online we will provide a consistent shopping experience,” said Ockenfels. “Just as shoppers visit a store, they can also now visit the Exchange Online Store to find the same products.”

Expanded brand assortments launched in August include Dyson, Keurig, Bissell, Hoover, Bose, Canon, Nikon and Apple. Sharp, HP, LG, Skull Candy and Martha Stewart will be available in October and November. The assortment will continue to grow with the addition of approximately 35 future brands to include Clinique, Coach, Michael Kors handbags, Vera Bradley and Fuji.

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The Army & Air Force Exchange Service is a joint non-appropriated fund instrumentality of the Department of Defense and is directed by a Board of Directors which is responsible to the Secretaries of the Army and the Air Force through the Service Chiefs of Staff.  The Exchange has the dual mission of providing authorized patrons with quality merchandise and services at competitively low prices and generating non-appropriated fund earnings as a supplemental source of funding for military morale, welfare and recreation programs. To find out more about the Exchange history and mission or to view recent press releases please visit our Web site at http://www.shopmyexchange.com.

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Media Notes:

For more information or to schedule an interview with an Exchange representative please contact Chris Ward, 214-312-2714 or wardchr@aafes.com.

Army and Air Force Exchange to Salute Those ‘Still Serving’

Tuesday, September 18th, 2012

MEDIA CONTACT: Chris Ward
MEDIA ADVISORY: 12-052
RELEASE DATE: Sept. 18, 2012

DALLAS – As part of its annual “Still Serving” weekend, the Army & Air Force Exchange Service will salute former Soldiers and Airmen by offering unique specials and events at Exchanges worldwide Oct. 5-11.

“Still Serving” sales and benefits information are arriving in mailboxes of approximately 700,000 Army and Air Force retirees. The flyer features exclusive savings on a wide variety of products including 25 percent off Chaps menswear, a 46” Samsung LED Smart HDTV for $849, the Mr. Coffee single-serve brewing system for $79.99, an iPad2 for $389 and several food court meal deals.

Additionally, local Exchanges will honor the service of retirees with “Still Serving” celebrations to include fashion shows, door prizes, health clinics and much more.

“Retirees account for roughly 39 percent of the Exchange’s 12.4 million shoppers,” said the Exchange’s Senior Enlisted Advisor Chief Master Sgt. Tony Pearson.  “The specials offered in the flyer, combined with “Still Serving” events and festivities at locations worldwide, should provide plenty of incentive for retirees to come and rediscover the value of their Exchange.”

In addition to the savings at brick and mortar Exchanges, www.shopmyexchange.com will offer 10 percent off any order of $100 or more to shoppers who sign up for the “Online Savings Club E-newsletter,” which offers online savings and exclusive discounts.

Authorized shoppers of all ages can learn more about activities planned for the weekend of Oct. 5 at their nearest Exchange by calling their local store manager. Contact information for all Army and Air Force Exchanges can be found online at www.shopmyexchange.com through the “Store Locator” link.

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The Army & Air Force Exchange Service is a joint non-appropriated fund instrumentality of the Department of Defense and is directed by a Board of Directors which is responsible to the Secretaries of the Army and the Air Force through the Service Chiefs of Staff.  The Exchange has the dual mission of providing authorized patrons with quality merchandise and services at competitively low prices and generating non-appropriated fund earnings as a supplemental source of funding for military morale, welfare and recreation programs. To find out more about the Exchange history and mission or to view recent press releases please visit our Web site at http://www.shopmyexchange.com.

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Media Notes:

For more information or to schedule an interview with an Exchange representative please contact Chris Ward, 214-312-2714 or wardchr@aafes.com.

Exchange Online Savings Club Membership Has Its Privileges

Monday, September 17th, 2012

MEDIA CONTACT: Chris Ward
MEDIA ADVISORY: 12-051
RELEASE DATE: Sept. 17, 2012

DALLAS – Want to know the best online deals that your Exchange is offering? How about getting your hands on coupons that are offered to a limited few? Or maybe you’d just like to win some great prizes. If any of those options are appealing, then the Exchange Online Savings Club is right for you.

The Exchange Online Savings Club is a one-stop clearinghouse for savings and promotions. Shoppers who sign up for the Exchange Online Savings Club are among the first to know about online savings events. They also receive exclusive coupons and are automatically entered for chances to win prizes.

Authorized Exchange shoppers can find out more, and even join the Exchange Online Savings Club, at www.shopmyexchange.com/SavingsClub.

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The Army & Air Force Exchange Service is a joint non-appropriated fund instrumentality of the Department of Defense and is directed by a Board of Directors which is responsible to the Secretaries of the Army and the Air Force through the Service Chiefs of Staff.  The Exchange has the dual mission of providing authorized patrons with quality merchandise and services at competitively low prices and generating non-appropriated fund earnings as a supplemental source of funding for military morale, welfare and recreation programs. To find out more about the Exchange history and mission or to view recent press releases please visit our Web site at http://www.shopmyexchange.com.

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Media Notes:

For more information or to schedule an interview with an Exchange representative please contact Chris Ward, 214-312-2714 or wardchr@aafes.com.

Exchange Supports Operation Warfighter with Career Opportunities

Tuesday, September 11th, 2012

MEDIA CONTACT: LTC Thomas Shrader
MEDIA ADVISORY: 12-050
RELEASE DATE: Sept. 11, 2012

DALLASStaff Sgt. Andrew McElroy Jr. was serving as a tracked-vehicle Mechanic/Instructor in the Advanced Leaders’ Course at Fort Hood in the summer of 2011 when he was severely injured in a fall.

“I was up on top of an M88 Recovery Vehicle and was pulling a tarp over it because it was starting to rain,” said McElroy. “A strong gust of wind caught the tarp and caused me to lose my balance.” 

The fall resulted in three injured disks in Sgt. McElroy’s back as well as a broken wrist.  These injuries meant McElroy could no longer continue serving in his current Military Occupational Specialty or MOS.

Fortunately for McElroy, while being stationed at Fort Hood in the Warrior Transition Unit (WTU), he discovered a program, known as Operation Warfighter (OWF) that provides wounded with an opportunity to try new career fields.

Today, McElroy can be found at the Army & Air Force Exchange Service’s world headquarters in Dallas, Tex. As a member of the Human Resources department, he reviews resumes and pre-screens potential hires.

Andrew McElroy is just one example of how the Army and Air Force Exchange Service is actively supporting wounded and injured warriors through the OWF program.  A total of 11 Operation Warfighter’s have worked at various Exchange locations including Ft. Hood, Waco Distribution Center, Ft. Carson and Exchange HQ’s.

John Perry, a recruiting specialist at the Exchange, explains the program this way:  “We work with the WTU to find troops who are interested in participating in an internship.  It’s a win-win arrangement because the employer benefits from having an experienced service member on our staff, and the service member gets to try out life in a corporate environment.  The Exchange is a $10 billion a year operation, so there are lots of opportunities.”

McElroy feels the initiative is a big benefit for him and gotten him closer to his family. 

“This program has been a fabulous opportunity for me to feel productive again, and to be closer to my family.  My ‘Home of Record’ is Cedar Hill, Tex. so being stationed in Dallas is a dream come true.  I work half the day at the Exchange and the other half at the Joint Reserve Center in Grand Prairie.”

And the job itself has taught McElroy a lot about the hiring process.

“When I first came here, I thought I knew how to write a resume and what would look good to an employer. But now, having read hundreds of resumes, I see what is powerful and works, and what does not work.  So I’m tweaking my own resume, accordingly.

So what’s next for McElroy?

“Well, I can’t go back to my old job because my wrist and back injuries prevent me from turning wrenches or lifting heavy objects,” said McElroy. “But the skills I’ve learned here at the Exchange have opened up new horizons for me to pursue after my medical board is complete.”

Perry encourages service members who are interested in learning about the internship opportunities to contact their WTU commander or first sergeant.

“This is a really fantastic program,” said Perry. “Staff Sgt. McElroy does super work for us every day.  He is particularly adept at translating military jargon and backgrounds into terms we can all understand to assess a potential applicant’s supervisory or leadership ability. We have also had interns work at our distribution center in Waco which is only about an hour from Ft. Hood, and in Kaiserslautern, Germany. So I would encourage our wounded warriors to contact their leaders and give this program a try. They might just find the career of a lifetime with the Exchange.”

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The Army & Air Force Exchange Service is a joint non-appropriated fund instrumentality of the Department of Defense and is directed by a Board of Directors which is responsible to the Secretaries of the Army and the Air Force through the Service Chiefs of Staff.  The Exchange has the dual mission of providing authorized patrons with quality merchandise and services at competitively low prices and generating non-appropriated fund earnings as a supplemental source of funding for military morale, welfare and recreation programs. To find out more about the Exchange history and mission or to view recent press releases please visit our Web site at http://www.shopmyexchange.com.

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 Media Notes:

For more information or to schedule an interview with an Exchange representative please contact LTC Thomas Shrader, (214) 312-2753 or shraderte@aafes.com.

Exchange Recognized as Top 50 Organization for Diversity by LATINA Style Magazine

Wednesday, September 5th, 2012

MEDIA CONTACT: Chris Ward
MEDIA ADVISORY: 12-049
RELEASE DATE: Sept. 5, 2012

DALLAS – The Army & Air Force Exchange Service’s focus on diversity is being recognized again as LATINA Style magazine has named it one of its LATINA Style 50 for 2012. The annual evaluation, which analyzes more than 800 corporations, identifies organizations that provide the best career opportunities for Hispanic females in the United States.

“It is a great honor for the Exchange to be recognized on a national level for the work we do daily,” said the Senior Vice President of Sales Ana Middleton, one of the Exchange’s highest ranking Hispanic women. “This award further validates the importance the Exchange places on diversity in the workplace.”

Companies assessed for the Latina Style award were evaluated on issues that readers identified as most important to them in the workplace. Among the principal areas of evaluation were number of Latina executives, retention, mentoring programs, educational opportunities, alternative work policies, employee benefits, women’s issues, job retraining, affinity groups and relations. New categories were also added this year that display which companies have a dedicated program to supplier diversity and have increased their Latina population.

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The Army & Air Force Exchange Service is a joint non-appropriated fund instrumentality of the Department of Defense and is directed by a Board of Directors which is responsible to the Secretaries of the Army and the Air Force through the Service Chiefs of Staff.  The Exchange has the dual mission of providing authorized patrons with quality merchandise and services at competitively low prices and generating non-appropriated fund earnings as a supplemental source of funding for military morale, welfare and recreation programs. To find out more about the Exchange history and mission or to view recent press releases please visit our Web site at http://www.shopmyexchange.com.

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Media Notes:

For more information or to schedule an interview with an Exchange representative please contact Chris Ward, 214-312-2714 or wardchr@aafes.com.

Make a Connection with an Exchange Representative for a Chance to Win $500

Tuesday, September 4th, 2012

MEDIA CONTACT: Chris Ward
MEDIA ADVISORY: 12-044
RELEASE DATE: Sept. 4, 2012

DALLAS – The Army & Air Force Exchange Service is asking military shoppers to determine which Exchange Value representative that most relates to their relationship with the Exchange.

Since Feb. 24, a retiree, newly enlisted, career military, Officer, reservist and spouse have each highlighted the unique needs and wants of Exchange shoppers. Video introductions of all representatives can be seen at www.shopmyexchange.com/PatriotFamily.

Now that all five personalities have been introduced in commercials and print, the Exchange is asking shoppers to write a short 220-500 word essay on which Exchange Value representative they feel best depicts their lifestyle and how they identify with their preferred individual.

Contest is open until Oct. 4, 2012. Submissions will be judged on creativity, style and the ability of the entry to convey a connection to an Exchange Value Representative. One winner from each represented category will be chosen to receive a $500 Exchange gift card.

The contest is open to all military and DoD ID card holders 18-years-old and older. Contest entry details, and complete contest rules are available at http://www.shopmyexchange.com/Community/patriotfamily/contests.htm.   

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The Army & Air Force Exchange Service is a joint non-appropriated fund instrumentality of the Department of Defense and is directed by a Board of Directors which is responsible to the Secretaries of the Army and the Air Force through the Service Chiefs of Staff.  The Exchange has the dual mission of providing authorized patrons with quality merchandise and services at competitively low prices and generating non-appropriated fund earnings as a supplemental source of funding for military morale, welfare and recreation programs. To find out more about the Exchange history and mission or to view recent press releases please visit our Web site at http://www.shopmyexchange.com.

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Media Notes:

For more information or to schedule an interview with an Exchange representative please contact Chris Ward, 214-312-2714 or wardchr@aafes.com.