Joint Base Charleston Employee Named Exchange’s Outstanding Associate with a Disability

DALLAS – The Army & Air Force Exchange Service’s recipient of the Outstanding Department of Defense Employee with a Disability Award is one of the first people his peers look to when they need a problem solved.

Joseph Puryear, a 14-year employee with the Exchange and a services operation assistant at Joint Base Charleston, represented the Exchange at the annual DoD awards ceremony Oct. 1, which took place virtually.

The DoD recognition honors abilities and achievements in overcoming obstacles and pursuing strong work ethics.

Puryear, who served 22 years in the Air Force, went to work for the Exchange in 2006 as a stocker “just so I could get my foot in the door,” he said.

“The Exchange’s primary mission is supporting the military community, and that’s why I joined,” he said. “I come from a military background, and it’s important to me to serve our troops the way the Exchange served me when I was enlisted. It’s an obligation that I am honored to meet.”

Puryear is the go-to associate for problem-solving, his supervisors said. He has made a difference to the military community, bringing fresh dining options to Joint Base Charleston. In 2019, he helped bring six new food trucks to the installation.

“Joseph is considered the rock of the Charleston Exchange,” said Joint Base Charleston Exchange General Manager Keola Chan, who nominated Puryear. “The relationships he has built have developed a strong team of concession partners willing to support the Exchange mission and community needs.”

About 14% of the Exchange workforce includes people with disabilities, which exceeds goals established in 2018 by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

About 4% of the Exchange’s employees have targeted disabilities.

The Department of Defense also has set a goal for its agencies that 2% of the workforce be made up of people with targeted disabilities, which are considered more serious health conditions.

“The Exchange regularly recruits associates with disabilities because they are a valuable part of the workforce and provide important service and experience,” said Karen Stack, executive vice president and chief logistics officer. “They are critical to the Exchange mission of serving those who serve.”

The Exchange, the DoD’s largest retailer, is dedicated to a diverse, inclusive workforce. Exchange managers partner with Human Resources to recruit, retain and advance people with targeted disabilities. Non-competitive hiring for entry-level positions, providing reasonable accommodations, active community outreach and retaining interns from the Workforce Recruitment Program are all tools available to Exchange managers in hiring those with disabilities.

To view job openings, visit

Facebook-friendly version: Joseph Puryear, a 14-year employee with the Army & Air Force Exchange Service, has been named the 2020 Exchange Worldwide Outstanding Associate with a Disability. Read more:

— 30 —

Since 1895, the Army & Air Force Exchange Service (Exchange) has gone where Soldiers, Airmen and their families go to improve the quality of their lives by providing valued goods and services at exclusive military pricing. The Exchange is the 61st-largest retailer in the United States. Its earnings provided $2.2 billion in dividends to support military morale, welfare and recreation programs over the last 10 years. The Exchange is a non-appropriated fund entity of the Department of Defense and is directed by a Board of Directors. The Exchange is a 50th Anniversary Vietnam War Commemorative Partner, planning and conducting events and activities that recognize the service, valor and sacrifice of Vietnam Veterans and their families in conjunction with the United States of America Vietnam War Commemoration. To find out more about the Exchange history and mission or to view recent press releases please visit our website at or follow us on Twitter at


Media Notes:

For more information or to schedule an interview with an Exchange representative please contact Loyd Brumfield, 214-312-6514 or

Follow the Exchange:



Instagram: @shopmyexchange

Posted in