‘We Go Where You Go’: Army & Air Force Exchange Service Marks 126 Years of Serving Military Community

deployed troops shoppingDALLAS – At home, abroad, in war zones, through natural disasters—wherever Soldiers, Airmen and Guardians serve, the Army & Air Force Exchange Service has gone with them for the last 126 years.

On July 25, the Department of Defense’s largest retailer is celebrating its 126th anniversary of serving those who serve through more than 4,900 facilities, including department stores, convenience stores, Military Clothing stores, restaurants, barbershops and salons, mall vendors and more, as well as ShopMyExchange.com.

“It is an honor to serve Warfighters and their families,” said Exchange Director/CEO Tom Shull, an Army Veteran. “Wherever our troops go, the Exchange is privileged to serve with them.”

exchange historical photoThe War Department issued General Orders No. 46 on July 25, 1895, directing commanders to open post exchanges at their installations. In the 126 years since, the Exchange has provided a lifeline to America to give deployed service members a taste of home, from snacks and personal necessities to name-brand American restaurants and services.

While many retailers closed during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Exchange remained mission-critical, working with local commands to ensure safe, sanitized and secure shopping support, including rapid deployment of expanded contactless shopping options.

“85% of our associates are connected to the military—they’re passionate about being there for service members, retirees, Veterans and military families,” Shull said. “The Exchange is truly ‘family serving family.’”

family serving familySince 2013, the Exchange has hired more than 49,500 Veterans and military spouses. More than 1,700 wounded warriors have been hired since 2010.

Shopping the Exchange strengthens the military community. 100% of Exchange earnings support the military community, including through support of critical military Quality-of-Life programs that promote military readiness and resiliency. In the past 10 years, the Exchange has distributed more than $2.1 billion to these programs, including Child, Youth and School Services; Armed Forces Recreation Centers; and more. All remaining earnings are reinvested into improving the shopping experience.

The Exchange provides critical Quality-of-Life support through military uniforms at cost, school meals to Warfighters’ children overseas and support before, during and after natural disasters.

“For 126 years, it’s been an honor to go where our heroes go,” Shull said. “Team Exchange will continue to strengthen the exchange postcardbenefit for Soldiers, Airmen and Guardians—past, present and future.”

To learn more about the Exchange’s history, see the interactive history timeline at https://publicaffairs-sme.com/Community/history

Facebook-friendly version: At home, abroad, in war zones, through natural disasters—wherever Soldiers, Airmen and Guardians serve, the Army & Air Force Exchange Service has gone with them since 1895. “For 126 years, it’s been an honor to go where our heroes go,” said Exchange Director/CEO Tom Shull. “Team Exchange will continue to strengthen the benefit for Soldiers, Airmen and Guardians—past, present and future.” Read more: https://wp.me/p9Q7PG-1My.

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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 53rd-largest retailer in the United States. Its earnings provided $2.1 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 http://www.shopmyexchange.com or follow us on Twitter at https://twitter.com/ExchangePAO.

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Media Notes:

For more information or to schedule an interview with an Exchange representative please contact Marisa Conner at 214-312-5111 or connermar@aafes.com.

Follow the Exchange:

Facebook:  www.facebook.com/shopmyexchange

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/shopmyexchange

Instagram: @shopmyexchange