Fort Polk Exchange Expands Quality-of-Life Improvements with Upgraded Express
The Army & Air Force Exchange Service is making life more convenient for Fort Polk Soldiers, retirees and military families with an improved shopping experience at the Express 3.
Fort Polk Commanding General Brig. Gen. David Doyle, Post Command Sgt. Maj. Michael Henry, Garrison Commander Col. Ryan Roseberry, Garrison Command Sgt. Maj. Christopher Ausbun and local Exchange leaders cut the ribbon on the newly renovated store Jan. 6. Shoppers were treated to free Hunt Brothers Pizza and other giveaways.
Fort Polk is part of a pilot program to improve the Quality of Life for Soldiers and their families at austere locations. The program, which also includes Forts Irwin and Wainwright, plans upgrades to main stores and Expresses, on-post dining and Wi-Fi infrastructure while extending job opportunities to military spouses.
“The Exchange is a vital part of the Fort Polk community,” Roseberry said. “Efforts like this demonstrate the pride the Exchange has in their facilities and services to our Soldiers and Families. The Quality of Life initiative is a joint effort across the installation, and we are working together to make Fort Polk an even better place to live and work!”
Roseberry also presented the Express management with commander’s coins.
The 3,200-square-foot updated Express features new flooring, shelving, a walk-in cooler and freezer and updated fixtures, paint and décor. A redesigned queue line allows for faster checkout. BE-FIT-approved healthy snacks such as fresh fruit, hummus and hard-boiled eggs are highlighted throughout the store.
“The Express 3, which includes gas pumps, serves personnel in the nearby Maple Terrace housing community and North Fort training area, as well as traffic from Gate 6,” said Fort Polk Exchange General Manager Ronald McDuffie. “The Exchange funded the $600,000 project, which began in August and was completed in December, despite challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.”
100% of Exchange earnings are reinvested in the military community through capital improvements and support of Quality-of-Life programs. In 2019, the Fort Polk Exchange generated $725,000 for these programs that make life better for Fort Polk Soldiers, retirees, Veterans and families.
Protecting the force is the Exchange’s No. 1 priority, and the Express 3 and other Fort Polk Exchange stores are dedicated to providing safe, sanitized and secure shopping.
The upgraded Express 3 is the latest in a series of Exchange improvements at Fort Polk. In 2020, the main Exchange was updated with new signing, décor and flooring in some departments. A Slim Chickens restaurant is scheduled to open in 2021, and a renovation and expansion of the mini mall, including adding a Chopz restaurant, will begin in 2021.
“It’s an honor to serve the best customers in the world,” McDuffie said. “The Exchange is looking forward to continuing to do its part to better serve the Fort Polk family.”