History

The Exchange at 125: Exchanges Have Come in All Shapes, Sizes

By Steve Smith / July 22, 2020 /

In its 125-year history, America’s Warfighters could always rely on the Exchange to be there for them, regardless of whether the “stores” were tents, pack mules, bamboo huts, mobile trucks, boats, choppers or spacious modern malls. In fact, the organization remains as relevant today as it was on the open frontier more than a century…

Read More

The Exchange at 125: Outfitting America’s Heroes

By Steve Smith / July 21, 2020 /

Throughout most of the Exchange’s history, troops could buy military uniforms in the main stores, but the Army and the Air Force also carried them in their own outlets. To cut costs and combine operations, the military turned operations of its clothing stores over to the Exchange. During March through May 1976, the Exchange assumed…

Read More

The Exchange at 125: Horseback Riding Schools, Drive-In Theater and Merry-Go-Round

By Steve Smith / July 21, 2020 /

Throughout its 125 years, the Army & Air Force Exchange Service has offered just about any kind of service customers wanted. During the 1950s, Exchange concessionaires at Fort Hood and Fort Huachuca operated horseback riding schools. The Exchange even provided a merry-go-round for military children at Harmon AFB in Newfoundland, Canada. At Fort Dix in…

Read More

The Exchange at 125: Exchanges of Today Aren’t the Ones of Yesteryear

By Steve Smith / July 20, 2020 /

Throughout the Exchange’s history, main stores—post exchanges, base exchanges, PXs, BXs, whatever the troops called them—have changed from rudimentary tents and not-so-well-lit rooms to the most modern shopping malls that rival those in the private sector. Here is a sampling of what today’s main stores looked like years ago. Find more in the “PXs of…

Read More

The Exchange at 125: Ensuring a Sanitized Shopping Environment During COVID-19 Pandemic

By Steve Smith / July 20, 2020 /

Never before in modern history have Exchange associates faced anything as ominous as the COVID-19 virus, but they remained committed to the well-being of shoppers and themselves. Beginning in March, they began wearing required facemasks. Headquarters associates began working from home. Customer service and sales points were disinfected regularly, while clear shields were installed at…

Read More

ICYMI: The Week that was in the Exchange Post

By Loyd Brumfield / July 17, 2020 /

Another week has come and gone, and it was another busy one in the Exchange Post as the 125th anniversary celebration continues for the Department of Defense’s largest retailer. This week, the Exchange Post spotlights history and associates who exemplify the core value of family serving family. It also was a big week for grand…

Read More

The Exchange at 125: The Battle of Brisbane

By Steve Smith / July 17, 2020 /

On April 5, 1942, the first PX in Australia opened in Brisbane as hundreds of American Soldiers arrived during World War II. Tensions between Australian and American Soldiers began simmering almost immediately because the Americans made more money and wore better uniforms. Tensions boiled over on Nov. 26-27 with the Battle of Brisbane. The face-off…

Read More

The Exchange at 125: Our First ‘Store’ in Afghanistan Was a Tent

By Steve Smith / July 16, 2020 /

On Feb. 9, 2002, at Afghanistan’s Kandahar AB, associates Ralph Henderson, Billy Hullender and Larry Reimann opened the Exchange’s first store in that country: a hastily constructed tent. They welcomed a seemingly endless line of American Warfighters seeking personal hygiene items, snacks, drinks and anything that would remind them of home. By the time the…

Read More

The Exchange at 125: The Exchange Welcomed Home 4.1 Million Americans to their Exchange

By Steve Smith / July 16, 2020 /

The Exchange welcomed home disabled Veterans, Purple Heart recipients and certain caregivers—4.1 million Americans— with in-store shopping privileges Jan. 1, 2020. Privileges expanded to all Veterans with service-connected disabilities; Purple Heart recipients; former prisoners of war; and certain caregivers. The extended privileges keep Veterans connected to military communities. Before the expansion, only Veterans with 100%…

Read More

The Exchange at 125: Wow, Our Gas Stations Have Really Changed!

By Steve Smith / July 15, 2020 /

Almost as soon as the first Model T rolled off the assembly line in the early 20th century, exchanges have provided fuel, repairs and other vehicle services. In 2019, military motorists filled up their vehicles with 438 million gallons of fuel at our Express convenience stores and got repair services at 82 name-brand concessionaires from…

Read More