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DeCA Announces Best Commissary Winners for 2002

National Guard Bureau

FORT LEE, Va., March 11, 2003 – In one of the closest competitions ever, five commissaries instead of the usual four have been named winners of the Defense Commissary Agency's 2003 Best Commissary awards.

Directors of winning stores received trophies March 6 at the DeCA 2003 Conference and Training Event Awards Banquet in Norfolk, Va. The 1995 competition is the only other year that featured co- winners since the award's inception in 1992.

The winners by category are:

  • Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., winner of the Bill Nichols Award for the Best Large Commissary in the United States.

  • Malmstrom Air Force Base, Mont., winner of the Richard M. Paget Award for the Best Small Commissary in the United States.

  • Yokota Air Base, Japan, winner of the Dan Daniel Award for the Best Large Commissary Overseas.

  • Livorno commissary at Camp Darby, Italy, and Keflavik Naval Station commissary, Iceland, co-winners of the L. Mendel Rivers Award for the Best Small Commissary Overseas.

"We're always striving to be consistent in the delivery of the commissary benefit, and by that I mean all of our stores are providing top-quality customer service in clean, attractive, well-stocked stores throughout the world. These commissaries representing the 'best of the best' have demonstrated this," said DeCA Director Maj. Gen. Michael P. Wiedemer.

The annual awards recognize overall excellence in store operations and service, and the competition improves the commissary benefit. The awards are named in memory of legislators who have protected the commissary benefit and championed quality- of-life issues for the military and their families.

The competition starts at DeCA's four regions with selection of their best commissaries in the four categories. This year there were 11 finalists from the regions. DeCA headquarters evaluators visited each regional nominee and assessed all aspects of operations -- management, customer service, grocery, meat and produce departments, and accountability controls -- and talked to managers, employees, customers and installation officials.

The Defense Commissary Agency's worldwide chain of nearly 280 stores provides groceries to military personnel, military retirees, and their families. Patrons buy at cost plus a 5 percent surcharge, which covers store-building and modernization costs. Shoppers save about 30 percent on groceries -- or about $2,400 annually for a family of four.

(From a Defense Commissary Agency press release.)

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