Your commissary benefit just got even better, thanks to additional funding the DoD is providing as part of its “Taking Care of Service Members and Families” initiative.

DoD recognizes that military members and families make significant sacrifices in support of our nation, and it is committed to doing right by them, including designing this program to offer them relief from financial challenges.

That’s why one of the actions that Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III directed the Department to take as part of this initiative was to “Fully fund our commissaries to cut prices at the register, with the goal of achieving at least a 25-percent savings on grocery bills compared to the local marketplace.”

“The Department of Defense has a sacred obligation to take care of our service members and families… [They] must be able to secure affordable basic needs. It is a matter of bedrock financial security and a critical individual readiness issue,” Austin wrote in the memo instituting the initiative.

Commissaries were already able to save customers more than 22 percent worldwide, on average, compared to commercial grocery stores in fiscal year 2022; this additional funding will allow commissaries to lower prices further for at least a year, starting in mid-October, in response to rising inflation.

DeCA Director and CEO Bill Moore says that commissaries are working to maximize these extra savings as much as possible.

“Going forward with the Department’s initiatives, we want to sustain the increased savings through fiscal year 2023 and exceed the 25 percent benchmark to the extent our resources allow,” Moore explained.

Supporting the military community

While these additional savings are designed to limit the impact customers may feel from rising product costs, commissaries will continue to support service members and their families in other ways that align with this initiative and our mission to “deliver a vital benefit of the military pay system that provides grocery items at significant savings while enhancing quality of life and readiness.”

You’ll find information and resources related to this on our website’s “We’re Stronger Together” page, including:

We continue to institute other innovative initiatives to boost the value of the commissary benefit for the military community, such as:

  • Expanding hours of operation in many locations and leveraging technology to improve access and convenience
  • Working with installations on piloting bulk deliveries to certain locations, such as barracks, with future plans to expand
  • Growing our CLICK2GO e-commerce capabilities, with curbside pickup and online payment now available at all stores
  • Piloting home grocery delivery at eight stateside locations, with the goal of offering this service at all stores soon thereafter

These initiatives, resources and additional savings are offered to all authorized commissary customers, including Veterans with a disability rating of 0% or more, and others who became eligible to shop at commissaries in January 2020. And we’ll never stop working to build a better benefit for our customers.

“We are a food security resource for our customers, and as such, we are doing everything we can to get our precious military families the products they need—at the lowest price possible,” Moore said.

By Courtney Rogers

Defense Commissary Agency consumer advocate

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Published on Nov. 7, 2022

Estimated reading time is 3 min.

Views to date: 29,268

39 Comments

  1. James Dorsey November 18, 2022 at 9:14 am - Reply

    It would be great if Veterans could use the base commissary. They also gave time to serve our country. They wore the uniforms and trained and also put their lives on the line for this great nation.
    I feel that they should be able to have at least some access. Maybe not all of the discounts but at least some. Let’s look out for those that were not able to retire from the service they performed, but at least they served.

  2. Stephen McCann November 13, 2022 at 6:06 am - Reply

    Thank you!

  3. Nancy Sale November 9, 2022 at 9:48 pm - Reply

    How do I find the nearest commissary to Idaho Falls?

  4. ROGELIO GARCIA November 9, 2022 at 9:35 pm - Reply

    As a 100% disabled veteran, I respectfully and highly recommend that commissaries provide free of charge one or more commonly used commodities (not to exceed a certain amount) to all 100% percent rated veterans on a monthly basis.

  5. Kk November 9, 2022 at 4:21 pm - Reply

    Drop that surcharge then their might be a savings but better deals are at Walmart and food lion.

  6. Jane November 9, 2022 at 4:04 pm - Reply

    Where is the nearest commissary near White Lake WI?

  7. DIANNE Brown November 9, 2022 at 1:50 pm - Reply

    How does this help veterans who don’t live near a commissary?

    • Name November 9, 2022 at 2:58 pm - Reply

      It doesn’t lmao

    • Drew November 10, 2022 at 12:07 pm - Reply

      True some things are not a rice change vs of base but on base things like meat, pork and chicken are many times 25-40% cheaper than the local grocery store. That is a huge difference, example a huge bag of chicken quarters say 12 pieces cost about $3 or less on base than $15 at the local store. At least that is my experience in South Texas.

  8. Tony Sellars November 9, 2022 at 1:20 pm - Reply

    They need to help lower the gas prices You can get cheaper at B j’s and Sam’s

  9. Don Lewis November 9, 2022 at 11:43 am - Reply

    What kind of ID do we need to get to use the commissary .

    • William Hooven November 9, 2022 at 12:08 pm - Reply

      This should be available to all Veterans. Some of us went through hell without being injured or imprisoned.

    • Drew November 10, 2022 at 12:10 pm - Reply

      You can apply for a Veterans Health Card and even at 0% this card when registered at your closest base can get you access to the commissary and px along with mwr facilities on base. Such as Outdoor Rec, bowling alley, ticket office etc.

  10. Edward November 9, 2022 at 10:48 am - Reply

    I am a veteran but I don’t have a disability why can’t I go to the commissary?I was blessed that I don’t have a disability but I served right beside the other veterans.

  11. Charles gound November 9, 2022 at 9:52 am - Reply

    What happens if you live over 90 MI from the nearest commissary

  12. Conrad Ray Tackett November 9, 2022 at 9:21 am - Reply

    It would helpful if the VA would put out a list of local DOD Commissary facilities available for disabled veterans to be able to use

  13. Irene Julius November 9, 2022 at 8:26 am - Reply

    I feel the prices are higher then grocery stores nearby, commissary should drop service charge

  14. Walter Rodriguez November 9, 2022 at 8:13 am - Reply

    How do I Apply for this savings

    • Gregory Williams November 9, 2022 at 10:30 am - Reply

      I am at 70% va Disability , not retired and a DOD civilian getting ready to retire in South Korea.
      Will i be able to use the commissary on the military installations in Korea after i retire?

  15. David J Pellegrino November 9, 2022 at 7:16 am - Reply

    Another way to help lower cost to the veterans is to do away with the 5% surcharge that is added to the commisary total at checkout.

  16. Popcorn November 9, 2022 at 3:01 am - Reply

    Does that mean other critical infrastructure will receive additional funding like mwr

  17. Patricia Doyle November 9, 2022 at 2:56 am - Reply

    It would be nice if veterans who became eligible as of 2020 Can you use the post exchange as well For any items that might need to be purchased

  18. Phillip Lane November 9, 2022 at 1:37 am - Reply

    My wife isn’t allowed on the base I’m a disabled vet we must be unaccopeted.

  19. Rowdella Smith November 9, 2022 at 12:10 am - Reply

    Thank you too for “your” service for veterans. I would like to know where these stores commissaries are located and are vehicles available as well for sale and rides to and from these locations for disabled veterans . I am Rowdella smith working towards my license . I’d love to be more mobile to get to the resources I need and hopefully eventually give back in some way however small or not. Thank you. Is first.

  20. Gene Garbett November 8, 2022 at 11:06 pm - Reply

    What id do you need for commissary visit . I am rating at 40% .is it fore veterans

    • Courtney Rogers November 23, 2022 at 2:22 pm - Reply

      Thank you for your service and for reading this blog post! I’m Courtney Rogers, the Defense Commissary Agency’s Consumer Advocate, and I wanted to address the question you raised.

      If you are a veteran with a service-connected disability and you are looking for identification to access the commissary, you can find more information about this on our website here, including links and contact information for the proper VA resources to guide you: https://www.commissaries.com/extended-eligibility.

      Please note that on this page, under “What you need to do before you shop,” we encourage veterans to contact any installation they intend to visit beforehand to inquire about its current access policy. The section above that details how to verify eligibility and apply for a Veteran Health Identification Card (VHIC), if you don’t have one already, as you would need it to shop.

      I hope this information proves helpful to you. We appreciate your interest in shopping at Your Commissary!

  21. Ssg M A GRAY November 8, 2022 at 10:28 pm - Reply

    It is about time..

  22. MACARONI684 November 8, 2022 at 8:41 pm - Reply

    The commissary here at Fort Benning is doing an excellent job of taking care of the active and retired military ? and our families. Also, the prices are now low and affordable to all.

    • Courtney Rogers November 23, 2022 at 2:21 pm - Reply

      Thank you for sharing your feedback about the excellent customer service and prices you have enjoyed at your Fort Benning Commissary! I will be sure to pass along your comments to store management. Happy Thanksgiving!

      Sincerely,

      Courtney Rogers
      DeCA Consumer Advocate
      Defense Commissary Agency

  23. Brent November 8, 2022 at 8:16 pm - Reply

    Yeah, passed on savings to the baggers they refuse to pay, through pressuring consumers to pay through tips. We can’t tax the consumer on base? Okay, that’s fine, we’ll just stuff surcharges down their throats. The commissary/DeCA is a joke.

    • Courtney Rogers November 23, 2022 at 2:17 pm - Reply

      Sir, thank you for sharing your feedback about commissary savings! I am Courtney Rogers, DeCA Consumer Advocate, and I appreciate the opportunity to address your concerns.

      DeCA monitors and calculates savings on a regional basis so we can better monitor how much customers actually save in the geographic area where they shop. You can rest assured that these calculations include any applicable taxes assessed on commercial grocery store prices and the surcharge assessed on commissary prices to evaluate how much our customers actually save at the register.

      The surcharge has been required by Congress since 1952 and set at 5% since 1983 to make commissaries more self-sustaining. Unlike taxes, surcharge funds go right back into the commissary to work for our customers, paying to build replacement stores, renovate and repair existing ones and purchase equipment like freezers and cash registers.

      Furthermore, it is important to note that baggers are self-employed licensees of the installation commander who are given permission to enter the installation, and subsequently the commissary, to solicit customers to bag and carry out their groceries in return for the expectation of a tip.

      Because baggers are not commissary employees, the transaction between a bagger and a customer, including the amount of any tip, is always voluntary and private; therefore, such tips cannot be accounted for in our savings calculations.

      However, if you prefer not to use bagger services, you may simply inform your cashier before your transaction begins that you would prefer to bag and carry out your own groceries; you could also choose to use one of our self-checkout lanes, which are typically only serviced by baggers when customers request their services.

      Thank you for your feedback.

  24. Teresa Carini November 8, 2022 at 6:54 pm - Reply

    Husband is a veteran of the Navy has his DD214
    Served 1974-1979

    Is he eligible ?

    • Courtney Rogers November 22, 2022 at 4:40 pm - Reply

      Thank you for commenting, Ms. Carini. We at the Defense Commissary Agency are grateful to your husband for his service to our nation.

      Unfortunately, no one at DeCA can directly answer whether or not you qualify for commissary privileges, because we do not have the authority to confer commissary privileges to anyone, or to change any of the laws or regulations governing commissary access.

      DoD Instruction (DoDI) 1330.17 lists the individuals, organizations and activities entitled to unlimited commissary privileges, except when prohibited by treaty or other international agreements in foreign countries.

      In addition, veterans with a Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)-documented service-connected disability rating became eligible for DoD and Coast Guard commissary, exchange and MWR retail privileges beginning January 1, 2020, under the Purple Heart and Disabled Veterans Equal Access Act of 2018, as referenced in the post above.

      If your husband believes that he may be entitled to commissary privileges, we recommend that he visit his local installation Pass and ID office for information about military benefits and to obtain an ID card consistent with his entitlements.

      Sincerely,

      Courtney Rogers
      DeCA Consumer Advocate
      Defense Commissary Agency

  25. Danielle White November 8, 2022 at 6:22 pm - Reply

    I am a permanently disabled veteran. I would like to know where the commissary is located please

    • Courtney Rogers November 22, 2022 at 4:39 pm - Reply

      Ms. White, first and foremost, thank you for your service! The Defense Commissary Agency operates more than 230 military commissaries at locations around the world, so the best answer for you depends on where you are located.

      You can find the commissary location closest to you by using the store locator feature on our website at the following link: https://www.commissaries.com/shopping/store-locations/find-a-store. (Please note that this feature returns the most accurate results when you search using a full address rather than just a city/state, zip code, etc.)

      If and when you’re able to shop at one of our locations, we look forward to seeing you!

      Respectfully,

      Courtney Rogers
      Consumer Advocate
      Defense Commissary Agency

  26. Larry McDowell November 8, 2022 at 6:16 pm - Reply

    Please, please remember the retired and vets in the Atlanta Georgia area. Please reopen the Marietta Commissary for our shopping needs. Too many of us are not able to drive to Robbins or Columbus Ga to shop.

    • Courtney Rogers November 22, 2022 at 10:15 am - Reply

      Thank you for sharing your desire for a commissary in the Marietta, GA area. At this time, there is no new information as to the development of a commissary in this area at Dobbins ARB.

      It is important to note that the Defense Commissary Agency does not have the authority to establish commissaries. The appropriate military department must endorse the establishment of a commissary; that request would then go to the Commissary Operating Board for review and recommendation to the Principal Deputy Under Secretary of Defense (Personnel and Readiness), who would make the final decision.

      Department of Defense criteria states that, as a general rule, commissaries are established on military installations that have an active mission and a minimum of 100 active duty personnel assigned or, on closed installations, where active personnel remain in the immediate area.

      Although the current criteria considers “total force” for continuance of commissaries on closed installations, only full-time active duty are considered for establishment of a commissary where one has not previously existed.

      You may be thinking of Marietta Military Family Support Center when you ask for a commissary to be reopened, but this facility was neither a commissary nor a substitute for one. It was simply a place the community made available to enable DeCA to provide Guard/Reserve On-Site sales for a period of time.

      Although I am not in a position to offer you a concrete answer on any potential future for a commissary here, I hope this explanation of the process will at least shed some light on what would be involved in such a decision. Thank you for your service and your continuing support of the commissary benefit!

      Sincerely,

      Courtney Rogers
      DeCA Consumer Advocate
      Defense Commissary Agency

  27. Neill McDonald November 8, 2022 at 6:08 pm - Reply

    Sadly, Mr. Austin has been poorly advised. There is not a 25% profit in any grocery, and certainly not in the commissary system. If mandated, the commissary system will fail.

    This is a non-starter and must have been wrongly vetted. Besides, the election is almost over.

    Neill McDonald, MAI, Ai-GRS, CWO4 (RET), Savannah, GA

    • Courtney Rogers November 22, 2022 at 10:09 am - Reply

      Dear CWO4 McDonald, thank you for your service! I am Courtney Rogers, DeCA’s Consumer Advocate, and I appreciate the opportunity to address the concerns you raised in your comment.

      The directive that Secretary Austin made in the memo we mentioned did not make any references or claims to grocery stores having a 25% profit margin. Rather, he directed that DoD provide “additional funding… [to] allow commissaries to lower prices further for at least a year, starting in mid-October, in response to rising inflation.”

      Therefore, it is this additional funding that is designed to boost our savings average to at least that 25% threshold during this time. I hope you find this explanation helpful.

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