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DoD May Expand Online Exchange Shopping

January 12, 2017

aafes_logo-svgAll honorably discharged military members could have access to online exchange shopping by Veterans Day, according to Defense Department documents obtained by Military Times. If the proposal becomes reality, it would greatly expand the customer base for the online service of the Army and Air Force Exchange Service.

Currently, only active-component service members, National Guard and Reserve members, along with family members, and 100-percent disabled veterans can shop at the exchanges, both online and at the stores.

But anyone who leaves the armed forces before reaching retirement is unable to shop. If the proposal is approved, those people would be able to shop online, but not at the brick-and-mortar stores.

The idea to expand online access was first discussed in 2014 by Tom Shull, who was the AAFES chief executive officer. AAFES officials say it would provide more than $50 million in profits, which are returned to military communities in many ways.

Military Times notes that if Pentagon officials agree to the plan and Congress does not object within 30 days, the new policy could be in place by Veterans Day.

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