DALLAS – On July 25, the Army & Air Force Exchange Service is marking a milestone many retailers never experience—128 years of service.
The Exchange, long known in military communities for its “We Go Where You Go” motto, traces its roots to merchants who followed the Army and provided goods from tents on the American frontier. On July 25, 1895, the War Department issued General Orders No. 46, directing commanders to open post exchanges at their installations.
“Today, the Exchange remains a force multiplier for Soldiers, Airmen and Guardians,” said Exchange Director/CEO Tom Shull, an Army Veteran who’s led the Department of Defense’s largest retailer since 2012. “The Exchange mission is a labor of love, providing the best tastes of home to service members and their families, especially when they are in remote places.”
The modern-day Exchange serves 33.4 million shoppers and delivers holistic support to Soldiers, Airmen and Guardians through PX and BX department stores; Express convenience stores; restaurants; mall operations; health and wellness services; MILITARY STAR card services and critical support to service members and families overseas.
The Exchange is a lifelong tax-free shopping benefit. Disabled Veterans can shop in-store, and honorably discharged Veterans can shop at ShopMyExchange.com.
Shopping with the Exchange is a virtuous circle. 100% of Exchange earnings support military communities. In the last 10 years, the Exchange has provided $3.5 billion in earnings for Quality-of-Life programs.
The Exchange benefit continues to thrive. The retailer, the 54th largest in the U.S., is focused on:
- Serving as a lifeline to shoppers who are far from home, especially those overseas.
- Improving the customer experience through intensifying national brands, launching self-checkout, adding DoorDash delivery service and more.
- Hiring Veterans and military spouses to continue the Exchange’s mission of serving those serve.
- Supporting military exercises overseas and natural disaster first responders around the world.
“The team is improving the lives of all who wear or wore our Nation’s uniform,” Shull said. “It’s an honor to serve those who serve and go where they go.”
For more information about Exchange history, visit https://publicaffairs-sme.com/Community/history.