Frequently Asked Questions

About ALA

The American Logistics Association (ALA) is a non-profit trade association dedicated to promoting, protecting and enhancing Total Quality of Life Benefits for active duty, retired, and reserve military personnel and their families.
ALA's members are manufacturers, manufacturer's representatives, brokers, distributors, publishers and service providers who sell or provide products and services to the military resale systems and MWR/Services industries.

ALA Membership

For questions about joining ALA, please visit the membership section here.

Military Resale Market

The term "military resale systems" is used to include all military exchanges, commissaries, Department of State stores and Veterans' Canteens.

Morale, Welfare, and Recreation

MWR is an acronym that stands for Morale, Welfare and Recreation. The term is given to a complete range of community support and quality of life programs on military bases throughout the world. MWR encompasses a wide variety of services, including sports and physical fitness centers, food and beverage outlets, lodging programs, child development and youth activities. Services refers to the General Services Administration (GSA), which supports government employees with a wide variety of products and services.
The MWR/Services industry refers to the Armed Services' Morale, Welfare, and Recreation (MWR) activities, including fitness centers, child care centers, movie theaters, golf courses, officers clubs and the like on military bases.
MWR operations are used by active duty military, their families, reservists and retirees. Quality of life functions, such as fitness centers, child care, youth activities, restaurants, fast food, clubs, golf courses, bowling, marinas, tickets and tours, and more are all offered under MWR.
Each service has its own practice. Purchases in support of the MWR operation on an installation may be bought centrally by the service, centrally by regional purchasing offices, or locally by the MWR activity itself. Purchases are made using both appropriated and non-appropriated funds.

Military Exchanges

An exchange is a discount retail store run by the military services. They are located on military installations in the United States and overseas. Exchanges provide quality goods and services at low prices to active duty military, their families, retirees, and reservists. They operate under commercial business and accounting practices. The exchanges donate a percentage of their earnings back to their customers for MWR/quality of life programs and modern places to shop.
Exchanges carry a broad range of branded and house-brand hardlines, softlines, and consumables.
Exchange headquarters are located throughout the United States with regional offices overseas. The headquarters are:
  • Army & Air Force Exchange Service, Dallas, TX
  • Navy Exchange Service Command, Virginia Beach, VA
  • Marine Corps Exchange, Quantico, VA
  • Coast Guard Exchange Service, Chesapeake, VA
  • Veteran’s Canteen Service, St Louis, MO. (operating under the Veterans Administration)
Yes! All the exchanges accept business presentations/proposals from small business operations. Helping companies connect with and present their products to military resale is a major reason why companies, small and large, join ALA.
Yes, ALA has many member companies that do business with GSA. GSA staff members are frequently a part of ALA events, speaking at breakout sessions and even exhibitin at our expo events.

Military Commissaries

A commissary is a Department of Defense (DOD) funded grocery store run by the Defense Commissary Agency (DeCA). Commissaries are located on just about every military installation around the world. The groceries they stock are sold at cost and a 5% surcharge is added to the customer grocery bill at the checkout register.
Commissaries generally stock brand name products. These products include various grocery products such as dry, refrigerated and frozen products, beverages, health and beauty care, household products, etc. They also carry some non brand name products such as beef, pork, eggs, milk and firewood. Within their stores they also prodive some resale services such as deli-bakery, fish markets, plants, etc. Each store also has a meat department and a produce department.
The Defense Commissary Agency (DeCA) is located at Fort Lee, Virginia.
Yes! The Defense Commissary Agency accepts presentations from small business companies. Helping companies connect with and present their products to military resale is a major reason why companies, small and large, join ALA.