DeCA Keeps Safety As Top Priority Into CY 2021

DeCA Keeps Safety As Top Priority Into CY 2021 • FORT LEE

Although the year has changed, the Defense Commissary Agency (DeCA) states that its responsibility to deliver the commissary benefit safely during the COVID-19 pandemic has not waned.

“Be assured, at all of our commissary locations worldwide, we are following Centers For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Department of Defense (DoD) guidance, specifically regarding sanitary measures, social distancing and wearing masks,” said Bill Moore, DeCA director and chief executive officer (CEO). “These measures are particularly important to keep our employees and customers healthy as case numbers climb.”

On March 25, DeCA’s stores, central distribution centers (CDC) and its central meat processing plant (CMPP) were designated mission-critical in DoD’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Since then, the agency has not taken this responsibility lightly, Moore said.

“The entire DeCA team appreciates the tremendous responsibility of being one of your valued lifelines for support and understands the critical mission of delivering your commissary benefit,” he said.


Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, DeCA has implemented the following measures to help mitigate the spread of the virus in commissaries:

• Commissaries conduct daily health screenings of anyone who works in these stores — including employees, baggers and affiliated contractors — before they start their shifts

• Anyone entering a store — including customers — must wear a face covering

• Stores have clear plastic sneeze shields in all regular checkout lanes

• Commissary personnel wipe down checkout areas, product display cases, restrooms and shopping carts with disinfectant, and practice routine hand washing and other basic sanitation measures

• Touchless credit card processing eliminates the need for the customer to sign for purchases

• Customers scan their own ID cards so cashiers can provide them touchless transactions

• Reusable bag usage has been banned

• DeCA canceled special events — such as the spring sidewalk sales, in-store product demonstrations (including DeCA’s free coffee program), group tours, vendor-sponsored events and other events — to discourage group gatherings

• Commissaries are working with installation leadership and public health personnel to implement risk-reduction practices specific to that base

• To help give customers more cost-effective options for personal protective equipment, commissaries have added disposable and reusable masks and digital contactless thermometers to store inventories.

“I would like to send a profound ‘thank you’ to our customers on behalf of our DeCA employees worldwide,” Moore said. “We all would like you to know how much we appreciate your understanding, patience, and continued support throughout the coronavirus outbreak.”


DeCA is not alone in its insistence on safety in its stores, as all military stores have made safety a priority. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the Army & Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES) has been providing a safe, sanitized and secure shopping experience.

Protecting the force and the military community is said to be AAFES’s top priority. Contactless shopping options, including curbside pickup and ordering at, are available to Exchange shoppers. “Buy online, pickup in store” service and restaurant carryout are also available.

In Exchange stores, acrylic shields have been installed at checkout; floor decals and signing remind shoppers about maintaining physical distance; and hand sanitizer stations are readily available.

Associates and shoppers adhere to DoD guidance on the wearing of cloth face coverings.

Source: DeCA, AAFES

Edited by Larry Lapka

A DeCA shopper at Schinnen, Netherlands, loads up on groceries, and does it safely by wearing a face covering to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

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