From the desk of the ALA President

Defense mask mandate.  The Secretary of Defense directed mandatory wearing of masks in a memorandum issued yesterday.

Force posture review to determine location of forces going forward.  The Secretary of Defense has issued review of military force posture.  In a statement issued from the Pentagon, Secretary Austin said the Department will therefore conduct a global force posture review of U.S. military footprint, resources, strategy and missions.  It will inform my advice to the Commander-in-Chief about how we best allocate military forces in pursuit of national interests.”

Harder sell on vaccines than thought.  Most military don’t want vaccine. A Blue-Star Families survey found 53 percent of active-duty families and most veterans don’t want the vaccine  according to the results, released Thursday.  Also, yesterday, the Blue Star organization held an event featuring the First Lady, Dr. Anthony Fauci, and several Defense and Veteran leaders. In the town hall, questions were answered from military families on vaccine safety and administration.

Federal guidance on critical infrastructure.  For companies that are seeking priority for COVID PPE resources, vaccines or other aid, the CISA guidance on critical infrastructure is a solid reference.  Here is a link to the December 16th, 2020, “Advisory Memorandum on Ensuring Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers’ Ability to Work During the COVID-19 Response”. CISA’s advocacy for critical infrastructure workers is on page two of the cover memo.

Vaccine distribution in DoD and designation of critical infrastructure workforce.  Re-issuing here for companies that might have missed it.  Here is a January 7th, 2021, memo “DoD COVID-19 Vaccine Allocation and Distribution Policy”.   as well as the referenced March 20th, 2020, memo “Defense Industrial Base Essential Critical Infrastructure Workforce” which you will find below.

NEXCOM Customers Save 22.49 Percent.  NEXCOM announced that its recently completed annual market study showed that NEX customers can expect to save an average of 22.49 percent on their purchases in specific categories, ALA’s Larry Lapka reports.

The savings amount, which does not include sales tax, increased nearly two percentage points from the 20.5 percent savings registered in 2019.   This benchmarked survey, a study that NEXCOM has conducted over the last 15 years, shows what percentage of savings NEX customers can accrue on specific “basket” items — more than 350 different items — when shopping at their local Navy exchanges.

“The NEX has made a significant investment over recent years to strengthening our value proposition with strong national brands and retail brand partnerships as well as the launch of several new private brands,” said retired Rear Adm. Robert J. Bianchi, NEXCOM’s chief executive officer (CEO).   “Additionally, during the COVID-19 pandemic, when some outside retailers raised prices or cancelled promotions, we kept our pricing consistent because of our mission to constantly pass along greater value to our military customers,” he explained.

While Bianchi noted that customers will not save 22.49 percent on each item they purchase at the NEX, “This improvement in savings compares with the improvement that we have seen in broader surveys that we have taken over the last several years.”

The survey also determined customers’ savings in each of the eight different areas of the country surveyed.   For instance, NEX shoppers in San Diego, Calif., saved an average of 25.62 percent — or more than three percentage points more than the overall savings average of 22.49 percent — when shopping their local Navy stores for specific products.

Here’s how the comparison worked.  In fall 2020, NEXCOM hired an outside company, RetailData, to do a price survey in different areas of the United States to obtain an average percentage for how much customers save when shopping the NEX.  To determine the percentage of savings, the same items were surveyed from region to region. The items included electronics, clothing, housewares, sporting goods and health and beauty aids. The surveyors shopped at discount stores, mass merchants and full-line department stores for comparison prices.

NEXCOM 2020 Customer Savings By Selected Area

Sales Area                                       Avg. % Savings

San Diego, Calif.                             25.62 percent

Everett, Wash.                                  23.64 percent

Bethesda, Md.                                  23.49 percent

Pearl Harbor, Hawaii                        23.05 percent

Great Lakes, Ill.                                21.81 percent

Norfolk, Va.                                      21.08 percent

Jacksonville, Fla.                              20.64 percent

Pensacola, Fl                                     19.86 percent

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