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Driving Commissaries’ Costs Up Would Lead To Closures, Says Nonprofit

Defense Commissary Agency

Military commissary in Virginia.

The senior enlisted advisers of the Army, Marine Corps, Navy, and Air Force expressed their unified dismay at a plan that would raise grocery prices in military commissaries.

Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps Micheal Barrett, Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force James Cody, Sergeant Major of the Army Raymond Chandler, and Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy Michael Stevens testified Wednesday before the House Appropriations Committee’s military construction and veterans affairs panel.

The Military Times reports Barrett told the panel:

“I personally think it’s ridiculous that we’re going after something that saves a young lance corporal $4,500 a year.”

Chandler suggested instead of raising the cost of groceries, the Department of Defense might look at other options, like allow commissaries to sell generic items:

"That’s an example of where we might find some savings.”

The testimony comes a day after the American Logistics Association, a nonprofit trade group, decried the Pentagon's proposal to cut taxpayer subsidies to commissaries by $1 billion.

A statement the group released to the media Tuesday read, in part:

“Make no mistake: pulling the funding rug out from under these operations will shutter these stores over time.”

Home Post reader Rachel Larsen Brody agreed, commenting:

"'Commissaries are NOT closing!' They are just becoming unsubsidized so that it will be too expensive to shop there, driving down patronage so that the decision to close them will be because nobody shops there anymore."

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