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Department of Defense Expands Access to Military Exchanges

The customer checkout lanes are vacant at The Army & Air Force Exchange Service on Goodfellow Air Force Base, Texas, May 12, 2020. The exchange was housed in the Carswell Field House as its previous building underwent construction. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Abbey Rieves)

The customer checkout lanes are vacant at The Army & Air Force Exchange Service on Goodfellow Air Force Base, Texas, May 12, 2020. The exchange was housed in the Carswell Field House as its previous building underwent construction. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Abbey Rieves)

The Department of Defense announced today the expansion of access to military exchanges.

Starting May 1, 2021, DOD and Coast Guard appropriated fund and nonappropriated fund civilian employees are authorized to shop at military exchange stores in the United States and the U.S. territories and possessions. Online exchange access will also be available for active and retired DOD and Coast Guard appropriated fund and nonappropriated fund civilian employees by mid-October. This shopping access does not include the purchase of military uniforms, tobacco products or alcohol.   

Previous in-store exchange access for DOD and Coast Guard civilian employees was limited to those on service agreements overseas (i.e., in foreign countries and the U.S. territories and possessions) and access was limited to overseas exchanges. The expansion will allow all DOD and Coast Guard civilian employees to shop in exchange stores in the United States and the U.S. territories and possessions.

“Every shopper of the exchange helps improve the military community and the benefit for service members and their families,” said Patricia “Patty” Montes Barron, deputy assistant secretary of defense for military community and family policy. “We welcome our DOD and Coast Guard civilian employees to take advantage of the convenience and familiarity of military exchanges. Shopping at our military exchanges is a quality of life experience that serves the community in ways no other commercial entity does.”

Online exchange access will be available later this year for all active and retired DOD and Coast Guard civilian employees with a U.S. mailing address, including territories and possessions and APO and FPO addresses. Online exchanges are not permitted to ship to local addresses in foreign countries.

To learn more about military exchange access, visit the commissaries and exchanges webpage on the Military OneSource website.

About Military Community and Family Policy 

Military Community and Family Policy is directly responsible for establishing and overseeing quality-of-life policies and programs that help our service members, their families and survivors be well and mission-ready. Military OneSource is the gateway to programs and services that support the everyday needs of the 5.2 million service members and immediate family members of the military community. These Department of Defense services can be accessed 24/7/365 around the world.