Commissary + Exchange

woman grocery shopping

Military families need to know their Service offers valuable benefits to their health and financial well-being through commissaries, exchanges, and travel programs. All provide significant cost savings and ease of access.

The National Military Family Association is working hard to ensure these vital benefit remains available to currently serving and retired military families. We are proud partners of the Save Our Benefit coalition.


Commissaries are an important part of the overall military pay and benefits package, and they significantly improve our military families’ quality of life. Commissary shoppers save an average of more than 30 % on their purchases, which is about $3,400 annually for a family of four. This benefit is even more important today in our current economy.

Commissary shoppers buy goods “at cost” - that is, with no profit to the commissary. Commissary shoppers pay a 5% surcharge. The surcharge is calculated on the total before coupons are deducted. The surcharge goes back into the stores to pay for new construction, renovations, repairs, and equipment. The surcharge does not decrease commissary savings because it is included in the savings calculations. Military families are able to help sustain their benefit.

National Guard and Reserve families can also avail themselves of commissary savings by participating in the Guard/Reserve On-Site Sales Program. Authorized Guard and Reserve members and their families that live in areas far from a commissary store can participate in the program. The host commissary works with Guard and Reserve units with at least 150 members stationed in an area and selects items to offer to these individuals during the sale. Some commissaries even allow patrons to pre-order products to be picked up and paid for at the sale.

Commissaries, throughout the world, are managed by the Defense Commissary Agency (DeCA) headquartered in Ft. Lee, Virginia. By providing this benefit, DeCA improves the quality of life of our military families. As a member of the DeCA Patron Council, the National Military Family Association has the opportunity to share military families’ concerns and praises regarding their commissary benefit, as well as keep our families informed of the latest news from DeCA. Members of the DeCA Patron Council represent active duty, Guard, Reserve and retired service members and their families.

For additional information on nutrition, promotions, case lot sales, job opportunities, or scholarships, go to: Visit Eat Healthy Your Way for healthy recipes, healthy cooking tips and free commissary coupons.


The military exchange system provides valuable cost savings to military families. Equally important, the exchange system profits are reinvested in Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) programs, resulting in quality of life improvements for the entire military community. Not located close to an exchange? No problem. Eligible military families may shop online.

For more information on the service exchanges go to:

The Exchange (formerly Army + Air Force Exchange)

Navy Exchange

Marine Corps Exchange

Coast Guard Exchange  

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Until military families are relieved of the weight of war, we hope you will continue to contribute to their wellbeing.

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