NEWS | Sept. 21, 2011

Exchange enlisted advisor visits Charleston

By Lisa Neidinger Army and Air Force Exchange Service public affairs

The senior enlisted advisor for the Army and Air Force Exchange Service visited Joint Base Charleston Sept. 20 through 22.

During his visit, Chief Master Sgt. Jeffry Helm met with base leadership, toured Exchange facilities, met with employees and addressed Exchange-related issues.

Helm is one of 72 active duty servicemembers assigned to the Exchange.

The Exchange employs more than 43,000 civilian associates world-wide and is a joint military command with a retail mission that is two-fold; providing quality products services and food to servicemembers, their families, Reserve and Guard members and military retirees, all while generating earnings to supplement Air Force Services programs as well as Army Morale Welfare and Recreation activities.

"For every dollar earned, 67 cents comes back to the military community from the MWR dividend. Last year Charleston received more than $419,000, so shopping at the Exchange is a win-win," said Helm. "You get great products at a great price and your money comes back to the installation through the dividend."

During his visit, Helm met with Exchange associates and toured the facilities. He also met with customers and answered Exchange questions and concerns.

"Part of my job as the senior enlisted advisor is to visit bases throughout the world and find out what the Exchange can do better to serve its customers and fix existing problems," said Helm.

"Also, educating our customers on the Exchange benefit is the most important part of my job. Our goal is to be your number one choice for retail shopping. You can go anywhere to purchase an iPod or a TV, but when you buy from the Exchange, that's money going back to support our troops," said Helm.

"More importantly, clothing sales is the only place our military troops can buy uniform items on base without mail-ordering them. Our goal is to have what they need when they need it so they can be outfitted properly," he added.