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Exchange senior enlisted advisor pumps up BE FIT options at JBER

By Marisa Wolfe | AAFES Public Affairs | Oct. 2, 2018


The Army & Air Force Exchange Service’s senior enlisted advisor is ensuring Soldiers, Airmen and military families stay ready and resilient with BE FIT options in Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson restaurants, Expresses and main Exchange.


During his Sept. 24 through 25 visit to JBER, Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Luis Reyes toured the Exchange facilities for a firsthand look at BE FIT options, dedicated to military readiness. Reyes also met with 673rd Air Base Wing Commander Col. Patricia Csànk to discuss how the 123-year-old Department of Defense retailer’s healthy initiatives help Soldiers and Airmen stay mission-ready. Reyes hosted a town hall with Command Chief Master Sgt. Charles Orf and Sgt. Maj. Jerry Byrd Jr to hear personally from the JBER community.


“The Exchange is committed to support the readiness and resiliency of JBER Soldiers and Airmen,” said Reyes, one of about 30 active-duty service members assigned to the Exchange. “As a partner in both the Healthy Army Communities and the Air Force Smarter Fueling initiatives, we are leaning forward to provide better-for-you dining, snacking and shopping at Exchange restaurants, Expresses and main stores.”


All of JBER’s restaurants offer better-for-you choices, Reyes said, including Subway, Charleys and Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen. The installation also features an Express stocked with grab-and-go snacks such as fresh fruit, salads and hard-boiled eggs.


“The Exchange is listening to our shoppers and regularly expanding its BE FIT offerings,” Reyes said.  


BE FIT is more than maintaining proper nutrition, Reyes said, noting that the Exchange has implemented an all-encompassing approach to wellness. For example, in the Main Exchange, the BE FIT shop brings athletic wear, shoes and gear together in a one-stop shop, with the look and feel of sporting goods store.


“Wellness is key to resiliency,” Reyes said. “Staying active and making better-for-you choice go hand in hand with ensuring Soldiers and Airmen are ready for wherever the mission takes them.”


Every time Soldiers and Airmen shop the Exchange, grab a snack at the Express or dine at an Exchange restaurant, they make life better at JBER. 100 percent of Exchange earnings support Quality-of-Life programs including military uniforms at cost; school lunches below cost for Warfighters’ children overseas; Child Development Centers; Youth Programs; Fitness Centers; and career opportunities for spouses, Veterans and Wounded Warriors (the Exchange has hired 1,200 Wounded Warriors since 2010).


“Last year, the JBER Exchange generated more than $890,000 on behalf of Quality-of-Life programs,” Reyes said. “Shopping the Exchange makes life better for every member of the military community.”


During his visit, Reyes also thanked Exchange associates for their dedicated service.


“Since 1895, the Exchange has provided a lifeline to America’s service members and their families,” Reyes said, noting that 85 percent the Exchange 35,000-strong workforce has a military connection. “The Exchange is family serving family. Whether supporting troops downrange or here at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Exchange associates are there to serve those who serve!”