Commissary, Exchange and MWR

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Military family members enjoy many base privileges, these include access to the Commissary, Exchange, and MWR. The following is a summary of these important services:


The Defense Commissary Agency (DeCA) operates the military Commissaries throughout the world. DeCA Commissaries are supermarkets, usually located on military installations, that sell food, sundry and cleaning products for cost plus a 5 percent surcharge to active duty military, guard and reserve members, retirees and qualified family members. Authorized shoppers need only show proper military ID to use the commissary.

Learn how to shop at the commissary by visiting our handy guide.

As of November 2003 Guard and Reserve received unlimited shopping privileges signed into law under the 2004 Defense Authorization act.


The Army & Air Force Exchange operates more than 2,400 facilities, including 127 main stores, in the U.S., its territories and more than 30 foreign countries. The exchange offers a variety of items at competitive prices and tax-free shopping at facilities including department stores, Military Clothing stores, gas stations and convenience stores. The exchange also operates facilities at overseas contingency sites and stateside emergency response areas. Dividends earned by the exchange support morale, welfare and recreation programs at Army, Air Force, Marine Corps and Navy installations. Additionally, the exchange annually outfits 1.3 million combat uniforms and serves more than four million overseas school lunches at-cost or below-cost.


Morale, Welfare, and Recreation (MWR) activities include arts and crafts facilities, bowling centers, golf courses, libraries, outdoor recreation, recreation centers, youth centers activities and recreation membership clubs. In most instances, Guard and Reserve members and their dependents are entitled to use all class "C" facilities on the same basis as active duty personnel. Local installation and facility commanders do have the authority to establish priorities for MWR activities that are high demand and unable to accommodate all who desire to participate. Be sure to call ahead and confirm hours of operation and eligibility for the activity you and your family are interested in.

Contact your base MWR to find out exactly what they have to offer in your area.

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