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Military retailer to name first civilian CEO

Mike Howard

DALLAS — On orders of the U.S. Department of Defense, The Army and Air Force Exchange Service, will for the first time in its 116-year history, name a civilian to the role of CEO/director.

Until such a person is named, COO Mike Howard will take over as acting CEO/director as the organization’s board of directors seeks a permanent replacement. 

The Army and Air Force Exchange Service will hold a "Change of Responsibility” ceremony in Dallas to mark the retirement ceremony for the Exchange’s current commander, Maj. Gen. Bruce Casella, after more than 36 years of service. 

According to a spokesperson for AAFES, in March 2011, the Secretary of Defense issued a memorandum on “Track Four Efficiency Initiatives Decisions” that were “designed to reduce duplication, overhead, and excess, and instill a culture of savings and cost accountability across the Department of Defense.”

In accordance with this memo, the Exchange was directed to convert the Commanding General’s position from that of a Major General to a Senior Executive Service civilian in April 2012.

Because the top priority is to identify the best qualified person to fill the position, no deadline has been established to select a candidate, AAFES said. 

 

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