Servicemembers and their families benefit from sales and retail options from being in the military. Families of active duty Servicemembers, and Selected Reservists and their families while serving on Active duty or on their drill weekend can shop at military base exchanges. These military retail facilities go by several different names, the Post Exchange, The Commissary, the Post PX. No matter what the name, they are facilities where food, goods, supplies, clothing and other consumable goods are sold at cost plus a small increase. They are facilities that allow a large savings for many military families.
These facilities are the basic military retail store, where things are sold at as close to cost as is possible. They date from the early 1800’s when Army posts in the new frontier were the only places that stocked needed supplies and food items. As time wore on, the Congress and government realized it was to their advantage to supply a facility where military members could purchase supplies at cost or slightly more. It is an effort to take retail sales to military people out of the hands of private companies and put the responsibility and the privilege of sales to military personnel back into the hands of military personnel themselves. This is to help try and take care of their own. The Military post commissary or PX is an effort to give needed financial incentives to military personnel.
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The taxpayer funds the payroll of civilian employees at military post exchanges. Otherwise the bulk of the cost of military post exchanges are paid for by their own sales and profits from their own operations. Profits from a military post exchange are folded back into the military Post Exchange itself to support ongoing operations. Prices at a Military post PX average the cost of items plus five percent. This means a typical family of four people can save around $2700 dollars a month on average.
Without access to military post exchanges many military Servicemembers and their families would be hard pressed to make ends meet because of the prices and how their ability to pay with their salaries stack up. It is an invaluable and necessary service that supports our troops and provides them with a self-sufficient way to purchase goods and services with dignity.