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Eclipse
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« on: March 10, 2006, 04:06:06 AM »

This question has come up in several places, especially recently, so I thought I would post it up here and on cadetstuff.org as a reference.

CAP members have purchase privileges at AAFES as well as base exchanges and clothing sales.  We are ONLY authorized to purchase uniform items through AAFES. The same goes for base exchanges and clothing sales.  The rules are a bit different if you are stationed on a respective base, either temporarily or permanently.  When in doubt, read the regs or consult your wing's LO.

Full privileges:
     Active Duty Military
     Military Retirees
     Reserves
     National Guard personnel
     Department of State Officials serving in foreign countries
     and dependants of the above

Restricted privileges:
   ROTC
   Foreign Officers
   Civil Air Patrol
   Coast Guard Auxiliary

It is correct that we are not authorized to purchase items online. Sales must be done manually, via telephone or fax.  I recommend direct phone call.  Your best bet is to call them and request a catalog, or if you are near an AAFES store or base exchange, just run in and request one.  Each service has their own catalog.

In most cases, military clothing runs smaller than civilian clothing, if for no other reason than the cuts are usually tapered, so you can almost bet you'll need at least one size larger than an equivalent item from Target.  However similar items between services are usually identical or close enough to use as a gauge (example, a USN wheel cap can be used to size your head for a USAF wheel cap, likewise service coats, etc.).  So if you don't have a USAF AAFES store near you, but you do have a NAVEx store, you can at least try things on before you order them.

Any AAFES store should be able to order anything from the AAFES inventory, as well as
do your alterations.  Few civilian tailors will hook you up on a military dress jacket as well as an AAFES or base exchange tailor who does 20 a week. And the NAVEx's will generally have no issue doing alterations for you on a jacket you bring in - our people up here do it at NSGL all the time.

Another thing many people don't know is that AAFES can custom order blouses and other parts if your sizes are outside the norm.  I have personally ordered custom-made USAF blouses through
the Scott AFB AAFES store , as they did not carry 19-1/2" neck, 37" sleeves.  It took a couple of weeks, but the ladies down there were great and hand-held the order for me.

And to that issue, for goodness sake, be courteous!  Once you know the 1-2-3, its pretty straightforward, but it depending on what you order and from where, like anything else there may be hiccups, and you have to hand-hold this a little more than you might prefer.  I've heard more scuttle lately about CAP people acting like Alpha-Hotel's to AAFES and Vanguard, which isn't going to make it any EASIER for us.  Remember, the operator does not know the whole history of the CAP-USAF relationship, etc.  we are just one of thousands calling that day.

Ok, enough of that…

Here's AAFES's site:  http://www.aafes.com/

You will not be able to login unless you are a member of the military, retired, etc., but you can get the phone numbers you'll need from there.  Bear in mind these are standard colors, styles, etc.
Every officer in the USAF wears the same jacket - the ability to "browse" doesn't have a lot of use in this case.

Call 1-800-527-2345, and ask the operator for assistance in setting up a CAP purchasing account.  For a long time, they would refer you to "Rosie" who was the operator who
handled the manual CAP transactions.  The first purchase takes the longest - once you are in the system, things will go much smoother.

Whether you wind up talking direct to Rosie, or to someone else, you will need to fax a letter into AAFES explaining your status as a CAP member. The letter will need to include your
full name, address, SSN#, CAPID, grade, home unit, etc.  Make sure you are clear form the operator on the requirements of the letter.

On the bottom of the letter you will need to include a copy of your CAP ID, and a photo ID, usually a driver's license.  Make sure they are legible.

Follow up in a day or so that the letter was received and that you are good to go.  Obviously
this is something you should do in advance of the need.  Don't expect to call a week before
your dining out to order your Mess Dress, and then get cranky when it takes "too long". Also,
bear in mind that we are at war, and some items are in short supply all over.

From here you should be able to place your order(s). The more information you have regarding part number, size, color (i.e. 1620 vs 1625, etc.), will makes things easier. I have found the AAFES people very helpful and knowledgeable about their PRODUCTS, however do not expect them to know AFI 36-2903, let alone CAPM 39-1, so don't ask for advice regarding regs, etc.

Once you are done with the order, invariably the operator (unless its "Rosie"), will request credit card info, etc., and then reach a point where they try and close the order and find they can't because you are not military.

Now, I have been told, that a work-around for this is to fill in field V006 with day code "040981",
this worked the last time I ordered something.  If it doesn't anymore, well, systems change.
That code enabled the order to be closed immediately.

If they are not able to release the order, it will go to "Rosie" for manual release.  Unless she is out, she is good about getting things done.  I'm sure some of you are grumbling right now about
only having "one person handle CAP".  But my understanding is that CAP volume into AAFES is fairly light and one person is all they need.

If the order was released by the operator, you should receive it without further intervention, if it goes to manual, I would suggest calling back and checking on it in a day or so.

As I said, I have also, in the past, called AAFES stores directly and ordered things through the store, shipped direct.

Walking you through this process makes it seem more complicated than it really is.  Dot the "I's",
cross the "T's" and be a little patient and this will not be a big deal.

Please reserve your comments to corrections or updates to procedures based on your recent
experience.  Save nonsense about this being too complicated,  or we're second class citizens, blah, blah, blah for other threads.


« Last Edit: March 10, 2006, 04:19:11 AM by Eclipse » Logged

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SKYKING607
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« Reply #1 on: March 10, 2006, 01:02:20 PM »

Thank you for the reminder.

It's needed!
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alexalvarez
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« Reply #2 on: March 10, 2006, 01:24:00 PM »

Thanks for the information. I just submitted a question about AAFES before I saw your posting.
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Ch, Lt. Col., Alex Alvarez
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addo1
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TRIXATION ILLUSIONS
« Reply #3 on: December 17, 2009, 11:25:47 PM »

I know this is an old topic, but I decided to post here instead of starting up a new useless thread. It was mentioned below that we were not authorized to purchase uniforms online.. If that is the case, what is up with the following quote from the AAFES website?

"If you can shop for retail merchandise at your local Exchange, you are authorized to order from the Catalog and Exchange Online Store."

I probably missed something and that is fine, but I was just wondering...
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Addison Jaynes, SFO, CAP
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arajca
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« Reply #4 on: December 17, 2009, 11:49:46 PM »

CAP members cannot shop for retail merchandise (except in very limited instances), therefore cannot use the online store. Retail merchandise includes such stuff as you'd find a WalMart or similar stores, minus food. That does not include uniform items.

CAP members are not enrolled in DEERS, which is what AAFES uses to verify eligibility.
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Spike
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« Reply #5 on: December 17, 2009, 11:50:01 PM »

^ CAP is not allowed to "shop for retail merchandise".  We are allowed to buy specific items (military clothing manufactured by an Army/AF contractor), which meets strict guidelines.  It used to be Exchanges carried no Military Clothing or Accessories.  You had to walk over to the Military Clothing Sales Store.  Today many exchanges co-operate with the MCSS store inside the exchange. 

Exchanges and MCSS use different inventory tracking systems, and are audited separately.  So, buying a television is not allowed (buying from AAFES Exchange) buying an AF belt (buying from MCSS) is.  It is complicated to see how it works to a non accounting/ business operations type person. 

We are afforded the buying power for MCSS merchandise (and restricted even more so, to just uniform items that are approved by CAP-USAF)

You can register on AAFES on line to buy AAFES gift cards for military members etc., but that registration does not carry with it buying power on the entire site.  WHICH BTW if they can do that, they surely can setup a way for CAP to buy ONLY uniform items on line! 
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addo1
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« Reply #6 on: December 17, 2009, 11:53:40 PM »

^ Thanks guys for the detailed explaination. I was confused, but it makes sense now.


  WHICH BTW if they can do that, they surely can setup a way for CAP to buy ONLY uniform items on line! 


That would surely be wonderful.
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Addison Jaynes, SFO, CAP
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AlphaSigOU
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The Kwaj Drafter!
« Reply #7 on: December 18, 2009, 01:28:37 AM »

While I am stationed overseas as a 'silly-vilian' contractor here on Kwajalein, I have full exchange, commissary and MWR privileges, as well as online access to the All-Services Exchange online - with the exception of military clothing section; I can look all I want but can't place an order in that section. I may do the phone order request, but since there is no CAP on Kwaj I'll wait to buy what I need at the MCSS stateside or at Hickam when I'm on home leave in July.

The only time CAP members are allowed to shop at the brick-and-mortar retail exchanges is when they are occupying government quarters (billeting) under a military support authorization (MSA). Even then, commissary and Class VI is off limits.
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SarDragon
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« Reply #8 on: December 18, 2009, 01:37:21 AM »

FYI, commissaries and exchanges operate as separate and independent entities. DECA != AFEES != NEX != MCX.

Commissaries are appropriated funds activities; exchanges are not.
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Dave Bowles
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Hawk200
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« Reply #9 on: December 18, 2009, 01:37:54 AM »

Even then, commissary and Class VI is off limits.
That's where having a military ID is handy.
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Eclipse
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« Reply #10 on: December 18, 2009, 11:50:02 AM »

Putting this here as well:  http://hq.group22.net/files/AAFES_cat_scan_Mar_2008_sm.pdf

If the link goes down, PM me.

I had an off-handed conversation with a member last night who says he was told by AAFES that he needed his Commander's approval to buy from AAFES, and we weren't allowed to shop at MCSS stores.

Neither is the case (with the caveat that a local commander could block CAP access to a respective base, seperate from the MCSS discussion).
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Nick
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« Reply #11 on: December 18, 2009, 02:26:58 PM »

I had an off-handed conversation with a member last night who says he was told by AAFES that he needed his Commander's approval to buy from AAFES, and we weren't allowed to shop at MCSS stores.
In "hostile territory" like that, it wouldn't hurt to carry around a copy of page 23 from AR 215-8 (http://www.army.mil/usapa/epubs/pdf/r215_8.pdf).  Table 6-2 helps clarify that a bit (although I wish they would fix it to read "CAP members" instead of "CAP cadets").
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Nicholas McLarty, Lt Col, CAP
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Eclipse
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« Reply #12 on: December 18, 2009, 02:53:00 PM »

Ditto for AFI-2701, www.af.mil/shared/media/epubs/AFI10-2701.pdf
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The CyBorg is destroyed
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« Reply #13 on: December 18, 2009, 07:20:46 PM »

I had an off-handed conversation with a member last night who says he was told by AAFES that he needed his Commander's approval to buy from AAFES, and we weren't allowed to shop at MCSS stores.

Was this member trying to shop online or at a brick-and-mortar shop?  Did he ask to speak to someone in management?

I've never been refused access to an MCSS.  Fortunately, the ones I've gone to have been on bases with a fairly significant CAP presence, so they know us.

Making nice to everyone you see in the MCSS, military and civilian, certainly doesn't hurt, either.
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JoeTomasone
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« Reply #14 on: December 20, 2009, 10:48:24 AM »

Apparently civilian contractors are permitted as well.  I just tried and am now happily shopping.  :)
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Spike
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« Reply #15 on: December 20, 2009, 11:27:38 AM »

Apparently civilian contractors are permitted as well.  I just tried and am now happily shopping.  :)

It is up to the Base/ Post/ Station Commander who gets Exchange privileges.

If you have an awesome Base Commnader, your CAP unit can do whatever they want from eating in the DFAC to watching movies in the Theater. 

One stipulation was that I have to "highly recommend" my Members join the Officers club.  It's like 45 dollars a year, and has so many benefits its silly not to join.
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PHall
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« Reply #16 on: December 20, 2009, 11:44:03 AM »

Apparently civilian contractors are permitted as well.  I just tried and am now happily shopping.  :)

It is up to the Base/ Post/ Station Commander who gets Exchange privileges.

If you have an awesome Base Commnader, your CAP unit can do whatever they want from eating in the DFAC to watching movies in the Theater. 

One stipulation was that I have to "highly recommend" my Members join the Officers club.  It's like 45 dollars a year, and has so many benefits its silly not to join.

Yeah, I bet having CAP members joining the Officers Club will work real nice until one of two things happens.

1. A CAP member gets popped for DUI after attendining an event at the club.

2. A "regular" member of the club (probably a retiree) has a problem with CAP members being allowed to be a member of "their" club.
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Eclipse
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« Reply #17 on: December 20, 2009, 12:24:55 PM »

1. A CAP member gets popped for DUI after attendining an event at the club.

If I found out something like that happened, I'd probably request that the wing CC punch his ticket immediately, but with that said, why would a CAP member, or anyone else getting a DUI (or other infraction) on base be any "different".  Members of the military and civilian contractors get nailed everyday all over the place.

This attitude that we're always on eggshells isn't right.
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JoeTomasone
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« Reply #18 on: December 20, 2009, 12:55:07 PM »

Apparently civilian contractors are permitted as well.  I just tried and am now happily shopping.  :)

It is up to the Base/ Post/ Station Commander who gets Exchange privileges.


I'm in Iraq; everyone (American) here has access to AAFES brick-and-mortar; I wasn't sure if that extended to the online world though.
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Spike
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« Reply #19 on: December 20, 2009, 01:00:26 PM »

1. A CAP member gets popped for DUI after attendining an event at the club.

If I found out something like that happened, I'd probably request that the wing CC punch his ticket immediately, but with that said, why would a CAP member, or anyone else getting a DUI (or other infraction) on base be any "different".  Members of the military and civilian contractors get nailed everyday all over the place.

This attitude that we're always on eggshells isn't right.

Agreed!  Plus a DUI on a federal installation is a Federal Crime.  The US District attorney prosecutes, not the local municipality. 

I'm in Iraq; everyone (American) here has access to AAFES brick-and-mortar; I wasn't sure if that extended to the online world though.

It does not extend to online.  Contractors do not have the benefit. 
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