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Gunsotsu
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Posts: 127

« Reply #40 on: April 03, 2019, 11:50:06 PM »

OCPs are likely a 2025-2030 conversation at best.

And by then the ever ADHD Ma Blue will have moved on to the next shiny new thing and CAP will once again be asking these same questions.

Lather.
Rinse.
Repeat.
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Eclipse
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« Reply #41 on: April 03, 2019, 11:58:28 PM »

Weird, right?
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Stonewall
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« Reply #42 on: April 26, 2019, 10:06:13 PM »

Was just at the Wright-Patt MCSS on base to inquire about ABU hat again. She said “we can only sell what we have on the shelf and that’s it, no new ABU stuff coming.”

So, MCSS will no longer be a legit source for our uniforms once again?

*sigh*

Cotton non-colorfast offshore outfits for us, its seems.

Was at Wright-Patt's MCSS yesterday where they have a big sign that says "Starting 15 May we will be selling OCPs."

ABUs are barely on the shelf.  They got an order in of size Extra-YUGE ABU hats and don't even have sage green boots available; its all coyote boots from here on out.

Buh-bye ABUs.
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shuman14
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« Reply #43 on: April 29, 2019, 09:01:22 PM »

Quote
Buh-bye ABUs.

 :clap:
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Joseph J. Clune
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INARNG: 1992 - 1993, 1998 - 2000       USCGAux: 2004 - Present
Stonewall
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« Reply #44 on: May 20, 2019, 01:05:51 PM »

So, not only are ABUs scarce at the MCSS on base, I just went to AAFES online and they only offered three size options for ABU pants. I was hoping to buy the next size up for my son to grow in to, but alas, his sizes were not available. Gotta be mega round or mega long.

Apparently, I did buy the LAST size 7 1/8 ABU hat available at AAFES.
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MSG Mac
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« Reply #45 on: May 25, 2019, 01:01:29 AM »

The question of Online access to AFEES was asked and answered at the 2019 Winter Conference:


 Can we have the option to purchase ABUs from AAFES as a secondary source in addition to Vanguard as defined in CAPR 39-1? Since we're to transition to ABUs by 2021 our ability to acquire these uniforms is somewhat limited for units not conveniently located near an AAFES clothing sales facility.  CAPR 39-1, Chapter 1, para 1.3, subparagraph 1.3.2.1 and 1.3.2.2 addresses our ability as CAP members to purchase ABUs from the online AAFES catalog sales. Unfortunately, this has not been possible for the online ordering system does not recognize “CAP only” members as a viable customer for ordering uniforms. This needs to be addressed by National Headquarters to resolve this access with AAFES. Even calling the 800 number did not result in our ability to access their system and was told we're not eligible to purchase through this online system.
 
Answer:  AAFES changed their order processing system some time ago and can no longer accommodate the previous system for validating CAP membership and accepting fax or phone orders.  AAFES is a commercial vendor that serves millions of customers and unfortunately, customizing their system to accommodate our very fluid membership is a cost prohibitive option.  We’ve had a number of discussions with them, but so far have not been able to come up with a solution.  Their last proposal involved identifying one member in each unit who would make all purchases for the unit with his/her personal credit card.  The authorized purchaser for the unit would only be able to be updated annually.  While this option was not feasible, we will continue to look for other accommodations.  Unfortunately there is no quick solution to this issue.
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Michael P. McEleney
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SAREXinNY
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« Reply #46 on: May 25, 2019, 07:48:07 PM »

The question of Online access to AFEES was asked and answered at the 2019 Winter Conference:


 Can we have the option to purchase ABUs from AAFES as a secondary source in addition to Vanguard as defined in CAPR 39-1? Since we're to transition to ABUs by 2021 our ability to acquire these uniforms is somewhat limited for units not conveniently located near an AAFES clothing sales facility.  CAPR 39-1, Chapter 1, para 1.3, subparagraph 1.3.2.1 and 1.3.2.2 addresses our ability as CAP members to purchase ABUs from the online AAFES catalog sales. Unfortunately, this has not been possible for the online ordering system does not recognize “CAP only” members as a viable customer for ordering uniforms. This needs to be addressed by National Headquarters to resolve this access with AAFES. Even calling the 800 number did not result in our ability to access their system and was told we're not eligible to purchase through this online system.
 
Answer:  AAFES changed their order processing system some time ago and can no longer accommodate the previous system for validating CAP membership and accepting fax or phone orders.  AAFES is a commercial vendor that serves millions of customers and unfortunately, customizing their system to accommodate our very fluid membership is a cost prohibitive option.  We’ve had a number of discussions with them, but so far have not been able to come up with a solution.  Their last proposal involved identifying one member in each unit who would make all purchases for the unit with his/her personal credit card.  The authorized purchaser for the unit would only be able to be updated annually.  While this option was not feasible, we will continue to look for other accommodations.  Unfortunately there is no quick solution to this issue.

Thank you. I was wondering what the issue was with AAFES. It's instances like this where I wish the AF would stand up and start raising a stink. I have senior members in my unit who are unable to get a dress uniform jacket due to this mess.
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abdsp51
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« Reply #47 on: May 25, 2019, 08:15:44 PM »

The question of Online access to AFEES was asked and answered at the 2019 Winter Conference:


 Can we have the option to purchase ABUs from AAFES as a secondary source in addition to Vanguard as defined in CAPR 39-1? Since we're to transition to ABUs by 2021 our ability to acquire these uniforms is somewhat limited for units not conveniently located near an AAFES clothing sales facility.  CAPR 39-1, Chapter 1, para 1.3, subparagraph 1.3.2.1 and 1.3.2.2 addresses our ability as CAP members to purchase ABUs from the online AAFES catalog sales. Unfortunately, this has not been possible for the online ordering system does not recognize “CAP only” members as a viable customer for ordering uniforms. This needs to be addressed by National Headquarters to resolve this access with AAFES. Even calling the 800 number did not result in our ability to access their system and was told we're not eligible to purchase through this online system.
 
Answer:  AAFES changed their order processing system some time ago and can no longer accommodate the previous system for validating CAP membership and accepting fax or phone orders.  AAFES is a commercial vendor that serves millions of customers and unfortunately, customizing their system to accommodate our very fluid membership is a cost prohibitive option.  We’ve had a number of discussions with them, but so far have not been able to come up with a solution.  Their last proposal involved identifying one member in each unit who would make all purchases for the unit with his/her personal credit card.  The authorized purchaser for the unit would only be able to be updated annually.  While this option was not feasible, we will continue to look for other accommodations.  Unfortunately there is no quick solution to this issue.

Thank you. I was wondering what the issue was with AAFES. It's instances like this where I wish the AF would stand up and start raising a stink. I have senior members in my unit who are unable to get a dress uniform jacket due to this mess.

AAFES doesn't belong to the AF.  It's a seperate entity and when it comes to AAFES there are bigger issues to deal with.  If you're having issues getting uniform items from AAFES I'm sure there are plenty of dual hat members around the country who'd be willing to help. 
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Eclipse
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« Reply #48 on: May 25, 2019, 08:18:37 PM »

I have senior members in my unit who are unable to get a dress uniform jacket due to this mess.

http://www.uniforms-4u.com/p-us-air-force-officer-service-dress-uniform-9957.aspx

This isn't "news", the issue has been discussed here for years, ever since AAFES changed their call center provider
and decided they didn't need to accommodate CAP.
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SAREXinNY
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« Reply #49 on: May 25, 2019, 11:52:07 PM »

I have senior members in my unit who are unable to get a dress uniform jacket due to this mess.

http://www.uniforms-4u.com/p-us-air-force-officer-service-dress-uniform-9957.aspx

This isn't "news", the issue has been discussed here for years, ever since AAFES changed their call center provider
and decided they didn't need to accommodate CAP.

It's news to me. I work two jobs, try to raise a 2 and 3 year old, and run a [darn] squadron. I've been asking my chain of command why my people can't order from AAFES and have never received much of an answer. I don't check this website often. So, I was saying thank you for sharing...even if it isn't 'news' to everyone else.

And yes, I have sent my officers to that website, but they average $50 more per jacket than AAFES.  It's frustrating, unnecessary, and easily fixable if the right people put their foot down.

$179.95 https://www.shopmyexchange.com/air-force-officer-service-dress-coat/1847029
$229.99 http://www.uniforms-4u.com/p-us-air-force-officer-service-dress-uniform-9957.aspx
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Fubar
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« Reply #50 on: May 26, 2019, 10:58:19 AM »

It's frustrating, unnecessary, and easily fixable if the right people put their foot down.

Totally agree it's frustrating, but easily fixable? I'm not big into the who's-who of CAP, but for the life of me I can't think of anyone in CAP with the necessary leverage over AAFES to "put their foot down" and fix the issue with how AAFES qualifies people to make online purchases from them.

Heck, even if CAP was a part of the Air Force the bureaucracy to fix this issue would be immense. Being a civilian organization, I place our odds between "never" and "hell freezes over" that AAFES will become interested in resolving this issue.

To me, AAFES refusing to serve CAP is just another bullet point in the argument CAP needs to move to a low-cost, readily available uniform all members can wear.
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SAREXinNY
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« Reply #51 on: May 26, 2019, 03:25:28 PM »

It's frustrating, unnecessary, and easily fixable if the right people put their foot down.

Totally agree it's frustrating, but easily fixable? I'm not big into the who's-who of CAP, but for the life of me I can't think of anyone in CAP with the necessary leverage over AAFES to "put their foot down" and fix the issue with how AAFES qualifies people to make online purchases from them.

Heck, even if CAP was a part of the Air Force the bureaucracy to fix this issue would be immense. Being a civilian organization, I place our odds between "never" and "hell freezes over" that AAFES will become interested in resolving this issue.

To me, AAFES refusing to serve CAP is just another bullet point in the argument CAP needs to move to a low-cost, readily available uniform all members can wear.

True, all of it, but I wasn't implying that the person that needs to put their foot down be a CAP member. If the right AF personnel were to start making some inquiries, it would be fixed.

AAFES is directed by a board of directors, and is overseen by the secretaries of the Army and Air Force through the Chiefs of Staff.
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abdsp51
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« Reply #52 on: May 26, 2019, 04:26:04 PM »

It's frustrating, unnecessary, and easily fixable if the right people put their foot down.

Totally agree it's frustrating, but easily fixable? I'm not big into the who's-who of CAP, but for the life of me I can't think of anyone in CAP with the necessary leverage over AAFES to "put their foot down" and fix the issue with how AAFES qualifies people to make online purchases from them.

Heck, even if CAP was a part of the Air Force the bureaucracy to fix this issue would be immense. Being a civilian organization, I place our odds between "never" and "hell freezes over" that AAFES will become interested in resolving this issue.

To me, AAFES refusing to serve CAP is just another bullet point in the argument CAP needs to move to a low-cost, readily available uniform all members can wear.

True, all of it, but I wasn't implying that the person that needs to put their foot down be a CAP member. If the right AF personnel were to start making some inquiries, it would be fixed.

AAFES is directed by a board of directors, and is overseen by the secretaries of the Army and Air Force through the Chiefs of Staff.

AAFES is headed by a 2 star not the service secretaries.  Between the services and AAFES there are bigger issues at play.  If you really think the AF can squeeze compliance out of AAFES you are horribly mistaken.
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NIN
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« Reply #53 on: May 26, 2019, 08:50:10 PM »

One thing you have to remember with Vanguard vs AAFES:

AAFES deals, in part, in DLATS (Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support)-procured or sourced issue items that are not available to Vanguard.

For example: When you buy the "issue-quality" male short-sleeve blue shirt from AAFES for $14.87, you're getting the same shirt that winds up the clothing bag of every male Airman to pass thru Lackland (same material, contract specifications, quality control, etc). 

That same "issue-quality" shirt from DLATS is not available for commercial purchase by Vanguard.

Instead, Vanguard sources what AAFES considers the "premium-quality" male short-sleeve blue shirt from the likes of Flying Cross. The one that costs $41.95 at the Exchange and $49.40 thru Vanguard. (likely because Vanguard doesn't buy with gov't contract rates or volume guarantees). Good thing they don't buy the Brooks Brother's shirts ($59.00 thru AAFES).

Its just the nature of the beast: Vanguard has no access to the DLATS contracted items and will never be able to come close to the AAFES pricing unless you want to start buying blues pants that have a "Dockers" label on them and don't meet the mil-spec.
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Spam
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« Reply #54 on: May 27, 2019, 01:59:08 AM »

Another thing to remember is that HQ CAP has no real reason to accept AAFES offers such as described above. You have to understand that Civil Air Patrol Inc has zero interest in under cutting the Vanguard sales numbers. NHQ gets a huge kick back in the six-figure range every year from Vanguard which they nominally apply to region activities. E.g. new pole barns in Pennsylvania Wing and subsidies for summmer cadet activities... That sort of thing.


While useful and laudable in terms of keeping a live source of unique bric a brac insignia while providing a sweet funding back line the line member never sees where their extra 50 bucks for a jacket goes for instance. How much exactly is profit. How much goes back to NHQ. What amounts by dollar that go to which activity (and how much if any "sticks" along the pipeline as a pass through cost). Reputable charities which i would hope CAP is one of do publish these numbers. When my office gets a USAF MIPR for example we expect to lose 3 percent as a contract pass through... Depends on the vehicle used.


Point being: theres no motivation for CAP to approve even that last fairly reasonable offer for a designee in each unit to place AAFES orders. So I dont see NHQ ever doing anything but slow rolling any such proposals.


Covince me otherwise someone... Please...


Vr
Spam





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Eclipse
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« Reply #55 on: May 27, 2019, 03:05:52 AM »

^ agree on this, with the caveat that for the most part the issue is items VG doesn't sell such as service coats (why VG
can't order them from AAFES escapes me).

The other two non-trivial pieces of this.

What we've been told is that this isn't AAFES, per se, but the phone vendor / call center taking AAFES orders.
They decided it was too much hassle to deal with CAP manual orders.

The other thing is that the reality is the number of members who were even aware of AAFES, let alone used it,
was likely so small as to be statically zero. 

Even in the salad days of "Rosie", few there knew what CAP even was. I only knew of a handful of people
who ever went through the trouble of the multi-step process of getting registered and then placing an order,
and frankly even when it worked it was more trouble then it was really worth.

The inability to call an MCSS and order through that channel was a much bigger loss then AAFES.  I ordered
custom made shirts and my service coat from the Scott MCSS.  The ladies down there were great!

Most NHQ personnel and leadership at higher levels have access to various MCSS locations.  There's not going to
be any change to current state until they close the store at Maxwell.
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Ned
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« Reply #56 on: May 27, 2019, 03:14:39 AM »

It is perhaps not all that surprising that a for profit business makes a profit on the items they sell.

Kinda like every other government contractor and business in the US. 

And the last time I checked, VG returns a licensing fee of 6%, and only on CAP-specific items.  Which is pretty much the standard in the industry.  Just like the businesses licensed to produce Scout uniforms, and similar organizations.

The volunteer leadership deliberately employs multiple avenues to put the required uniforms and insignia into the hands of the membership as efficiently and inexpensively as possible.  Members can buy uniforms from Walmart (aviator shirts and grey trousers), MCSS (most - but not all - members live within a couple hours drive), VG, and other commercial sources.  I know many cadets who get uniforms from non-traditional sources like DRMO (via authorized screening at the wing level), eBay,  donations from the unit, and even the Airman’s Attic (when authorized).

I don’t buy my uniforms from VG because I can get them cheaper elsewhere.  But I understand that not everyone has that choice.

We are always (always!) eager to hear ideas on how to provide less expensive uniforms and insignias.

And Bob, please remember that no one who works at NHQ wears a uniform, so the presence of multiple MCSSs at Maxwell does not seem to be much of a factor in this.

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Eclipse
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« Reply #57 on: May 27, 2019, 04:40:57 AM »

And Bob, please remember that no one who works at NHQ wears a uniform, so the presence of multiple MCSSs at Maxwell does not seem to be much of a factor in this.

No one said they did, I am speaking of the volunteer leadership.

However, you bring up a great point.

Namely, the volunteers have ready access to MCSS stores, and the paid ee's don't wear uniforms,
so at what point is there any pressure on the people who could actually bring some influence on the issue
vs. the rank and file who, in your own example, have to drive "hours" to buy some uniform parts.

And FWIW, I think that is a benevolent / optimistic statement at best.  From my personal experience,
by far the vast majority of members do not have access to a USAF base, and never, during their
entire CAP career ever set foot on a military installation of any kind.

For the majority of members, MCSS might as well be AAFES as it is a non-factor.  They are stuck with
VG and whatever they can find at surplus or online.

"Good luck with that" is hardly the proper way for a military auxiliary to source uniforms for it's members,
doubly so when you consider those members are paying for them.

The AFIs and CAP regs call out AAFES as a source, it clearly isn't.  One or the other should be changed to reflect that.

At a minimum, if VG is going to be the sole and official uniform supplier for CAP, it should be contractually obligated
to provide the entire uniform.  AAFES may not be able (or care to) deal with rank and file members, but if
the official uniform source for the Air Force can't find a way to work with the official uniform source for the Air Force Auxiliary,
something is very wrong.
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chuckmilam
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« Reply #58 on: May 27, 2019, 12:25:38 PM »

I wonder if those Brooks Brothers shirts are worth the price.
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NIN
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« Reply #59 on: May 27, 2019, 06:01:52 PM »

I wonder if those Brooks Brothers shirts are worth the price.
Only if you find it in Goodwill
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Darin Ninness, Lt Col, CAP
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