Following the release of a recent Department of Defense (DoD) directive, the Navy Exchange (NEX) and Marine Corps Exchange (MCX) will open their doors to active DoD civilians in the United States, U.S. territories and possessions on May 1, 2021. The expansion to new authorized shoppers is expected to increase the contribution to quality of life programs and greatly benefit the entire military community. In order to shop at a NEX or MCX on May 1, a customer will simply need to present a valid civilian Common Access Card (CAC) at the point of sale or at the door, where applicable. A DoD or Coast Guard civilian employee who has not been issued a CAC may shop at the military resale activity on the installation where they are employed by presenting an official proof of employment document dated within 12 months, and a valid government photo identification card.

            The DoD directive, dated April 12, extends in-store shopping access to active DoD and Coast Guard civilian employees at all military resale activities. Additionally, the directive grants military exchange online access to active and retired DoD and Coast Guard civilian employees by mid-October 2021. In September 2020, NEX and MCX transitioned to a unified online e-commerce portal for their joint patrons.

            “The mission of the Navy Exchange Service Command (NEXCOM) is as true today as it was when we were first established in 1946, to provide quality goods and services at a savings and to support Navy quality of life programs,” said retired Rear Adm. Robert J. Bianchi, CEO, NEXCOM. “This new authorized shopper expansion will help strengthen the support given to Morale, Welfare, and Recreation, directly benefitting the fleet and family in sustaining a ready and resilient force.”

            “Our civilian Marines are an integral part of our ability to support mission and keep our Marines and families fueled, prepped and supplied. This has never been demonstrated better than during the pandemic. The expansion of this benefit affords us the ability to also keep our civilian Marine support fueled, prepped and supplied as they work and interact daily on our bases and stations,” said Cindy Whitman Lacy, CEO of the Marine Corps’ Business and Support Services Division. “Enabling readiness is at the core of what we do. This new authorized shopper expansion to these civil servants who directly support services mission every day will also allow us to generate more dividends to support Marines, Sailors and Families.” 

            For those DoD or Coast Guard civilian employees who have not been issued a CAC, they may shop at military resale activity on the installation where they are employed with a valid government identification and official proof of employment document dated within the year. Acceptable proof of employment documents include Letter of Employment, SF-50, Personnel Action Report (Commander Navy Installations Command NAF), DA3434 (Army NAF), AF2454 (Air Force NAF), NAF-MCCS 500 (Marine Corps NAF), NX-129 (Navy Exchange Service Command NAF), or Exchange Form 1200-100 (Army and Air Force Exchange Service NAF). All of the new authorized civilian shoppers are restricted from purchasing alcohol offered in the package store, tobacco and uniform items.

            The new directive allows DoD and Coast Guard civilian employees in the United States and locally hired in the U.S. territories and possessions to shop in military exchange stores. While access for locally-hired DoD civilian employees in foreign countries is still limited by host nation laws and international agreements, those DoD civilian employees will be authorized to shop at military exchanges in the United States and the U.S. territories and possessions when they are traveling.

            Online exchange access is expected to be available by mid-October for active and retired DoD and Coast Guard civilian employees with a U.S. mailing address, including territories and possessions and APO and FPO addresses. The online exchanges cannot ship to local addresses in foreign countries. Online access to the NEX and MCX availability dates will be posted on MyNavyExchnage.com once online verification of eligibility is enabled.