Fort Benning AAFES general manager Marc Floyd has been united to both his wife Cindy and AAFES for 22 years.Floyd, 45, and his family left Andrews Air Force Base for the move to Georgia in October. The journey included the couple’s two daughters, Haley, 16, and Hannah, 7.
“They’ve adapted very well,” Floyd said. “The oldest is a sophomore in high school, so it was pretty difficult for her to leave her friends. The young one sees it as an adventure. We got here in October so they got into school right away. They also have technology to keep up with friends.”
During his career, Floyd served military families in 10 different locations. The diverse assignments, as far as Japan and Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland, include four stops in Texas and two in California. His career parallels that of the military population he serves.
“The travel is much like the military,” Floyd said. “Also you meet a lot of new people. I deal with the garrison commander (COL Thomas MacDonald). We work together to improve the quality of life at Fort Benning.”AAFES’s mission statement is simple, Floyd said.
“Our motto is ‘We serve the best customers in the world,’” he said.
“The Soldier is fighting on the front lines. The family members left behind are just as important. We serve members of the military, their families and retirees.”
As general manager, Floyd has wide-ranging duties.
“I oversee food, retail and service operations. The Post Exchange is like a department store and Shopettes are convenience stores,” Floyd said. “We have name brand fast foods and concessions, like barber and beauty shops, troop stores, dry cleaners and a UPS store.”
AAFES is a military command that falls under the Department of Defense.
“It’s different from the commissary,” Floyd said. “The commissary is run by a different agency and gets government funding.”
AAFES is more like a community store, he said.
“After expenses, 70 cents of every dollar earned goes back to Family Morale Welfare and Recreation,” Floyd said.
“FMWR handles all of the quality of life activities on the installation, such as dining clubs for the military, pools, the fitness center and bowling. The other 30 cents is put back into capital expenditures.”
Of all the arms of AAFES that Floyd oversees, the Post Exchange is the largest.
“The PX is the biggest retail facility,” Floyd said. “The one at Fort Benning is only two years old, so it has the latest and greatest. There is a mall in front and a food court. It has a pharmacy. There’s also a furniture store on Main Post.”
Floyd and his department emphasize customer service.
“We do a market basket survey every other year,” Floyd said. “We save the average customer around 20 percent and we don’t charge tax.”
As AAFES celebrates its 115th anniversary, it continues to adapt. As an Air Force brat, Floyd began shopping as a dependent all over the world. AAFES mobilizes to serve its customers.
“Volunteers from AAFES form contingency operations,” Floyd said. “We have 400 volunteers in Afghanistan, Baghdad and Kuwait, from hourly employees to management. Before September 11, they were under tents, but now are in buildings. We even have mobile Burger Kings to bring them a taste of home.”
AAFES is divided into six regions worldwide, with its headquarters in Dallas. Fort Benning is in the eastern region. The Army and Air Force share one exchange service and the Navy, Marines and Coast Guard each has its own.