Brig. Gen. Milford "Beags" Beagle, Jr., U.S. Army Training Center and Fort Jackson Commander, and Post Command Sgt. Maj. Jerimiah Gan recently held a town hall meeting with post residents to discuss installation hot topics.

As part of the town hall, the following question was posed:

"How are the Army & Air Force Exchange Service's simplified dividends used to help the installation?"

Bottom Line: ASD are deposited into a single account where it loses its source identity and is used to operate and fund unprofitable activities with available non-appropriated funds based on the wants and needs of the community.

"A hundred percent of Exchange earnings support the military community," said Thomas Kuttamperoor, general manager of Fort Jackson's Exchange. Sixty percent of the money supports "quality of life programs critical to maintaining force readiness and resiliency, including Army Child Development Centers, Youth Services and fitness centers, outdoor recreation and more." He added, all remaining Exchange earnings are reinvested to enhance the customer experience.

In Fiscal Year 2018, $1,415,936 of Fort Jackson Exchange earnings went to quality-of-life programs, he added. These numbers may vary from official Garrison numbers due to differences in fiscal year structures used by the entities. AAFES fiscal years run from Feb. 1 to Jan. 31, while Garrison uses an Oct. 1 to Sept. 31 schedule.

"All revenue is deposited into a single cash account where it loses its source identity," said Christine Voegele, chief of the Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation's Non-appropriated Funds Support Services. ASD "supports requirements in direct operations of the Non-Appropriated Fund Instrumentality and provides for capital reinvestment needs."

Both AAFES and FMWR are NAFI entities.

Voegele said the "one-fund concept" allows commanders to operate and fund unprofitable activities with available NAF funds based on the wants and needs of the community.

This means commanders may support unfunded or underfunded authorized programs with ASD funds.

ASD subsidize shortfalls in unprofitable Category A and B activities and for capital reinvestment. Category A activities are those mission supporting and sustaining operations such as 24-hour physical fitness centers, indoor pools, recreation centers, BOSS programs, and parks/picnic areas above baseline requirements.

Category B activities are those community support programs with a limited ability to generate revenue. These include Child Development Centers, Victory Travel, outdoor recreation, entertainment, arts and crafts, bowling areas, etc.

Reinvestment needs "include a myriad of furniture, fixture and equipment to sustain operations in any of the Family and MWR programs," Voegele said.

In the past these dividends were used to defray losses in Child, Youth Services, support fitness and outdoor recreation programs, and were reinvested into projects like replacing buses; building and repairing shades structures; upgrades to Family and MWR Facilities; building a new deck at Alpine Lodge; replacing pumps and filters at the miniature golf course; and repairing playgrounds around post.

"These programs directly support Army readiness by providing a variety of community, Soldier, and Family support activities and services," Voegele said. Included in this are social, fitness, recreational, educational, and other activities that enhance community life, foster Soldier and unit readiness, promote mental and physical fitness, and generally provide a working and living environment that attracts and retains quality Soldiers.

This Command Climate Survey comment card answer is a series. Check out future editions of the Fort Jackson Leader to see further comments answered. To submit your own survey comment card, send a message to the commanding general's Facebook page (@fortjacksoncommandinggeneral).