For best small store, the Dugway commissary competed against approximately 50 small stores in the lower 48. For the sales increase award, it competed against eight similarly sized stores. Sales at the Dugway Commissary totaled $982,290 in Fiscal Year 2019, a 9.98% increase over the previous year, according to Derek McNamara, manager.

Approximately 425 residents live on post; most of its civilian work force commutes 40 to 90 miles each way. Because of their remote living, civilian and contractor residents of Dugway are allowed to shop at the Dugway Commissary.

"It's nice coming to this team at Dugway because the small town atmosphere allows us to treat the customers like family," McNamara said, adding that they hope to reach $1 million in sales in FY2020.

The Richard M. Paget Award for the best small commissary in the continental U.S. was announced in September by DeCA, an agency of the U.S. Department of Defense. The award is based on location, commissary size and DeCA's strict criteria for customer service, accountability, safety, operations and sales.

It is named in honor of Richard M. Paget, a government official who protected the commissary benefit, and championed quality-of-life issues, for the military and their families.

DeCA operates nearly 240 commissaries worldwide and employs more than 18,000 civilians in 14 countries. Utah has only two DeCA commissaries, the small one at Dugway and a large one at Hill Air Force Base in Ogden. The Hill AFB commissary, approximately 130 miles from Dugway, supplies the small commissary two or three times a week.

Dugway Proving Ground is a remote Army post of nearly 800,000 acres in the desert of northwestern Utah. Its primary mission is to test defenses -- gas masks, detectors, air filtration systems, etc. -- against chemical and biological agents. Conventional training with artillery and vehicles, and testing of Unmanned Aircraft Systems, are also conducted.