SCHOFIELD BARRACKS, Hawaii -- A new policy requiring that military ID cards be checked at the commissary's entrance and cash registers, here, starts Jan. 2.

Also, authorized patrons will be limited to two guests.

The current practice is an open policy. Any authorized user's guest can enter the commissary, although purchases must be made by an authorized ID card holder.

The new policy is the result of a recommendation made at the recent Army Family Action Plan conference, here, in October.

Issues about commissary overcrowding, abuse of privileges and a reduced inventory were discussed at the conference. One of the working groups recommended that ID cards be checked at the entrance and checkout counter to limit access.

Lt. Gen. Francis Wiercinski, commander, U.S. Army-Pacific, who attended the report-out, agreed with the group's recommendation.

"A decision was made by the U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii to check IDs at the door and limit two guests per ID card holder," said Col. Douglas Mulbury, commander, USAG-HI. "This decision was based on a survey conducted by the garrison's Plans, Analysis and Integration Office."

PAIO conducted the survey Nov. 9, 12 and 15. Survey participants were patrons who voluntarily showed authorized ID cards and/or wore an active duty uniform.

Of the 424 surveys issued, 409 were valid surveys.

At least 377 responses were required to obtain a 95 percent confidence level with a +/- 5 percent margin of error, according to the survey conducted by USAG-HI.

Participants completed a written four-question survey regarding status, service, neighborhood and preference to checking IDs at the door. Participants were asked about their preferences for the Commissary:

•Check for ID cards at the door and no guests allowed.

•Check for ID cards at the door and guests sign in.

•Check for ID cards at the door and guests accompany the ID cardholder.

•Check for ID cards at time of purchase only and guests accompany (authorized ID cardholders).

According to the survey, 63 percent of those affiliated with the Army preferred to check ID cards at the door as opposed to 37 percent who said to check at the cash register.

"The implementation of the ID checks and limiting guests are what the majority of our customers have requested," Mulbury said. "The garrison has listened and these changes reflect your requests. We ask for your patience and understanding as we implement this new process."

Signs advising patrons of the new policy will be posted by Dec. 9 at the front door and at all exits.