AAFES honored for AER support

A man in a suit accepts an Army Emergency Relief award from another man in a suit and a U.S. Army general.

Marisa Conner | Army & Air Force Exchange Service | June 27, 2022

DALLAS– Army Emergency Relief is honoring the Army & Air Force Exchange Service with its 2022 Jack Ritchie Distinguished Service Award.

The Jack Ritchie Distinguished Service Award was established in 2014 and is named after an AER vice president for finance who served the organization for 43 years. Recipients must “champion the AER mission of providing financial assistance to Soldiers and their families.”

To date, Exchange shoppers have donated more than $3.4 million to AER, which provides financial assistance, sponsors scholarships for military family members and offers community programs to make life better for Soldiers and their families.

Tom Shull, Exchange Director/CEO, accepted the award from Gen. Joseph Martin, Army Vice Chief of Staff, and retired Lt. Gen. Raymond Mason, AER director, on behalf of the Exchange team at a special ceremony at the Pentagon.

“The AER and Exchange are fully aligned in their missions to strengthen the Quality of Life of Soldiers and their families,” Shull said. “The Exchange deeply appreciates the incredible work the AER team does for Army families. Team Exchange is truly honored to do its part to support such an incredible organization.”

In 2017, the Exchange, the Department of Defense’s largest retailer, partnered with AER to enable donations at Exchange stores and ShopMyExchange.com during special donation periods. In 2020, the Exchange implemented the giving option year-round in its stores and online. The result was a 1,000 percent increase in donations — as many Soldiers, retirees and Army families were turning to AER for assistance during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We cannot thank AAFES enough for partnering with Army Emergency Relief to support our Soldiers in need,” Mason said. “AAFES epitomizes what Mr. Jack Ritchie’s Distinguished Service Award is all about: dedication to our Soldiers and their families. AAFES is now the eighth recipient of the award since its induction in 2014, and led by CEO Tom Shull, we are proud to be affiliated both in garrison and all around the world with such a deserving and outstanding organization. Congratulation to AAFES, Tom and all his amazing employees who help make Soldiers’ lives easier.”


Since 1895, the Army & Air Force Exchange Service (Exchange) has gone where Soldiers, Airmen, Guardians and their families go to improve the quality of their lives by providing valued goods and services at exclusive military pricing. The Exchange is the 54th-largest retailer in the United States. 100% of Exchange earnings support military communities. In the last 10 years, your Exchange benefit has provided $3.5 billion in earnings for critical military Quality-of-Life programs. The Exchange is a non-appropriated fund entity of the Department of Defense and is directed by a Board of Directors. The Exchange is a 50th Anniversary Vietnam War Commemorative Partner, planning and conducting events and activities that recognize the service, valor and sacrifice of Vietnam Veterans and their families in conjunction with the United States of America Vietnam War Commemoration. To find out more about the Exchange history and mission or to view recent press releases please visit our website at http://www.shopmyexchange.com or follow us on Twitter at https://twitter.com/ExchangePAO.