After a change in Department of Defense policy, the Army & Air Force Exchange Service is opening its doors to DoD and Coast Guard civilian employees at Fort Hood, starting May 1. The DoD announced the policy change April 29. Access to will start later this year.

Opening exchange access to DoD and Coast Guard civilian employees working on installations will improve dividends to quality-of-life programs, leverage the military exchanges’ buying power and strengthen the Exchange benefit for Soldiers, Airmen and Guardians —past, present and future.

“Shopping the Exchange brings convenience to civilians working on installations,” said Exchange Director/CEO Tom Shull. “They can stop by the Exchange for essentials on breaks or to and from work instead of shopping outside of the gate — and 100% of Exchange earnings go right back to the military community.”

Tax-free shopping is authorized for active DoD and Coast Guard appropriated fund and non-appropriated civilian employees in the United States and the U.S. territories and possessions. Retired DoD and Coast Guard civilian employees will have access to online exchange shopping later this year. Roughly 575,000 civilian stateside employees will gain the benefit.