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FORT LEE, Va. -- Patrick Nixon was named director of the Defense Commissary Agency last week, reinforcing the Department of Defense's ongoing commitment to integrate career executives into the top leadership ranks of the department.
"Along with general/flag officers, our senior civilian executives are part of the integrated leadership team responsible for executing the department's 21st century strategy for the defense of this nation," said Dr. David Chu, undersecretary of defense, personnel, and readiness. "Nixon's quality and caliber of executive civilian leadership will contribute significantly toward achieving our vital DoD mission."
Nixon, with more than 40 years of retail experience involving every facet of grocery marketing, has served with the military commissary community since 1983. He has held a number of senior positions within DeCA since its activation in 1991, most recently as the agency's c.e.o. since 2001. He was appointed its acting director in August 2004. Previously Nixon served with the U.S. Army Troop Support Agency and the Marine Corps Commissary System, representing the Marine Corps on the Jones Commission Study of the Military Commissary System, which ultimately lead to the consolidation of the commissary commands for the four separate services into the Defense Commissary Agency.
A native of Washington, D.C., Nixon graduated with honors in 1972 from the University of Maryland, College Park, Md., earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in philosophy and political theory. He earned a juris doctor degree in 1978 from the University of Baltimore School of Law and has completed graduate studies with the European Institute of Public Administration in Brussels, Belgium, and Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Corporate Governance from the Tulane University School of Law and the University's Freeman School of Business.
Nixon's service has been recognized on numerous occasions including the Presidential Rank Award for Meritorious Senior Executives and Professionals, the Secretary of Defense Medal for Meritorious Civilian Service, the Senior Executive Service Exceptional Performance Award, the Navy Meritorious Civilian Service Award, the Army Commanders Award for Civilian Service, and various military decorations including the Navy Achievement Medal with "V" device for valor and the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry.
Nixon served a three-year tour as an enlisted Marine that included a 21-month tour in Vietnam.
The Defense Commissary Agency operates a worldwide chain of commissaries providing groceries to military personnel, retirees, and their families in a safe and secure shopping environment. Authorized patrons purchase items at cost plus a 5-percent surcharge, which covers the costs of building new commissaries and modernizing existing ones.
Shoppers save an average of 30 percent or more on their purchases compared to commercial prices -- savings worth about $2,700 annually for a family of four, according to DeCA.