Bianchi receives DOD Distinguished Civilian Service Award
FORT LEE, Va. – Retired Rear Adm. Robert J. Bianchi, Chief Executive Officer of the Navy Exchange Service Command (NEXCOM) and Department of Defense (DOD) Special Assistant to ASD (M&RA) for Commissary Operations was honored with the DOD Distinguished Civilian Service Award at the 64th Annual Distinguished Civilian Service Award ceremony held at the Pentagon on Nov. 14.
Bianchi was recognized for his ongoing exceptional efforts and unparalleled leadership across two global organizations, the Defense Commissary Agency (DeCA) and the NEXCOM Enterprise which has a combined global workforce of 29,000 employees and annual budget of $10 billion. He continues to serve in both roles and remains committed to their mission.
“I am honored to have received this award on behalf of all the personnel who work for both NEXCOM and DeCA,” said Bianchi. “I feel very fortunate that the work we continue to do each and every day directly impacts the quality of life for our service members and their families around the world. I’m excited for the opportunities that lie ahead as we continue to cultivate new ideas and bring our deserving customers the benefits they’ve earned.”
Bianchi has grown NEXCOM’s eCommerce business by 20 percent through stronger online penetration, overseas sales focus, a ship-to-store program, investment in key brands and enhanced and targeted digital marketing. His ability to leverage technology to improve the customer experience resulted in a 43-percent increase in social media engagements, a 38-percent increase in online accounts and 42-percent growth in email listings. Additionally, under his leadership, NEXCOM has contributed more than $269 million to Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR), with over $56.1 million being contributed since 2017.
As the current DOD special assistant for commissary operations, Bianchi is credited with leading the agency that provides a commissary benefit for an estimated 5.4 million authorized recipients. Commissary patrons echoed the benefit’s value when they responded to a Consumer Reports readership survey that ranked commissaries among the best grocery retailers in the United States. Commissaries received stellar marks for competitiveness of prices, store cleanliness and variety of international products. They were also noted for checkout speed, meat and poultry quality and store brand quality. Bianchi’s leadership enabled the commissary to increase patron savings from 23.7 percent to 26 percent in the third quarter of FY 2019.
The DoD Distinguished Civilian Service Award is the highest recognition DOD can award an employee. It is presented to a small number of civilian employees whose careers reflect exceptional devotion to duty and significant contributions of broad scope in policy, scientific, technical or administrative fields that increase effectiveness and efficiency.
PHOTO CAPTION: Retired Rear Adm. Robert J. Bianchi, (center) Chief Executive Officer of the Navy Exchange Service Command (NEXCOM) and Department of Defense (DOD) Special Assistant to ASD (M&RA) for Commissary Operations, receives the DOD Distinguished Civilian Service Award from Lisa W. Hershman, Deputy Chief Management Officer and Performing the Duties of the Chief Management Officer of the Department of Defense and Robert L. Wood, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary (M&RA). (DOD photo)
About DeCA: 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. Commissaries provide a military benefit, saving authorized patrons thousands of dollars annually on their purchases compared to similar products at commercial retailers. The discounted prices include a 5-percent surcharge, which covers the costs of building new commissaries and modernizing existing ones. A core military family support element, and a valued part of military pay and benefits, commissaries contribute to family readiness, enhance the quality of life for America’s military and their families, and help recruit and retain the best and brightest men and women to serve their country.
About NEXCOM: The Navy Exchange Service Command is one of 11commands under Commander, NAVSUP. NEXCOM oversees 100 NEX facilities and nearly 300 stores worldwide, 39 Navy Lodges, the Ships Store Program, the Uniform Program Management Office, the Navy Clothing and Textile Research Facility and the Telecommunications Program Office. NEXCOM’s mission is to provide authorized customers quality goods and services at a savings and to support Navy quality of life programs for active duty military, retirees, reservists and their families. NEXs and Navy Lodges operate primarily as a non-appropriated fund business instrumentality. NEX revenues generated are used to support Navy Morale, Welfare, and Recreation programs. Since 1946, NEXCOM has given $3.6 billion to Navy MWR quality of life programs. Shop online at myNavyExchange.com.