TA, NAAFI Ration Cards and Shopping Permits

#1
I’m stationed at JHQ and over the last few months we have a steady trickle of TA soldiers staging through on the way to the Gulf. As a former PSI I know most of my fellow tradesmen and enjoy seeing them again over a beer or three. The other day I decided to take an old mate around JHQ prior to him deploying. We had a coffee in the NAAFI then he told me that he needed some tooth paste and boot polish so we entered the NAAFI food hall to purchase the said items.

At the till he was asked for his ID card then his NAAFI Ration card, this also acts as a “Shopping Permit” imagine the embarrassment as he was refused service! I argued the point and stated that I could understand if he was purchasing spirits in great quantity but to refuse a soldier on his way to an operational tour the services that the NAAFI was set up to provide is a mockery of the system. Yes we all understand rules, but common sense surely must provable?

Some rules need to desperately be revued, I have read all the party line referring to the agreement between Germany and HMF, and I think this is nonsense when it comes down to supporting our troops. I took this up with the NAAFI manager and my own unit and was told that I could purchase the goods for him. Is this the way forward? Are TA soldier’s second class soldiers who can be treated this way?
 
#2
Are you telling me that in this day and age you still get issued NAAFI ration cards!!! 8O 8O I thought that would have gone out with the Ark.

As for the TA person, I guess rules are rules, no matter how rediculous they are. The person at the check-out must have been a "jobs worth" type of person......no heart at all.
 
#3
What makes this even more ludicrous is that relatives visiting from UK can be issued with NAAFI shopping permits by the Unit Families Office. The system was originally designed to prevent locals buying tax-free goods. Oddly, if the TA soldier had gone to the American or Dutch PXs he only would only have to produce his ID card to get served!

The US military have a system which would probably work in these situations. Basically, to use the commissary you have to show you are entitled; this is usually done with an ID card, whether it's active service, veteran (they actually look after theirs), dependant etc. We just had a small sticker on the back of out ID cards confirming we were on Ex XXX, and that did the trick. Simple but effective, which is probably why it's beyond the wit of the RO empire that runs JHQ.

Given that NAAFI is not usually competitive on price, usually gives crap service and often doesn't have anything worth buying, it seems shameful that anyone staging through on ops is treated this way.
 
#4
In all my years of service I have visited many many American PX's and have been treated with nothing but respect and courtesy. Maybe its about time that NAAFI took a long hard look at its business practices and realise that they are given locations on military bases to provide services for the Military personnel, NOT THE OTHER WAY ROUND.

God, I am glad that I left when I did back in '89 after my 21 1/2 years!!!
 
#5
oh bloody great as a stab who may be going to iraq via germany idont know why i wont even be able to use the naafi great its shit anyway
couldnt we just contract out to american px anyway :lol:
 
#6
Woody, If you have a buddy over in the Fatherland then why not give him/her a call and get them to buy for you....just a suggestion.
 
#7
Must admit I am a Reg serving in Belgium. We are not allowed to use the PX/BX at all here. So we travel to JHQ and have the same problem, we are not allowed to shop in the naafi unless we have a shopping permit and the only way to get one is by going on TDY to Germany. Which really does not happen. Must admit we just keep trying and if we get turned down we just leave a full shopping trolley at the checkout and walk out. Its quite funny to see someone tell you that you cannot walk out and leave the goods there right after they have told you that you cannot buy them.

Ohhh I'll just go and put them back on the shelf for you!!!

YeaH RIGGHT!!! :twisted:
 
#8
Well apart from the fact I dont have any friends in germany well none Itrust :cry: . ITS only the sodding naffi they should pull their finger out
if relatives can shop there why does any soldier need more id to buy their over priced tat any way ? .
 
#9
I think the rules would favour your TA mate in this case mate. I've been on TDY to germany whilst serving in the UK and the Unit to which i was attached was more than happy to give me a ration card for the duration of my TDY (which was only 3 days). I'm sure the rules dont change for the TA soldier.

Soldier mag has had some letters in recient issues about this type of situation if my memory serves me correctly, it would be interesting to give them the details of your situation and read the "from the horses mouth" reply from whatever RO is making up this sort of tat.

Unless your buying whisky, gin, coffee or tobacco i'm sure your entitled to shop upon production of a valid ID card.
 
#10
Naafi Germany now requires you to have a valid ration card as well to be able to shop in there for anything. It used to be that it was only for items like ciggarettes etc but some un-entitled people kicked the arrse out of it and now it has been clamped down. Going there on saturday so will let u know when i get back.
 
#11
got there saturday and everywhere i shopped in naafi no matter for what i had to show a shopping permit so either a ration car, TDY form or shopping permit from your own unit however this is supposed to be backed up with a ration card.
 
#12
It is pretty pants that you are dressed in uniform and the Naafi is for soldiers but they would not serve you. Why do they still have a ration card system in place if you want to smoke and drink then you should be able to smoke and drink as much as you like!!
 
#13
its quite sad, and widespread across germany. i've been refused a newspaper at the gutersloh naafi and also left the full trolley at the osnabruck naafi, and also got the "dont leave that there mate" and even had the manager threaten to tell my unit that i had done so, impressive as he didnt know my name or unit.

too much power for these minimum wage jobsworths.
 
#14
I thought troops on exercise were allowed to use the Naafi? I seem to recall that if we had our NATO travel orders we were allowed to shop.
 
#15
You're obviously all labouring under the misapprehension that NAAFI exists to provide a service.
In reality it exists to keep TESCO's profits high by buying up stock they don't want and their own profits high
by selling the same rubbish at ridiculous prices. As for customer service, with a few rare exceptions, you would think
that NAAFI staff were kidnapped, bundled into a car, whipped with knotted paracord and tied to their checkouts with barbed wire.
If it really is such a crap job that it makes you so miserable that you have to spread that misery around the garrison
please go and get another job, or stay at home with your whingeing mates.

It really is about time you all woke up and smelled the (rationed) coffee
 
#16
It's not NAAFI but British customs and excise. German customs audit various accounts - both NAAFI and Messes, and after an Arrcade Fusion at Ayrshire Barracks wanted to know why the ARRC mess had sold more scotch and gin that month than the rest of the year put together. They complained to the Revenue men who then and since had a big crackdown on using ration cards both at the NAAFI and in Messes.

They is a procedure in the system whereby visiting Territorial can be given Duty Relieved privileges, but for individuals it is quite tortuous and requires a lot of time and effort.

A mobilised territorial joining a German based unit in Germany before going to Iraq, is on the strength of that unit and is entitled to all the rights and privileges of the Regulars. Once mobilised a territorial is a (albeit short term) member of the Regular Army, or so I was told when I was mobilised.
 
#17
Some rules need to desperately be revued, I have read all the party line referring to the agreement between Germany and HMF, and I think this is nonsense when it comes down to supporting our troops. I took this up with the NAAFI manager and my own unit and was told that I could purchase the goods for him. Is this the way forward? Are TA soldier?s second class soldiers who can be treated this way?[/quote]

When I was posted in Germany, you only had to produce your ration card when buying cigs, whiskey, etc. I am currently based in the UK but have visited Germany on various work related trips. I have noticed over the past couple of years they have enforced the id and ration card showing. It is not only TA that are asked for a ration card - everyone is! As a regular sodier i've popped into the NAAFI to buy an extremely overpriced paper and then told that i was'nt even officially allowed to enter the NAAFI without a ration card. Ocassionally i've seen MGPS checking id and ration cards on entering the premises - no ration card - no entry!

There are ways around and i've been issued a temporary ration card for visits, however, the process to get it is not worth the time and effort - just to get into a very overpriced shop. You can get just about everything you want from the German shops - infact some close to the Garrisons even stock UK goods to sell to squaddies at a much lower price than the NAAFI!
 
#18
Rules are rules.....boring I know but its fact.
To shop in NAAFI in BFG you have to be based in BFG and the Shopping Permit proves that. UK and German customs demanded that NAAFI tighten its policy hence all this.
To all those UK based sldrs in BFG complaining about not being able to shop in NAAFI the answer is simple....you're not entitled to by law....FACT.
Gotta go, am off back to UK so need to buy loads of cigs and spirits to sell for a massive profit!! Tax Free BMW X5 anyone??
 
#19
IS Ski Geek said:
Must admit I am a Reg serving in Belgium. We are not allowed to use the PX/BX at all here. So we travel to JHQ and have the same problem, we are not allowed to shop in the naafi unless we have a shopping permit and the only way to get one is by going on TDY to Germany. Which really does not happen. Must admit we just keep trying and if we get turned down we just leave a full shopping trolley at the checkout and walk out. Its quite funny to see someone tell you that you cannot walk out and leave the goods there right after they have told you that you cannot buy them.

Ohhh I'll just go and put them back on the shelf for you!!!

YeaH RIGGHT!!! :twisted:
Did something similar myself a few years ago when NAAFI wanted my life history on the back of a cheque. I said the cheque was guaranteed by the cheque guarantee card presented at the same time. NAAFI still wanted my family tree on the back, I explained that this was comercial transaction between me, NAAFI and Barclays (whose cheque it was). Where did my employer come into the transaction? When they wouldn't see sense I paid cash for the bread and milk and left the rest of the weekly shop on the end of the conveyor for them to deal with.
 
#20
I don't get why the Ta weren't issued with a ration card in the first place. If they were based there before they went out to the big sand pit. Once they have been mobilised, they are part of a regular unit so therefore should be intitled to a ration card.

Is this a fairly new system that has been brought in?? I have been to JHQ a few times with the TA and we were allowed to freely roam the NAAFI (wonderful though it is). :roll:

When I was posted out to cyprus with a regular unit, I was issued a ration card, but it was only required for the likes of alcohol and cigarettes.

Truely, the NAAFI staff are jobsworths indeed if they refuse to give a soldier in uniform, complete with ID card, a tube of toothpaste 8O
 

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