Alan French Chief Logistics Officer, Army & Air Force Exchange Service
Chief Logistics Officer
Alan French is the Executive Vice President & the Chief Logistics Officer for the Army & Air Force Exchange Service (Exchange) at its headquarters in Dallas, Texas.
The Exchange is a non-appropriated fund entity of the Department of Defense. Established in 1895, the Exchange is the 54th largest retail organization in the U.S. With annual revenues of $8.5 billion, the Exchange employs approximately 29,000 associates, including military personnel.
In the last 10 years, the Exchange benefit has provided $3.5 billion in earnings for critical military Quality-of-Life programs such as outfitting more than 600,000 Warfighters at cost annually, providing school meal support for Department of Defense Education Activity facilities overseas and delivering needed services to locations impacted by natural disasters.
French’s position is commensurate in rank to a member of the Senior Executive Service. He oversees global distribution and transportation operations, including nine distribution centers and the 13th-largest private retail fleet in the U.S. He is also responsible for logistics in Contingency Operations, providing essential support and a lifeline to America for Warfighters deployed to remote and austere locations worldwide. French is also the Executive Champion for Nation’s Network, the Exchange American Indian/Alaska Native Special Emphasis Program.
The Exchange operates more than 5,000 facilities, including department and convenience stores, restaurants, malls, movie theaters, gas stations and other specialty retail businesses on military installations. The Exchange’s operations span 50 states, four U.S. territories and more than 30 countries. Additionally, the Exchange Credit Program manages a $2.2 billion credit card receivables portfolio.
To support readiness and provide foreign-based service members and their families with U.S. products, the Exchange operates bakeries in Europe and Asia and water bottling plants in Europe under 10 brand licenses from U.S. consumer goods companies, including Wonder Bread, Krispy Kreme and Culligan.
The Exchange recruits, hires, promotes and retains a diverse and inclusive workforce. A major employer of Veterans and military spouses, the Exchange has hired more than 1,900 Wounded Warriors since 2010 and more than 57,000 Veterans and military spouses since 2013.
French received a bachelor’s degree in Business Management from Northwood University in 2003 and completed his master’s degree in Strategic Leadership at Amberton University in 2013.
French is a native of Arlington, Texas. He first worked for the Exchange as an intermittent summer hire from 1983-1985 at the Fashion Distribution Center, then co-located with Exchange headquarters in Dallas, Texas. He began working for the Exchange full time in 1987 as a warehouse worker at the Dan Daniel Distribution Center in Newport News, Va.
In 1991, French transferred to the Waco Distribution Center in Texas to serve as a Distribution Area Manager in the receiving department. He was then promoted to Inventory Management Specialist for the Purchasing Directorate. In 1995, he assumed the role of storage manager. He was promoted and transferred to the Giessen Distribution Center in Germany as the traffic manager responsible for the Exchange’s transportation within Europe in 1997.
In 2001, French transferred to Exchange headquarters to serve as a Business Analyst for Distribution Operations, moving to Transportation Operations in 2003. He continued to advance positions, taking on the following roles:
- International Transportation Center Manager (2004-2005)
- Chief of Traffic Operations (2005-2007)
- Chief of Transportation (2007-2009)
- Director of Transportation Operations (2009-2012)
- Director of Logistics Operations (2012-2013)
French was promoted to Vice President in 2013. Two years later, he led the formation of a new division as Vice President of Logistics Fulfillment, bringing a greater focus on e-commerce operations to the Exchange. He assumed the role of Vice President of Logistics in November 2017 before being promoted to Senior Vice President of Supply Chain Transportation in April 2020. He assumed his current role in January 2024.
His accomplishments in both distribution and transportation have been recognized with several Exchange awards, including two for Extraordinary Achievement. His efforts have also been recognized by the Military Traffic Management Command for Excellence in Traffic Management.