When U.S. military troops and their families are stationed abroad, small comforts are a big deal. The Army & Air Force Exchange Service (also known as AAFES or “The Exchange”) operates retail facilities such as department stores, restaurants and theaters around the world in order to provide high-quality, tax-free goods and services to military communities.

For the past four years, Col. Scott McFarland ’95 has served as regional commander for the AAFES in Europe, Africa and Southwest Asia. He is especially proud to live out the two mottos of The Exchange: “There Is No Greater Honor Than Serving Those Who Serve” and “We Go Where You Go.”

Although McFarland’s military career spans 26 years and numerous positions, he considers his most recent position as AAFES Commander to be a highlight. “This service is vital to the morale of our troops and families who live abroad. It’s a reminder of home,” he says.

His sphere included 1,000 facilities that support 500,000 customers in 27 countries. The facility locations change according to the needs of U.S. military missions.

The various demands of the military have allowed McFarland and his family to live and travel across the globe. After 14 moves in 26 years, the family has decided to put down roots on Cape Cod. “I am excited to start my next career near my family,” says McFarland, who is retiring from the military this month. “Serving the Army and our nation was an honor, but now my family and I are ready to become part of a new community.”