Fort Leonard Wood Exchange Associate Earns DoD Outstanding Employee with a Disability Honor

Freddie Shelden named Army & Air Force Exchange Service’s DOD 2022 Outstanding Employee with a Disability.


FORT LEONARD WOOD – An associate at Fort Leonard Wood has been named the Army & Air Force Exchange Service’s Department of Defense 2022 Outstanding Employee with a Disability.

Freddie Shelden, a customer experience associate, has worked for the Exchange for 29 years and earned a reputation for being a shopper favorite. Fort Leonard Wood Exchange regulars flock to Shelden’s checkout lane for a chance to chat with him.

“If I see a line backing up, I’ll offer to open up a new lane, but the customers say, ‘No, that’s OK, we’re waiting for Freddie,’” said Belinda Casperson, the PX’s central checkout supervisor. “Freddie always makes sure everyone is taken care of.”

Shelden will be honored during the virtual Department of Defense Outstanding Employees with Disability Awards ceremony, which will air on the Defense Visual Information Distribution Service on Oct. 20 at 2 p.m. The awards are being presented during National Disability Employment Awareness Month.

For Shelden, excelling in his career is just part of his job of delivering exceptional customer service.

“I strive every day to do what I can do: help the people,” said Shelden, whose father served more than 20 years in the Army, including in World War II. “My favorite part of the job is the customers. I’ve met a lot of good people along the way.”

Associates with disabilities account for more than 16% of the Exchange workforce, which exceeds the goal of 12% established by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Four percent of the Exchange’s employees have targeted disabilities—double the DoD goal of 2% for its agencies. The Exchange leads all DoD non-appropriated fund agencies in these categories.

“An inclusive workforce means the Exchange benefits from the unique talents and skillsets of a highly diverse team,” said Exchange Director/CEO Tom Shull. “Exemplary associates like Freddie make a positive impact on those around them, shoppers and colleagues alike.”

The Exchange, the DoD’s largest retailer, works to recruit, retain and advance people with targeted disabilities. Non-competitive hiring for entry-level positions, providing reasonable accommodations, active community outreach and retaining interns from the Workforce Recruitment Program are all tools available to Exchange managers in hiring those with disabilities. To view job openings, visit

Since 1895, the Army & Air Force Exchange Service (Exchange) has gone where Soldiers, Airmen, Guardians and their families go to improve the quality of their lives by providing valued goods and services at exclusive military pricing. The Exchange is the 54th-largest retailer in the United States. 100% of Exchange earnings support military communities. In the last 10 years, your Exchange benefit has provided $3.5 billion in earnings for critical military Quality-of-Life programs. The Exchange is a non-appropriated fund entity of the Department of Defense and is directed by a Board of Directors. The Exchange is a 50th Anniversary Vietnam War Commemorative Partner, planning and conducting events and activities that recognize the service, valor, and sacrifice of Vietnam Veterans and their families in conjunction with the United States of America Vietnam War Commemoration. To find out more about the Exchange’s history and mission or to view recent press releases please visit our website at or follow us on Twitter at

Media Notes:

For more information or to schedule an interview with an Exchange representative please contact Marisa Conner at 214-312-5111 or [email protected].

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