What is Military Mail?

Military Mail is a special USPS service that allows shipments to be sent to military personnel with APO/FPO/DPO addresses serving overseas.

Think of Military Mail as the best of both worlds – you get international delivery at a domestic price.

Mail sent to any military personnel that are serving overseas will adhere to the same address format as US domestic mail, although the information will be slightly different. Instead of a street address followed by a city, state and ZIP code - there is a unit number followed by post type, region and ZIP code. 

An example of how to address military mail is as follows:

MSgt John Doe
PSC 123 Box 987
APO AP 96601-0098

This may look like just a series of letters and numbers to you, but it’s important to ensure the formatting of the address is correct.

These are the most frequently used acronyms:

APO Army Post Office
MPO Military Post Office
FPO Fleet Post Office
DPO Diplomat Post Office

AA Armed Forces of the Americas
AE Armed Forces of Europe
AP Armed Forces of the Pacific

The USPS system works by funneling all of the military mail sent from within the United States to three cities that serve as distribution centers for a specific geographical area of the armed forces.

Distribution Center
AA Miami, FL
AE New York City, NY
AP San Francisco, CA

When it comes to tracking and extra services like insurance and registered mail, generally speaking, Military Mail is eligible for extra services, but extra services may not be available to all Military Post Offices.

Before you head to the Post Office – because the USPS requires you to hand deliver all packages being sent through an APO or FPO address – know that your Military Mail shipments will require customs forms. Learn more about customs forms.

Regardless of class of mail or the shipment’s contents, all mail over 16 oz. must be accompanied by a customs form. All Military Mail weighing less than 16 oz. that may contain dutiable contents must also be shipped with a customs form. The specify form (ie PS Form 2976, 2976-A, or 2976-B) will depend on the service selected. Learn more about the types of customs forms.

If you've printed your label through ShippingEasy, we'll have generated these for you. Learn more about configuring your international shipment settings


Related articles:

FAQs: Military Mail
How do I format a military address in order for it to validate with the USPS?
What are the restrictions on military mail?
What do I need to know about USPS International shipments?
Which Customs Forms are used by the US Postal Service?

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