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FAQs: Military Mail

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The Military Postal Service is an extension of USPS that provides our military department and their families with mail services through partnerships around the world. While there may be slight differences in service depending on the country in which they are stationed, military personnel receive the same level of postal service overseas as is available back home.

Other agencies that are vital to the service provided by Military Mail are US Transportation Command, Military Sealift Command, Air Mobility Command and Military Transportation Command.

Learn more about the Military Postal Service Agency here.

When addressing mail to a Military Post Office™ (MPO), do I need to include the city and country?

No. When addressing mail to a MPO, always omit the name of the city and country and use the APO or FPO address. This makes it more obvious that the mail is military mail when it enters the mail stream. 

Please see our guide on how to format military mail.

When shipping to an MPO, what is the difference between Parcel Post® and Priority Mail®?

Parcel Post® articles that are more than 15 pounds or measure more than 60 – length and girth combined will travel via ship from the U.S. gateway to the military address.

Priority Mail® articles usually travel via air transportation from the U.S. gateway to the military address overseas.

Q: What extra services are available for Military mail?

Generally, services such as the following are available to MPOs.

  • Insured Mail
  • Registered Mail (Not currently available with ShippingEasy)
  • Delivery Confirmation

Note: You can track a package to an APO/FPO address if you purchase the applicable extra service. Although your article may include a customs form, you cannot track it via the customs declaration numbers as they are only used to track international mail articles.

Q: How long will it take for mail to reach a Military Post Office (MPO)?

From the Military Postal Service Agency:

Below you can find the Department of Defense’s (DoD) transit times for sending articles overseas to APO/FPO locations
Note: delivery time starts at time of acceptance at the facility of origin.

EUROPE / ATLANTIC
(APO / FPO AE ZIP™ Codes beginning with 090–092 and 094–099)
Express Mail® Military Service: 3 Days
First-Class Mail® / Priority Mail® Service: 7–9 Days
Package Services(*):  30–45 Days 

IRAQ / AFGHANISTAN / MIDDLE EAST
(APO / FPO AE ZIP™ Codes beginning with 093)
Express Mail®: Military Service Not Available
First-Class Mail® / Priority Mail® Service: 7–13 Days
Package Services(*): 20–24 Days 

JAPAN / KOREA / PACIFIC ISLANDS / FAR EAST
(APO / FPO AP ZIP™ Codes beginning with 962–966)
Express Mail® Military Service: 3 Days
First-Class Mail® / Priority Mail® Service: 7–9 Days
Package Services(*): 30–45 Days 

CENTRAL AMERICA / SOUTH AMERICA / CARIBBEAN
(APO / FPO AA ZIP™ Codes beginning with 340)
Express Mail®: Military Service Not Available
First-Class Mail® / Priority Mail® Service: 7–9 Days
Package Services(*): 18–21 Days 

(*) Package Services class of mail applies to mail sent at the surface or Parcel Post® rate. This class receives surface transportation by ship to certain locations.

Note: You can NOT send Military Mail to any of the following as programs that allowed this have been discontinued due to the risks involved in deployed service members:

  • Any Service Member
  • Any Wounded Warrior
  • Any Soldier, Sailor, Airman or Marine

If you mail an article to a military address and do not include a valid addressee, it will be returned to sender. If you do not include a return address, the mail will be opened in the Military Post Office’s Mail Recovery Center Network to attempt to decipher the sender’s address. If they are unable to determine the return address, the contents may be sent to local charities.

What restrictions and prohibitions apply to articles addressed to an MPO?

Please see our article What are the Restrictions on Military Mail.

Are there any special tips or precautions I should take when packaging military mail?

From the Military Postal Service Agency:

  • Place the mailing address inside the parcel on a separate piece of paper.
  • Use a box that is constructed to conform to the contents you are sending.
  • Place items in the box so that the weight is evenly distributed.
  • Add packing material on the inside if any portion of the box sags or is easily depressed.
  • Use packaging tape for wrapping the outside of the box. Do not wrap with string.
  • Cross out or cover excess markings or printing to prevent your box from being missent.
  • Enclose all personal hygiene items, such as deodorant, lotion, or shampoo, in a sealable bag.
  • Place all perishable items, such as cookies, chips, etc., in a plastic container.
  • When mailing liquids, ensure they are properly packaged. Limit the quantity, use a leak-proof container, and wrap the articles in an absorbent material between the inner and outer containers.

 





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