Thousands of men and women in the nation’s military and diplomatic corps will be spending their time abroad during the holidays.
The mail is a great way to stay connected with them by sending cards, letters, presents and care packages for the festive season.
To send packages to loved ones serving in the military abroad, the Postal Service offers a discount on its Priority Mail Large Flat Rate Box. The $18.45 price includes a $1.50 per box discount for mail sent to APO / FPO / DPO destinations worldwide. Priority Mail Flat Rate boxes are available at no cost at local Post Offices or can be ordered online at usps.com/freeboxes.
OVERSEAS MILITARY DEADLINES
Dec. 11 – Cards, Letters, and Priority Mail Packages
Dec. 18 – Priority Mail Express
FREE MILITARY BOXES AND SUPPLIES
The Postal Service has created a free Military Care Kit based on the items most frequently requested by military families. The kit contains address labels, tape, boxes, and customs forms.
To order the kit, call 800-610-8734 or go to: store.usps.com/store/product/shipping-supplies/military-care-kit-P_MILITARYKIT. Guidelines for packing, addressing and shipping items to U.S. troops can be also found at: https://www.usps.com/ship/apo-fpo-dpo.htm.
Postage, labels, and customs forms can be printed online anytime using Click-N-Ship at usps.com/ship. While you are at usps.com, you can also print your shipping labels, pay for postage, and call for your letter carrier to pick up your Priority Mail or Priority Mail Express items at your home or business for free (where available).
MAIL PREPARATION TIPS:
- Use good strong boxes and good strong packing tape. No duct tape or masking tape. No string or wire. No shoeboxes.
- Don’t use boxes from a liquor store. Boxes that indicate there is alcohol inside cannot be mailed.
- Don’t ship anything with a lithium battery.
- Always include a return address on the parcel, and include destination/return address on a card inside the parcel (in case the address on the parcel is rendered unreadable).
- Never use holiday wrapping paper around your parcel. Wrapping paper is very thin and isn’t suitable in the high-speed sorting machines.
ADDRESSING THE PACKAGE:
- Write the service member’s full name
- Include the unit and APO/FPO/DPO address with the 9-digit ZIP Code (if one is assigned).
Army/Air Post Office (APO):
PFC JANE DOE
PSC 3 BOX 4120
APO AE 09021
Fleet Post Office (FPO):
UNIT 100100 BOX 4120
FPO AP 96691
Diplomatic Post Office (DPO):
UNIT 8400 BOX 0000
DPO AE 09498-0048
- Do not write the country name where the service member is stationed in the address
- Include a return address
- Inside the box, include the service member’s name and address as well as the sender’s name and address on an index card in case the shipping label gets damaged in transit