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News Release


IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Release No: 1080-04
October 28, 2004

DoD Announces Recommended Holiday Mail Dates

The Department of Defense announced today the recommended mailing dates for ensuring that your holiday cards and packages for service members arrive overseas in time for the holiday season.

"To ensure delivery to military APO/FPO addresses overseas and to international addresses, we suggest mail be sent by the recommended dates provided by the U.S. Postal Service," said Mark DeDomenic, the assistant deputy director and chief of operations for the Military Postal Service Agency (MPSA) in Washington, D.C. "Beat the last minute rush by bringing your mail to your post office by these suggested dates.

Military Mail Addressed To

First Class Mail Letters/Cards

Priority Mail

Parcel Airlift Mail (PAL) 1

Space Available Mail (SAM) 2

Parcel Post

APO/FPO AE ZIPs 090-092

Dec 11

Dec 11

Dec 4

Nov 27

Nov 13

APO/FPO AE ZIPs 093

Dec 6

Dec 6

Dec 4

Nov 27

Nov 13

APO/FPO AE ZIPs 094-098

Dec 11

Dec 11

Dec 4

Nov 27

Nov 13

APO/FPO AA ZIPs 340

Dec 11

Dec 11

Dec 4

Nov 27

Nov 13

APO/FPO AP ZIPs 962-966

Dec 11

Dec 11

Dec 4

Nov 27

Nov 13


1 PAL: A special service providing air transportation for parcels on a space-available basis, PAL is available for Parcel Post not exceeding 30 lbs. in weight or 60 inches in length and girth combined. The applicable PAL fee must be paid in addition to the regular surface rate of postage for each addressed piece sent by PAL service.
2 SAM: Parcels paid at Parcel Post postage rates are first transported domestically by surface and then to overseas destinations by air on a space-available basis. The maximum weight and size limits are 15 lbs. and 60 inches in length and girth combined.

Due to security concerns and transportation constraints, DoD no longer accepts items to be mailed to "Any Service Member." Some people have tried to avoid this prohibition by sending large numbers of packages to an individual service member's overseas address, which clog the mail system and cause unnecessary delays in delivery.

DoD requests that those who send mail use the service member's full name (with or without rank or rating), unit and APO/FPO (Air/Army Post Office or Fleet Post Office) address with the nine-digit ZIP code (if one is assigned) and a return address. For packages, mailers are asked to print on one side only with the recipient's address in the lower right portion.

Packages must not be mailed in boxes that have markings related to any type of hazardous material, such as bleach, alcohol, or cleaning fluids. Parcels found by the U.S. Postal Service with such markings or labels on the outside of the box will not be processed. Instead, they will be handled as non-mailable matter - regardless of the contents or what is listed on the U.S. Customs form.

While there are specific restrictions for each five-digit military post office ZIP code (APO/FPO), it is prohibited to mail the following items to the CENTCOM region: obscene articles (prints, paintings, cards, films, videotapes, etc.); pork or pork by-products; alcoholic beverages; any matter depicting nude or seminude persons, pornographic or sexual items, or unauthorized political materials. Although religious materials contrary to the Islamic faith are prohibited in bulk quantities, items for the personal use of the addressee are permissible.

There may be size restrictions and customs declaration form requirements to some locations as mail going through the MPSA can be subject to the host country customs requirements. The time to deliver varies depending on the category of mail and the country of destination. Delivery may also take longer when armed forces are on the move during periods of heightened activity.