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ALEXANDRIA, Va.," Troop supporters attempting to speed mail to service members overseas by including the city, country or installation name in the address cause delays and misrouting.

The automated processing equipment used by the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) differentiates between domestic and foreign addresses. Military addresses are automatically processed in the same manner as domestic mail throughout the country, postal officials said.

Mail addressed with foreign cities, countries or installation names are diverted to the international mail system, which requires mail to be reprocessed, sometimes repeatedly. This risks further delays because international postal services are not always familiar with the U.S. military postal system.

During a recent assessment of mail processing at the USPS Logistics and Distribution Center in New Jersey, the Military Postal Service Agency (MPSA) team diverted more than 20 packages that were incorrectly addressed to military post offices (MPOs).

“Had the MPSA staff not observed the 20 packages that were incorrectly addressed with foreign city or country names, the parcels would have been delivered to the respective overseas foreign postal administration of which many times are rifled and/or never delivered to the addressee,” said, MPSA transportation analyst, Drew Butler.

In order to ensure the quickest service, senders should address their letters, packages and with only the service member’s name, specific military unit, and complete last line of the military address, which is the “city” ("APO," "DPO," or "FPO"), the “state” (a two- letter abbreviation -- "AA," "AE," or "AP"), and a five-to-nine-digit zip Code. This allows family and friends to send letters and packages at the same manner and rate as domestic service, regardless of where service members are is stationed.

(Editor's note: Information provided by the U.S. Army Human Resources Command and Military Postal Service Agency.)

Page last updated Mon June 27th, 2011 at 00:00