It all starts with an address...

Military address use the same basic fields we know for personal addresses. There is a bit of a twist… The city, state, and Zip Code are special for military shipments and the details such as name and address are critical.

Here is what you need to know...

Name = Soldier’s Name: Person’s full name

Mail MUST be addressed to an actual person or it won’t be delivered. Soldier, Any Service Member, etc. is not allowed. Rank/grade/rating are not required and should be skipped if sending to a DPO (example: CPT for Captain)


Army: Unit [Number] Box [Number]

Air Force: PSC [Number] Box [Number]

Navy: Ship [Number] Hull [Number]

Embassy: Unit [Number] Box [Number]


Military Post Office: APO/FPO/DPO/MPO

APO: Army Post Office – Associated with Army or Air Force installations

FPO: Fleet Post Office – Associated with Navy installations and ships

DPO: Diplomatic Post Office – Associated with U.S. diplomatic locations/overseas embassies

MPO: Military Post Office


Armed Forces: AA/AP/AE, the mail processing facilities that get your mail to and from each military location.

AA: America – Excludes Canada

AP: Pacific – Japan, Korea, Pacific Islands, and Far East

AE: Europe – The Middle East, Africa, and Canada


Zip Codes for correlating State for Armed Forces

Europe/Atlantic: AE, Zip Codes start with 090-092 and 094-099

Iraq/Afghanistan/Middle East: AE, Zip Codes start with 093

Japan/Korea/Pacific Islands/Far East: AP, Zip Codes start with 962-966

Central America/South America/ Caribbean: AA, Zip Codes start with 340

Address Details and Guidelines

Addresses are laid out differently depending on the service branch. The USPS says each shipment to an APO, FPO, or DPO should include the recipients name, rank, and, unit. Mail addressed to soldier or any service member won’t be delivered for security reasons.



Unit [Number] Box [Number]

Air Force

PSC [Number] Box [Number]


Ship [Number] Hull [Number]


Unit [Number] Box [Number]

Army / Air Post Office (APO)


PSC 3 BOX 4120

APO AE 09021

Navy / Fleet Post Office (FPO)


UNIT 1001 BOX 4120

FPO AP 96691



UNIT 8400 BOX 122

DPO AE 09498/p>

When you ship your package from a post office it goes to the International Distribution Center to transition to the military mail stream.

So why is this important ?

Because with military packages you are only paying domestic rates to one of these locations. Once they are at a military post office packages have to be sorted and redistributed again. Here are some average shipping times for USPS shipments.

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 9–18 Days

Package Services* 30-60 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 7–15 Days

Package Services* 11–15 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 9–12 Days

Package Services* 30–45 Day


Express Mail® Military Service Not Available

First-Class Mail® / Priority Mail® Service 7–9 Days

Package Services(*) 18–21 Days

* Ground delivery service for U.S. addresses, including PO boxes and military addresses.

Source: USPS FAQ: Military and Diplomatic Mail

Finally Shipping a Military Package...


Be sure you know what can and can’t be sent overseas.

General prohibited items include:

  • GPS tracking devices (cell phones, transmitter radios, etc.)
  • Offensive or pornographic images (including semi-nudity),
  • Bulk quantities of religious materials
  • Pork products
  • Items with Aerosols or glass
  • Sometimes even coffee is restricted

The best way to know what is prohibited is to use this Military Restricted Items Link:

Enter the deployment Zip Code in the box and you’ll get a list of restricted items specific to the deployment location.


Package cannot exceed 70 pounds

Length + Girth cannot exceed 108 inches

Length is the measurement of the longest side and girth is the distance around the thickest part (perpendicular to length).


  1. Take individually wrapped items out of bulky packaging.
  2. Buy on sale and save items for future care packages.
  3. Pack liquids/powders in plastic zip lock bags or containers.
  4. Be aware of timing for sending chocolate because it melts.
  5. Use quality boxes.
  6. Skip restricted items.
  7. Don’t ship air.
  8. Use plastic grocery bags, reusable items, or candy for fillers.



Commonly Requested Items

Coffee Healthy snacks Shampoo Books (non religious)
Teas Dried fruits Conditioner Magazines (current)
Cocoa Nuts Soap Games
Apple cider packets Trail mix Body wash Card games
Sugar Beef jerky Shaving cream (non-aerosol) Puzzles
Stevia packets Granola bars Razors Note Pads
Nondairy creamer Protein bars Lotion Blank note cards
International coffee creamers (single serve) Sunflower Seeds Deodorant (stick is best) Adult coloring books
MIO Pumpkin Seeds Baby wipes Cards to send out (birthday, holiday, etc.)
Lemonade Chips(no canisters like Pringles) Body powder/Gold Bond Pens
Kool Aid Crackers Toothpaste Pencils (regular & colored)
Crystal Light Cookies Toothbrushes Music CD's
BBQ sauce Ramen noodles Dental floss Movies
Taco sauces Instant oatmeal Mouthwash (no alcohol) Balls (football, baseball, etc.)
Hot sauces Microwave mac & cheese Tissues Frisbees or small toys
Mayonnaise Microwave popcorn Lip balm with sunscreen Batteries (limited quantities)
Ketchup Peanut butter Sunscreen (SPF 50) Notes and reminders of home
Mustard Bagged Tuna Visine Hats
Slim jim's (Beef) Jelly Q-Tips T shirts (100% Cotton)
Life Savers, mint Feminine products Cotton socks (black or white)
Candy Shoe insoles Pillow cases
Gum Moleskin/Band-Aids Blankets
Wet Weather items Hand and foot warmers
Winter socks (military green, black – Meet Reg 670-1)
Gloves (light weight winter) military green, black – Meet Reg 670-1)
Sunglasses (Wiley X – Regulation only)

So, Two More Pieces Of Information; Customs And Drop Off

Customs Forms: Required for all military packages.

Your Customs Form is included on your label when you use our shipping tools, so you skip the forms.

PS FORM 2976

Under 1 LBS

PS FORM 2976-A

Over 1 LBS

Drop Offs: You can drop you package off at any Post Office or request a pick up.

January 2019 Customs Form Update: People who ship to military destinations at USPS retail locations using hard copy customs forms (2976, 2976-A, 2976-B), will be requested to use the 2976-R. The Postal Clerk will be required to enter the data into the postal service systems. Source: Director, Global Trade Compliance, USPS Headquarters