Free Mail Program for U.S. Armed Forces
Under the provisions of Title 39 of the United States Code (U.S.C.) 3401(a)(1) and pursuant to Executive Order 12556, dated April 16, 1986, the Secretary of Defense may authorize or terminate free mail privileges for members of the U.S. Armed Forces and designated civilians directly supporting military operations in designated international locations.
Accordingly, effective February 1, 2011, the Secretary of Defense has terminated free mail privileges for members of the U.S. Armed Forces and designated civilians deployed to the Balkans in support of Operation Joint Forge/Joint Guardian, to include Bosnia-Herzegovina, Macedonia, Serbia, and Montenegro (including Kosovo and Vojvodina).
The following list includes the current locations for which the Secretary of Defense has authorized free mail privileges for members of the U.S. Armed Forces and designated civilians directly supporting military operations. This list supersedes the list in the article titled “Free Mail Program for U.S. Armed Forces” published in Postal Bulletin 22294 (9-23-10, pages 11–12).
■ Burkina Faso.
■ Democratic Republic of the Congo.
■ South Africa.
Operation Desert Spring
■ Kuwait — Kabal.
Operation Enduring Freedom
■ United Arab Emirates.
■ Aboard ships in the Gulf of Aden.
■ Aboard ships in the Gulf of Oman.
■ Aboard ships in the North Arabian Sea (that portion of the Arabian Sea that lies north of 10 degrees north latitude and west of 68 degrees east longitude).
■ Aboard ships in the Persian Gulf.
■ Aboard ships in the Red Sea.
Operation Enduring Freedom — Philippines
■ The southern Philippine islands of Mindanao and Tawi Tawi.
■ Jolo on the southern Philippine island of Sulu.
■ Province of Basilan.
Operation New Dawn
In accordance with 39 U.S.C. 3401(a)(1)(B), free mail privileges will also be extended to individuals hospitalized for disease or injury in a facility under the jurisdiction of the Armed Forces as a result of service in these designated areas.
Personnel who are authorized this privilege may mail — without postage — letters, postcards, and sound recordings (audio or video recordings) having the character of personal correspondence to any place in the United States, to any U.S. possession or territory, or to any military post office (APO/FPO).
Free mail originating from the above overseas locations should have a complete APO or FPO return address, the word “Free” in the upper right corner, and a complete delivery address. In most cases, the mailpiece will also exhibit an APO or FPO postmark. Free mail receives First-Class Mail® service; however, it may not be registered, insured, or certified.
All employees who handle and deliver mail should be made aware of this free mail privilege. Do not collect postage upon delivery; do not return this mail to the sender for postage. Mail having the appearance of free mail under this program should never be returned to sender. Submit questions regarding the legitimacy of users of this program to the Military Postal Service Agency. The agency’s contact information is as follows:
Military Postal Service Agency
2461 Eisenhower Ave.
Alexandria, VA 22331-0006
Telephone: Toll free: 800-810-6098,
Monday–Friday, 7:30 a.m.–4:00 p.m. ET
DSN prefix: 221
source: USPS Postal Bulletin