How to Address a Military Address

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Addressing letters and packages to military service members can be done using the specific guidelines provided by the U.S. Postal Service. The USPS delivers mail addressed to service members to Air and Army Post Offices or to Fleet Post Offices, commonly referred to as APOs or FPOs. From there, mail is flown or driven to specific military bases. Once it reaches the correct base, mail is disseminated and delivered to soldiers as long as it has been correctly addressed.

  • Write the service member's full name on the center of the letter or package. Use a "first name last name" format. For example, write "John Smith" as the first line of the address. You do not need to include the service member's rank.

  • Write the service member's unit name below his personal name. For example, a soldier serving with the 3rd Brigade under the 25th Infantry Division receives mail addressed to "3rd Brigade, 25th Infantry Division." You may use abbreviations if you know them, but they are not necessary.

  • Include the name of the service member's base below the unit name. If the service member is stationed at Forward Operating Base Bernstein in Iraq, for example, write "FOB Bernstein."

  • Write the APO or FPO code below the unit name. Each APO and FPO is further identified by a two-letter combination, such as "AE," "AP" and "AA." APO and FPO codes are five- or nine-digit identifiers similar to ZIP codes.

  • Review the address after you have written it. If you have done it correctly, it will look like this:

    John Smith

    3rd Brigade, 25th Infantry Division

    FOB Bernstein

    APO AE 09338-0364

Tips & Warnings

  • Do not attempt to send mail addressed to "Any Soldier." The Department of Defense cancelled the Any Service Member program for security reasons and the USPS cannot accept mail addressed that way.

References

  • Photo Credit Siri Stafford/Lifesize/Getty Images
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