Send some joy to our military members this holiday season! USPS announces mailing deadlines

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MILWAUKEE (WITI) — There may not be snow on the ground, but now is the time to start thinking about holiday mailing deadlines for military and diplomatic service members overseas.

“Making sure those serving in the nation’s armed forces and diplomatic service receive their presents and care packages in time for the holidays is our priority,” said Acting Milwaukee Postmaster AR ‘Bob’ Odell. “We want to help their friends and family send mail worldwide in time for the holidays.”

Helping to get packages on their way, the Postal Service offers a $2 per box postage discount on its largest Priority Mail Flat Rate box at, $15.45, for mail being sent to APO/FPO/DPO (Air/Army Post Office, Fleet Post Office and Diplomatic Post Office) destinations worldwide.

Priority Mail Flat Rate boxes are available at no cost at either local Post Offices, or ordered online at shop.usps.com. Postage, labels and customs forms can be printed online anytime using Click-N-Ship at https://cns.usps.com/go.

To ensure timely delivery of holiday wishes by Dec. 25, send cards and packages to military APO/FPO/ DPO addresses overseas no later than the mailing dates listed below.

Military Mail Addressed To Priority Mail Express Military Service (PMEMS) 1 First-Class Mail —Letters and Cards Priority
Mail
Parcel Air Lift (PAL) 2 Space Available Mail (SAM) 3 Standard
Post
APO/FPO AE ZIPs 090-092 Dec 17 Dec 10 Dec 10 Dec 3 Nov 26 Nov 8
APO/FPO AE ZIP 093 N/A Dec 3 Dec 3 Dec 3 Nov 26 Nov 8
APO/FPO AE ZIPs 094-098 Dec 17 Dec 10 Dec 10 Dec 3 Nov 26 Nov 8
APO/FPO AA ZIP 340 Dec 17 Dec 10 Dec 10 Dec 3 Nov 26 Nov 8
APO/FPO AP ZIPs 962-966 Dec 17 Dec 10 Dec 10 Dec 3 Nov 26 Nov 8

PMEMS is available to selected military. Check with your local Post Office to determine if this service is available to an APO/FPO/DPO address.

PAL is a service that provides air transportation for parcels on a space-available basis. It is available for Standard Post items not exceeding 30 pounds in weight or 60 inches in length and girth combined. The applicable PAL fee must be paid in addition to the regular surface price for each addressed piece sent by PAL service.

SAM parcels are paid at Standard Post prices with maximum weight and size limits of 15 pounds and 60 inches in length and girth combined. SAM parcels are first transported domestically by surface and then to overseas destinations by air on a space-available basis. 

Use the Military Care Kit to Send Presents and/or Care Packages

With Priority Mail supplies as the packaging of choice for families preparing care packages for service members overseas, the Postal Service created a free “Military Care Kit” based on the items most frequently requested by military families.

The kit contains:

  • Two Priority Mail APO/FPO Flat Rate Boxes.
  • Two Priority Mail Medium Flat Rate Boxes.
  • Priority Mail tape.
  • Priority Mail address labels.
  • Appropriate customs forms.

To order the free kit, call 800-610-8734. Guidelines for packing, addressing, and shipping items to U.S. troops can be found at usps.com/ship/apo-fpo-guidelines.htm. 

Addressing the Package

  1. Write out the service member’s full name in the address.
  1. Include the unit and APO/FPO/DPO address with the 9-digit ZIP Code (if one is assigned). For example:

CPT JOHN DOE
UNIT 2050 BOX 4190
APO AP 96278-2050

SGT ROBERT SMITH
PSC 802 BOX 74
APO AE 09499-0074

SEAMAN JOSEPH SMITH
USCGC HAMILTON
FPO AP 96667-3931

MSG JANE DOE
CMR 1250
APO AA 09045-1000

  1. Include a return address.
  1. Include the service member’s name and address as well as the sender’s name and address on an index card inside the package in case the label is damaged.

The Postal Service receives no tax dollars for operating expenses and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations.

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