In the address, write the military member's entire name: All mail delivered to the military must be addressed to a specific person; the USPS no longer allows mail to be addressed to "Any Service Member." Address Line 1 should include the unit and box (if appropriate). If necessary, use initials to identify the service member by their rank or position.
Mail for active duty members goes through a different process than for retirees or veterans. Any mail sent to an active duty member will not be delivered until they return home or leave the area in which they serve. This is done so that letters are not forwarded to other units or people. Mail for active duty members also includes packages sent through military post offices.
For help with addresses because of changed locations, see our article on changing addresses.
Please include the following information when addressing Military Mail:
The military address format is simple. Use the entire name and title of the military member, followed by the unit and APO/FPO number. As well as a longer zip code Provide a return address on the front of the package when sending military mail. Return addresses should be written in black ink on white paper.
All letters and packages sent to U.S. military personnel must include the return address: "U.S. Postal Service - No More Than Nine Zeros" or "USPS - N0W9Z". Failure to comply may result in the loss of your letter or package.
Also note that certain items are not allowed in military postal facilities. These items include food, clothing, furniture, appliances, batteries, gas cans, chemicals, weapons, ammunition, signs, posters, balloons, animals, plants, and "novelties" (toys). Violation of this rule may lead to disciplinary action.
Finally, letters from children are welcome and appreciated by our troops.
We send letters to all U.S. Servicemen and women, regardless of branch of duty. Include your mailing address or email address in every letter you send. Some members of the military will reply!
How should a military address be formatted?
Military regulations and the Privacy Act of 1974 do not permit the military departments to provide email addresses, home addresses, or telephone numbers of service personnel. Moreover, regulations do not permit the random dissemination of listings of names and addresses of service personnel. Lists of this nature may be provided by a newspaper or other third party.
In addition, internal regulations limit the disclosure of information about active duty service members to use within the military department itself. Service members can request that their personal information not be made public by submitting a FOIA request.
Email is a valuable tool for keeping in touch with friends and family while serving in the military. However, there are certain restrictions on how email can be used to contact individuals below the legal age threshold (see "Children Under 18 Can't Sign Up For Facebook Or Twitter"). In addition, email is a convenient but not always reliable form of communication; therefore, it is important that those who are sending messages understand their limitations as a means of ensuring that messages get delivered.
Service members have the right to refuse to answer questions, to leave work stations unattended, and to avoid any contact that could be interpreted as an interview or interrogation. If you do not want to respond to questions, please simply say so.
It is important to remember that those who speak anonymously on the Internet may do so from anywhere in the world.