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How to Send to an APO Address

Family members or friends stationed overseas while serving our country appreciate receiving letters and packages sent from home. Time spent away from family in a foreign country while serving in the military can be very lonely and receiving mail can brighten up a service member's day. You must follow proper technique when addressing letters and packages being sent to an APO address.

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  1. Place the letter or package face up on your work surface.

  2. Write the recipient's rank and full name in the centre of the package or letter.

  3. Add the postal service centre and box number beneath the recipient's rank and name. The postal service centre is a military post office, similar to a civilian U.S. post office.The box number is the equivalent of a civilian post office box number. In the example below, replace the "X" with the proper unit number and the "Y" with the proper box number.

  4. SGT John Doe Unit X Box Y

  5. Complete the last line of the address with three more identifiers. Select "APO" (Air/Army Post Office) or "FPO" (Fleet Post Office). The FPO commonly serves Navy personnel and others at sea. Secondly, choose "AA" for Armed Forces Americas, "AE" for Armed Forces Europe or "AP" for Armed Forces Pacific. Letters to these military "states" are processed through Miami, New York and San Francisco, respectively. Finally, add the postcode. The appropriate zip code can be found via the U.S. post office or Army Post Office. The zip code will begin with 09 for New York, 96 for San Francisco or 34 for Miami.

  6. Write the last line of the APO address in this manner: APO, AE 09510 (replacing each identifier as needed).

  7. Write your return address in the upper left corner of the package or letter.

  8. Affix the appropriate postage in the upper right corner of the package or envelope. Check with the post office for the proper amount of postage for packages or large envelopes.

  9. Tip

    Write the mailing address and return address on the same side of the letter or package.


    The military no longer accepts mail addressed to "Any Service Member." Use a service member's full name to ensure your mail is delivered.

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About the Author

Mary Ylisela is a former teacher with a Bachelor of Arts in elementary education and mathematics. She has been a writer since 1996, specializing in business, fitness and education. Prior to teaching, Ylisela worked as a certified fitness instructor and a small-business owner.

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