DESIGNATION OF MAIL ORDERLIES
A responsible official (division officer,
department head, leading chief petty officer) normally
designates mail orderlies for units or divisions
requiring mail orderly service. These designations
should be accomplished using a DD Form 285 (see
figure 2-3) before personnel assume mail-handling
duties. The number of designated mail orderlies
should be held to the minimum number needed to
efficiently and effectively handle the mail.
Division/section mail orderlies normally are
charged only with safeguarding and delivery of
incoming ordinary mail. Specific responsibilities of
the mail orderly for a division/section include the
Delivering personal mail to addressees only.
Delivering official mail to individuals
authorized by the commanding officer.
Placing undeliverable mail in a suitable,
securely locked container and delivering it later
or returning it daily to the unit mailroom or
serving post office, as applicable.
Returning undeliverable mail to the unit
mailroom or serving post office with the reason
for non-delivery (TAD, leave, transferred, etc.).
Reporting any known or suspected postal
offenses and irregularities to the unit postal
officer or commanding officer.
Before assuming mail-handling duties, mail
orderlies must be properly trained. The training they
receive should explain the importance of postal
services, individual responsibilities, and the negative
consequences if they do not perform assigned postal
duties according to established procedures and
instructions. All ongoing training programs should
include locally developed training courses as well as
on-the-job training. A training program is required to
meet the training criteria established by Department of
Defense postal directives. For mail orderlies you
should check blocks on the DD Form 285 that say,
Personal Except Accountable and Official Except
Accountable. For those mail orderlies that are
authorized to screen accountable mail for
classification purposes the Official All block will be
After personnel are designated as mail orderlies,
all copies of DD Form 285 must be validated by the
serving postal activity. The validation must be done
following the instructions in block 10 on the DD Form
285 (see figure 2-3). The validating officer may initial
and date the form if activities do not possess an APDS
or seal. Whichever method is used, uniformity should
be maintained in validating all DD Form 285s at that
activity. Three DD Form 285s must be completed and
one form must be provided to each of the following:
The mail orderly.
The unit files.
The serving postal activity.
In some cases DD Form 2260, Unit Mail
Clerk/Orderly Designation Log is used instead of the
unit file copy of DD Form 285; in which case, two
copies of DD Form 285 should be completed. The
purpose of DD Form 2260 is to provide a command or
division with a record of names and DD Form 285
numbers in numerical sequence for assigned mail
orderlies. Most large shore activities and shipboard
divisions will normally maintain the DD Form 2260;
however, it is not mandatory. When this form is used to
record the appointments and revocations of mail
orderlies, a file copy of DD Form 285 is not required to
be maintained by the division or command. Figure 2-4
shows an example of a DD Form 2260. This log must
be retained for 2 years after the last entry on the log has
Mail orderlies must carry their DD Form 285 at all
times while performing mail-handling duties, and they
must present the form when receipting for mail.
DESIGNATION OF CUSTODIAN OF
In the first page of this chapter you learned about
the selection and designation of Military Postal Clerks.
Figure 2-3. An example of a DD Form 285.