· BUSINESS REPLY MAIL, appearing above the
· FIRST-CLASS MAIL, PERMIT NO., followed
by the permit number and the name of the issuing
post office (city and state) appearing below the
Business Reply Mail legend.
· POSTAGE WILL BE PAID BY ADDRESSEE,
appearing above the address.
This type of domestic mail is accepted at MPOs
without prepayment of postage. Business reply mail
having international addresses is available only to
certain countries participating in this service. Refer to
section 393 of the IMM for participating countries and
Under certain conditions members of the U.S.
Armed Forces may send mail free. The free mailing
privilege applies when the members are serving in
combat areas specifically designated. When in force,
the free mailing privilege applies equally to persons no
longer in a combat area but, due to a wound, disease, or
other injury incident to service in the designated
combat area, are hospitalized in any armed forces or
Veterans Administration medical center.
Types of Mail That May Be Sent Free
communications (sound or video) having the character
of personal correspondence may be sent free. When
this type of mail is sent, the mailer must write or print
the word FREE in the upper-right corner where the
postage would normally be placed. This mail must
bear a complete return address.
Mobile Units That Do Not Have Post Offices
Ships and other mobile units that do not have post
offices may also dispatch free mail, which originated
in a designated combat area:
· All mail must be endorsed FREE.
· The mail must be bundled separately from mail
with postage stamps.
· Each bundle of mail must bear a facing slip
endorsed CERTIFIED TO BE FREE MAIL
ORIGINATING IN A COMBAT ZONE. The
mail clerk or mail orderly must sign the facing
INTERNATIONAL MAIL SENT FREE
Some items of foreign origin do not bear postage
stamps, but instead are marked POSTAGE PAID, ON
POSTAL SERVICE, SERVICE DES POSTES, TAXE
PERCUE or TP, or PORT PAYEE or PP followed by
The marking ON HER MAJESTYS
SERVICE or H.M.S. is also sometimes used. Treat this
mail as prepaid.
Official mail must not be deposited in mail
collection boxes. Mail clerks or mail orderlies from
the office responsible for applying postage to official
mail should be instructed to bring official mail to the
Official mail found in mail collection
boxes should be turned over to the command official
mail manager or the office that controls official mail.
INTRATHEATER DELIVERY SERVICE
The Intratheater Delivery Service (IDS) system
permits all eligible patrons of the MPS to send articles
to other MPOs located within the same geographical
area at no cost to the mailer. The USPS has indicated
that, by definition, IDS material is not to be regarded as
MAIL, it is PERSONAL CORRESPONDENCE.
Therefore, any references to FREE MAIL are
The difference is based on a fine
distinction, but this distinction must be maintained to
protect the status of the program. You must inform
your postal patrons that IDS items sent free of postage
must originate at a FPO or an APO. IDS articles should
be processed and dispatched along with military
working and foreign mail.
With respect to forwarding service, IDS items
without postage must not be forwarded if addressed to
individuals who have been reassigned to the United
States or outside of an overseas geographical area (for
example, from Atlantic to Pacific). Such items must be
returned to the sender. However, items that qualify for
the forwarding service will be forwarded to individuals
who have changed addresses within the same
Undeliverable items must be returned to the sender
if a return address is available. Items without postage
that cannot be delivered or returned to sender should be
sent to the designated military dead letter office within
48 hours of receipt. This does not apply to personnel
on leave, TAD, or known prospective gains; their mail
should be held until they return or report onboard.