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Mail With Insufficient Postage
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Postal Clerk - Military guide to working in a post office
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Preparation of Mail for Dispatch
   BUSINESS REPLY MAIL, appearing above the address.    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 other requirements. FREE MAIL 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 Letter mail, postcards, and recorded 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 slip. 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 postmark. The  marking  ON  HER  MAJESTY’S SERVICE or H.M.S. is also sometimes used. Treat this mail as prepaid. OFFICIAL MAIL 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 post  office. 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 inappropriate. 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 geographical area. 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. 9-19

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