information concerning new stamps and special events
well in advance to provide philatelists sufficient time
to submit covers (a cover is an envelope on which all
the postal markings or cancellations have been
applied). When such requests are received, you must:
· Ensure that the canceling machine or hand stamp
is cleaned and serviced before postmarking the
· Furnish a clear and legible postmark.
· Avoid canceling stamps by pen or illegible
· Postmark all stamps with black ink.
· Limit postmarking to five covers from each
· Ensure that philatelic covers are not over
canceled, backstamped, or otherwise defaced on
the front or back.
· Avoid using a philatelic cover as a top piece in a
bundle for destination-package labeling
· Avoid bending, folding, mutilating, or damaging
the cover by rubber bands.
Occasionally you may be provided a rubber stamp
cachet to apply to philatelic covers when a special
A cachet is a design or inscription
applied to a cover to commemorate a postal or special
event. Also, most ships have their own unique cachet.
When a cachet is provided, place the imprint in the
lower-left corner of the envelope or card so that none of
the address is covered.
To protect the interest of philatelists and the
authenticity of their collections, the cachet stamp for
the special event should be destroyed immediately
after all eligible covers have been processed. In any
case, the cachet stamp must be destroyed no later than
midnight of the day of the event being commemorated.
Covers must be returned to the mailer, without a
postmark or cachet applied, with a letter of explanation
· More than five covers are received from any one
· The covers were received after the established
deadline for providing postmarks.
· The covers bear insufficient or foreign postage.
If international reply coupons (IRCs) are
included, process according to the IMM.
The USPS at CONUS gateways process all
military letter mail through delivery bar code sorters
(DBCSs) and flat mail through flat sorting machines
Therefore, CONUS-destined letters need
only be faced, canceled, and placed in mail trays or
secured with rubber bands, and placed in orange
Priority Mail No.1 pouches. Pouches are to be labeled
according to local FMC instructions. These pouches
should be dispatched to the serving USPS facility or to
the nearest FMC or MPO for further transfer. Ships
should dispatch mail directly to the appropriate
gateway only when they are operating in an area not
served by an FMC or an aerial mail terminal (AMT).
After letters and flats have been cased (sorted), you
are then ready to bundle the mail for dispatch (or place
into mail trays, which will be discussed later in this
To ensure letters and flats remain intact and do not
lose their identity during transportation, they must be
properly secured before being placed in mail pouches
(see figure 9-11). Bundles should be made as large as
one hand can conveniently hold, approximately 4
Secure all letter bundles with 1/4-inch rubber
bands (PS Item 0385E).
Bundles up to 1 inch in
thickness should be secured with one rubber band
around the girth. Bundles between 1 and 4 inches in
thickness must be secured with two rubber bands, the
first secured around the length and the second secured
around the girth. On the top of each bundle, place a
nonstandard facing slip to identify the contents.
Make up international mail in direct bundles for
cities or countries when volume warrants.
volume is insufficient to warrant direct bundles, make
a mixed foreign bundle. Identify these bundles by a
nonstandard facing slip (see figure 9-12). Send this
mail to the serving FMC for further dispatch.