MAIL DIRECTORY SERVICE
Directory service is provided to assist you in
delivering mail to personnel, and forwarding or
otherwise disposing of mail addressed to personnel no
longer at your command. When mail is addressed to a
person who is not attached to an activity served by your
post office, it is just as important to provide proper
disposition of this mail as it is to deliver the mail when
the addressee is on board.
Early disposition of mail is the basic purpose of
mail directory service. This is true whether the mail is
to be delivered on board, forwarded when an addressee
has transferred, held pending arrival of the addressee,
or given treatment appropriate to certain other
categories. Examples of certain other categories are
mail for casualties and unauthorized absentees.
Each Navy command is required to maintain a mail
directory file of all personnel receiving mail through the
activity regardless of whether the command operates an
MPO. This includes maintaining files on personnel ordered
to report and personnel transferred from the activity.
At commands that have an MPO, military postal
clerks provide mail directory service as a part of the
post office operation. Commands that do not have an
MPO, and those receiving mail service through a U.S.
civil post office must maintain directory files as part of
the unit mail clerk operation or mail orderly system.
Under an agreement between USPS and DOD, DOD
agrees to provide directory service for undeliverable-
as-addressed military mail and endorse each piece to
show a forwarding address or reason for nondelivery.
Bear in mind that even though the commanding officer is
responsible for directory service, you, as an MPC, are the
representative of the commanding officer for postal
matters. Thus, you have responsibility for operating and
maintaining the directory service for your command.
POSTAL DIRECTORY FUNCTIONS
Learning Objective: Recall the procedures
for maintaining directory files and for
processing directory mail.
All postal activities providing mail delivery
service to individuals should maintain a directory file
for personnel who receive mail through their facility.
Normally, MPOs do not keep postal directory cards for
personnel who are served through a mail address only
(MAO) or subordinate unit mailroom. Directory files
should include a record of all personnel served,
including those on temporary additional duty (TAD),
personnel who are due to report, and personnel who
have transferred. Directory files should be maintained
as one file. A directory for onboard personnel and
another file for transferred personnel is not necessary
and should be avoided. In addition, MPOs and unit
mailrooms should provide directory service for
improperly addressed official mail.
The mail directory file consists of OPNAV Form
5110/5, Notice of Change of Address cards (see figure
11-1). The directory cards should be arranged in
alphabetical order, by last name, regardless of rank,
rating, or status. Use a set of alphabetical separators to
divide the cards (see figure 11-2). Last names starting
with the same letter are filed behind the same separator.
Sometimes names such as Brown and Browne or
Stevens and Stevenson will match letter for letter up to
the end of the shorter name. In such cases the name
with the fewer letters is to be filed first; thus Brown
should precede Browne, and Stevens should be filed
before Stevenson. If the last names are exactly alike,
use an individuals first name and possibly his middle
name to determine the filing order.
If your directory is large, you may need to use
additional separators within letters. For example, S
might be broken down into SA, SE, SM, and ST. Last
names beginning with the letter S should then be filed
after the closest preceding second letter of the
separator, thus Schiller would go after SA; Slade after
SE; Souder after SM; and Swain after ST. You will
learn from experience and the size of your directory
whether your card file should be subdivided within
The postal directory file for individuals presently
assigned to your command should, as a minimum,
contain the complete name, rate/rank, social security