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The idea of getting mail to and from military personnel stationed overseas dates back many years. To establish this activity, the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) and the Department of Defense (DoD) negotiated an agreement called Overseas Military Mail, which exist to this day. In this agreement addressing schemes. delivery mechanisms and process were hammered out.

The USPS has established a standard addressing plan for all domestic mail. Many will of course recognize this as:

Street NumberP.O. BoxRural Delivery
City, State  Zip CodeCity, State  Zip CodeCity, State  Zip Code

In order to make Military Mail conform to this standard, several thing were created. These were:

Three Military “States”:

AA stands for Armed Forces (the) Americas
AE stands for Armed Forces Europe
AP stands for Armed Forces Pacific

Two “City” equivalents:

APO stands for Army Post Office
FPO stands for Fleet Post Office

A typical Overseas Military address looks like this:

Postal Service Center – Identifier


Postal Service Center – Identifier

Now when you receive that overseas Military address from you son, daughter, grandchild. niece. nephew or friend you will understand what the abbreviations stand for and the mystery is gone.

Thank you to all of our brave men and women, past and present, who are serving or who have served our country.

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