Ladies and Gentlemen,

The United States Postal Service (USPS) has information on sending care packages overseas. They have a service that is very useful to military family and friends called the "Flat Rate". Boxes are available from your local postal clerk, or on-line at USPS , or dial 1-800-222-1811. They can be ordered and delivered straight to your house free of charge.

Priority Mail Flat Rate Box
12" X 3.5" X 14

Priority Mail Flat Rate Box
11" X 8.5" X 5.5"

After receiving your boxes, go ahead and pack it as much as possible or up to 70 lbs. Fill out the contents disclaimer (should be received with boxes or ask the postal clerk) and mail at the domestic rate of $7.70, (which is significantly cheaper than any international rates I know).

Commonly asked questions by Marine Families:

Can I mail free to a deployed Marine?

No, unfortunately. The free mailing privilege only applies to military service personnel in specially overseas locations identified by the Department of Defense (DoD). In other words, it's only free for those deployed Marines sending mail back to the United States of America. This privilege is not extended to their loved ones, family, or friends back home.

Are there postage discounts for mailing overseas to military service personnel?

Not as good as we would want, but they do offer regular domestic postage rates for mailing overseas. So in itself, your discount is to get domestic rates when mailing from the U.S. to overseas APO and FPO addresses....and maybe the free boxes.

How long does military mail take to arrive?

The time varies, but typically military mail letters are delivered between seven and 10 days depending on country of destination. Priority parcels will take 10 to 15 days. Parcel Post takes about 24 days, according to MPSA (Military Postal Service Agency) officials. Transit times will vary depending on operational conditions and the unit of the addressee. Those in established bases should continue to receive regular service, while those in forward areas or engaged in operations may experience longer arrival times due to logistical constraints.

I’d like to send cards to servicemen. Can I just send one to anybody?

Not anymore. Only if you have the name and address of an individual. Programs that allowed people to send mail to service members unknown to them were discontinued following the terrorist attacks of 2001. Mail addressed as “Any Service Member,” “Any Soldier, Sailor, etc.” will not be accepted. If this mail is deposited into a collection box it will be returned to sender. Items without return addresses are opened in a Mail Recovery Center Network to determine the sender’s address. If it is impossible to determine the sender’s address, items will be donated to local charities.

I would like to send a package of donated items to a particular platoon. Can I do that?

The DoD has become aware of organizations and individuals who solicit donations or money for care packages and use unit addresses and/or a list of service member names to send the packages to deployed forces. These programs are usually supported by well-intentioned and patriotic people who are simply unaware of the new risks facing deployed military forces. Some individuals and groups have even publicized the names and addresses of service members, ships or units on Web sites, without realizing that personal information may be used inappropriately. Visit to find DoD recommended ways to show your support.

Deployed Mail Instructions

To ensure that everybody gets their mail in a timely matter and without breaking any laws, the following instructions are summarized for you and your loved ones:

  1. For the safety of your family, remove and destroy their return address from mail you receive in-country.
  2. Ensure that you use the full address given and do not omit any part of it.
  3. Always start with Rank, Last Name, First Name, Middle Initial.Remember, this is the military; your family and friends know you by your first name, but few people here do.
  4. The address should be visible and, if possible, in different places.That way if it peels off or is damaged, you have a back up.A Sharpie marker works well for this.
  5. Remember, the mail goes through a lot of places before it gets to you, so a little extra tape to seal it and some extra tape around the edges is always a good idea.If your mail comes apart in transit it will be difficult to be delivered.Do not use duct tape.
  6. As per Division Order, do not send any restricted materials by mail.It may not be illegal just by USMC regs, but also by The U.S. Postal Service.Among the restricted items are the following:
    1. Alcoholic beverages
    2. Weapons
    3. Ammunition
    4. Pornographic materials
    5. Flammable or explosive materials
    6. Contagious or infectious substances
    7. Poisonous materials
    8. Fireworks
    9. Drugs or drug paraphernalia
    10. Aerosol cans are permitted only when not hazardous and in small quantities.
    For a full list you may visit: you could ask your local postal office.
  7. Items should be packed in a way that prevents them from shifting around inside the box (newspaper and packing peanuts).This avoids breakage during transit.
  8. It’s always a good idea to include a list of contents inside.That way if your package comes apart and needs to be repaired the individual doing it knows what belongs to you.
  9. The bigger the package the longer it might take to get to you.Remember, they put mail in available/designated space, the more room it takes the longer it’s going to wait for space.
  10. It’s not a good idea to send items that are of great sentimental or monetary value to you.If you have to, try to insure or certify your items, but remember that because certified mail needs a signature every time it changes hands, it might take a little longer to get to you.
  11. To ensure you get your regular mail in a timely matter (i.e. your bills), let the necessary people know of your deployment address.
  12. Refer your family and friends to the Battalion website for details on care packages.

Deployment Resources

Phone Services for Deployed Marines

Packages From Home Website





PAC Process 

Request Mast (  
1st Marine Division