Three things motivate a recruit: EAT, SLEEP, and MAIL CALL. And two of the three families & friends can’t control. But can ensure their recruit’s name is yelled out at mail call.
For most families, writing to a service member is new and can be pretty confusing. Over the past 17 years, most of your recruits have used text messages, video calls, and emails to communicate. During the next 9-12 weeks, technology will take a back seat to the old-fashioned snail mail.
Recruit Mailing Addresses
Each branch has a different process for sharing recruit addresses with families. But in most cases, the recruit will assign a primary contact that will receive notification of their recruit address. The only exception is the Air Force, in which the recruit will call or text the mailing address to their family.
You can start sending letters to your recruit once you have the address, regardless of how you obtained it. (see branch specific details below👇)
The worry of knowing if or when letters are received is very important to families and the recruits. LetterTrac.com has solved this problem by providing certified USPS tracking labels for both the recruit and family members. LetterTrac.com mailing supplies are delivered to recruits 3x a week. And family supplies are sent via USPS.
How does the label work:
- Each time a label is scanned by the post office an alert is sent to the family letting them know their recruit mailed a letter. And the expected delivery date.
- An alert is also sent to the family member each time their letter is delivered to the recruit mail room. Avg. delivery is 3-4 days.
- Labels never expire and can be used for school and the Fleet mail.
“I love receiving my LetterTrac.com email alerts letting me know my recruit sent a letter. Plus, my letters are delivered much faster using the labels.” Yvette, Navy mom.
A/C School, TECH, or Follow-on Schooling
Once your recruit graduates, they will transition to their follow-on school before reaching their duty station (the Fleet). As your loved one transitions from school to school, they will have a new address. And in most cases, the mail is not forwarded.
Even though you can now text, call, and email, your new service member will enjoy receiving letters and postcards. MondayDelivery.com can be used to send postcards to a domestic military base after recruit training.
Once your service member starts their follow-on school, you can begin to send care packages. There are several ways to send some goodies to your service member. Here are two of them.
- USCarePackages.com (a MilitaryMadeSimple.com partner) works with non-profit veteran-owned Troopser.org. All families receive free shipping for orders over $49.95 + a 20% discount on their first order. Use promo code: MIL20.
- The United States Postal Service offers free supplies and, in some cases, free shipping. (see video below)
⛔️ DO NOT SEND CARE PACKAGES TO RECRUIT TRAINING!
The Duty Station (the Fleet)
Your service member has moved on to their final duty station, or what the military calls, the Fleet. Depending on their service obligation, their mailing address should not change for the next few years. If deployed on a ship or stationed at a foreign base, an APO/FOP address is used to send mail.
APO stands for Army Post Office and is associated with Army or Air Force installations. FPO stands for Fleet Post Office and is associated with Navy installations and ships. The only way to send an item to an APO or FPO address is to use the U.S. Postal Service (USPS).
Keep writing! No matter if you use USPS or other mail services your recruit or service member can’t wait to hear from you.
See more details on your specific branch: