How to Address a Military Letter

Letters to military personnel must be addressed correctly.

Men and women serving in the military enjoy receiving letters from family and friends at home. Whether the service member you're writing to is serving overseas or stationed in the United States, correctly addressing the letter you write to them makes the difference between the service member receiving their letter or not. All military letters go through one of the military post offices and, from there, is sent directly to the location of the service member.

Begin addressing your letter to a military person by writing the person's rank and first and last names in the center of the envelope.

Add the military member's postal service center and box number below their rank and name. The second line will look like the example below, except the "X" will be the person's unit number and the "Y" will be his box number. LT John Martin Unit X Box Y

Finish the military address with identifiers that tell the United States and military post offices to which military post office the letter is going. Choose the appropriate first identifier, either "FPO" or "APO," to determine to which branch of the military postal service the letter will be delivered. Write "FPO" or "APO" at the beginning of the third line.

Write "AP" for Armed Forces Pacific, "AE" for Armed Forces Europe or "AA" for Armed Forces Americas to identify the military state. Your letter will be sent to one of these "military" states through Miami, San Francisco or New York. The correct military state abbreviation goes on the third line, directly after "APO" or "FPO".

End the third line with the military member's ZIP code. San Francisco ZIP codes begin with 96, Miami ZIP codes begin with 34 and New York ZIP codes begin with 09. The third line of the military address will look like the example below, but with the correct identifiers for your letter recipient's address. FPO, AP 34512

Complete the process of addressing your letter to a military member by writing your return address in the upper left hand corner and adding a stamp to the upper right corner. Military letters require the same postage as regular letters sent within the United States.

Mary Ylisela is a former teacher with a Bachelor of Arts in elementary education and mathematics. She has been a writer since 1996, specializing in business, fitness and education. Prior to teaching, Ylisela worked as a certified fitness instructor and a small-business owner.