9-Digit ZIP Codes Mandatory for FPOs

Story Number: NNS130715-06Release Date: 7/15/2013 12:14:00 PM
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By Debbie Dortch, NAVSUP Corporate Communications

MECHANICSBURG, Pa. (NNS) -- Effective immediately, family, friends, and businesses sending mail to Navy mobile units must use a nine-digit ZIP code to ensure delivery, according to an ALNAV message released July 12 by Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus.

Mail not addressed correctly, including mail already en route, will be returned to the sender as undeliverable.

"Every mobile unit - ships, squadrons, detachments, et cetera - has a unique nine-digit ZIP code," said Naval Supply Systems Command Postal Policy Division Director Thomas Rittle. "Commanding officers will provide the correct ZIP codes to Sailors so they can notify their correspondents about the new address requirement."

According to the message, "The United States Postal Service (USPS) is resizing military mail processing operations from two coastal locations to one located in Chicago, Ill. to gain efficiencies in military mail delivery. As part of this effort, new procedures affecting configuration of mobile Fleet Post Office (FPO) addresses have been implemented to completely leverage automated mail sorting equipment and reduce manual sorting workload."

USPS automated equipment is set up to read the nine-digit ZIP code separated with a dash between the first five digits and the last four digits.

The nine-digit ZIP code is required for all classes of mail.

The ALNAV message is available at http://www.public.navy.mil/bupers-npc/reference/messages/Documents/ALNAVS/ALN2013/ALN13047.txt.

ZIP codes are a system of postal codes used by the United States Postal Service (USPS) since 1963. The term ZIP is an acronym for Zone Improvement Plan. All U.S. addresses have a standard five-digit ZIP code that informs the postal service of the area of the country and the post office where mail is received. In 1983, the USPS added four digits to ZIP codes to help further pinpoint a recipient's location.

The NAVSUP and Navy Supply Corps team share one mission-to deliver sustained global logistics and quality-of-life support to the Navy and joint warfighter. NAVSUP/Navy Supply Corps' diverse team of more than 25,000 civilian and military personnel oversee a diverse portfolio including supply chain management for material support to Navy, Marine Corps, joint and coalition partners, supply operations, conventional ordnance, contracting, resale, fuel, transportation, security assistance, and quality of life issues for our naval forces, including food service, postal services, Navy Exchanges, and movement of household goods. The NAVSUP/Navy Supply Corps team forms a vast network of professionals who deliver unparalleled products and services to customers in the Fleet and across the world.

For more news from Naval Supply Systems Command, visit www.navy.mil/local/navsup/.

8/4/2013 2:21:00 AM
I understand the necessity for ZIP+4 codes on mail to FPO, APO, and DPO addresses. However, the implementation was ham-fisted and premature. Any such implementation should have been preceded by changes to the USPS address database so ZIP+4 codes could be obtained from and/or corrected by the USPS.com ZIP finder. Further, the online custom forms should be modified to allow the entry and printing of forms.

7/17/2013 4:44:00 PM
Another consolidation? How is it that the USPS will save money by centralizing the process in Chicago? Is NTC GLAKES now going to be responsible for getting the mail out to the fleet? We have already seen where the elimination of MSCPAC and MSCLANT in favor of a centralized consolidation in Virginia Beach in the past served only to throw a monkey wrench into CIVMAR employment. I do not believe that this move on the part of the USPS will serve the needs of the Navy. Ed Bohling Jr USN '74-'78

7/16/2013 11:00:00 PM
It's about time they did something like this; I hope it brings down the cost the Navy pays to forward all the mail after USPS delivers it to the distribution center...Go Get'em Tom Rittle...

7/16/2013 4:29:00 PM
Military mail is already slow. Does the consolidation to one processing location mean it will get even slower?

7/16/2013 10:30:00 AM
Nothing like making it easier to track some one and harder to send them a letter.

7/16/2013 10:23:00 AM
This should really help getting the mail, as years past we would wait for weeks to receive letters or packages, even when addressed correctly, but had to be resorted 3 to 4 times to find the location of the person, big problem was those assigned to sea duty, land got there's we had to wait..

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Sailors sort mail aboard the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN 68) while conducting a replenishment-at-sea.
130629-N-LP801-062 GULF OF OMAN (June 29, 2013) Sailors sort mail aboard the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN 68) while conducting a replenishment-at-sea. The Nimitz Carrier Strike Group is deployed to the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility conducting maritime security operations, theater security cooperation efforts and support missions for Operation Enduring Freedom. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Raul Moreno Jr./Released)
July 1, 2013
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