Avoid dead mail

by Tech. Sgt. Michael J. Walker
2nd Air Postal Squadron

What happens to my mail if it becomes undeliverable? In the postal world this is defined as “Dead Mail” which is any matter deposited into the Military Postal Service that becomes undeliverable and cannot be returned or forwarded to any known addressee. There are two rare cases in which mail is undeliverable; when an address label gets torn off while in transit or members move on and don’t leave a forwarding address.

All mail within the MPS system gets sent to a central location and postal personnel work diligently to ensure the mail finds its proper home. Mail personnel work very hard to make certain this happens, but you, the customer can help in this process.
Always take the extra step and put your address or the addressee on a label inside your package. This will allow the postal personnel to inspect and make sure you or your addressee receive your package in case of an address label being torn off in transit.

Another step in the process can be as simple as stopping by the post office to let them know that you are heading out and leave a forwarding address. The post office will forward most of your mail that flows in after your departure from your deployed location, while TDY or a PCS from your home station. For a PSC move we forward First Class and Priority Mail for one year and Second Class (magazines, etc.) for 60 days; while TDY or deployed, we forward the mail for the duration of your status.