Mailing the Coupons
How To Mail (best method)
1. Obtain a "Priority Mail" pouch or box.
2. Place base address (base page) and your return address on the mailer.
3. Fill out customs form 2976-A (From, To, 1 = Manufacturer's Coupons, 2 = Pkg, 4 = $0.00, 5 = Gift, 9 = $0.00, 10 = Return to Sender, 13 = sign & date)
4. Take to Post Office and mail.
Base Mailing - Frequent Questons
Where do I send them?
Please adopt a base. See the Adoption Page.
Send them to your adopted overseas base. It costs the same to send them to the base that it does to send them to your next door neighbor. The bases are U.S. territory. If you send them to the OCP headquarters then OCP must find the same postage to re-send them to the base. That wastes your postage and effort. There are times when no one volunteers to donate the cost to forward coupons mis-sent to OCP.
The cheapest way to send your coupons is via "Parcel Post". Since this method takes much longer to travel to its destination, please make sure that you send coupons that are no more than one month expired on the date of shipping if you use Parcel Post. In 2011 this method has become just a few cents cheaper than Priority Mail.
A fast method of shipment is to use the Priority Mailer that the Post Office has. They have envelopes/boxes that allow you to place as much in them as you can for a fee.
Contact your local post office for the current prices per pound and best suggested methods of mailing. They will give you this information by phone.
Mail is Returned From the Base
Customs Form Needed
The U.S.P.S. also requires Customs Form 2976-A be attached to the outside of the mailer when sending directly to a base overseas. Use the description "Manufacturer's Coupons" and record the value as "--$0.00--". Be sure to check the "Gift" box on the form and for them to return the coupons if there are problems if using Priority Mail. This will allow time to resend them to another base.
Post Office Requests a Name
the Post Office requests a name for the address we have furnished,
explain that the package is going to a "Position" not to a
"Person." It is "Official Mail." By military regulations
(DMM 703, Section 2.2.1) military mail must conform to domestic
standards. Only mail to personnel requires a name with the address, but
this is Official Mail to a department which does
not. The domestic standard for official mail is DMM 602, Section
1.4.2 which states, "addressee name or firm
name." The Department at a base represents the "firm." The "Commanding General" may be changed as the military
wishes but mail to the Commanding General is for that position not for
John Smith who may now be a civilian. It is the same as mailing
something to "Postmaster" at your zip code. "Official mail" goes
to the position not to the man who may change at any time, his personal
mail goes to his name. The coupons are also
Official Mail for that base and go to their charitable "department,"
usually Family Services. If a person is a part of the address
we have placed that person's name with the address on our site. If
there is no name, then we do not have one.
In Regulation 703, Part 2.0 (Overseas Military Mail), Section 2.2.1 there is a section that many within the post office mis-quote. the link here goes directly to that regulation. It reads:
2.2.1 Overseas Address
Overseas military addresses must conform to domestic addressing standards. The delivery line (the second line from the bottom in the address) must show the ship name, unit number, CMR or
PSC number, and box number if assigned. The last line must contain the APO and FPO designation and the appropriate two-letter “state” abbreviation (AA, AE, or AP), followed by the ZIP+4
or 5-digit ZIP Code. AA, AE, and AP are used for addresses with the 3-digit ZIP Code prefixes 340, 090-098, and 962-966, respectively. In addition:
a. Mail addressed to Army personnel must show full name, including first name and middle name or initial, and unit number.
b. Mail addressed to Air Force personnel must show full name, including first name and middle name or initial, and PSC or unit number.
c. Mail addressed to Navy and Marine Corps personnel must show full name, including first name and middle name or initial, and PSC number for shore-based units, or ship name.
d. Mail sent to dependents residing in overseas areas must be addressed in care of the sponsor.
They seem to miss the word "personnel." This section refers to personal mail. We agree that personal mail must have a name. That is why all OCP mail is NOT personal, it is official. It is addressed to a department not a person/individual. This part of the regulation was enacted when the military ended the "Any Service Person" mail program.
As an example, in the ARMY regulation 25-50, linked above, (Preparing & Managing Correspondence), post 9/11 version, it explains how to address "OFFICIAL" mail in Chapter 5. In section 5-7-b-(1) it states
(1) Office name line (attention line). This
line contains the name of the office that is to receive the item.
They give the following example:
USPS Mailing Instructions (USPS.com website, Calculate Mail on the left, select US domestic mail, your zip code, the one for your base, current date and choose a box size and a window will pop up):
In the postal explanation linked here it states how to address mail. They state:
A1. Mail addressed to "Any Servicemember" or similar wording such as "Any Soldier, Sailor, Airman or Marine", "Military Mail", etc., is prohibited. Mail must be addressed to an
individual or job title such as "Commander", "Commanding Officer", etc...
As stated above, our mail is to Family Services at the base and is "Official Mail."
Finally, I have found it a waste of time to argue with a determined mis-informed postal clerk. Almost all postal workers are really good about checking things out, but every once in a while someone decides they know it all and that they do not need to reference the regulations stated above to make sure they are correct when you explain your mail to them or show them a print out of this web page.
Have your package posted, take it home, call the USPS and schedule a pickup, and have your package picked up. Another choice is to try a differenct post office with better informed or more genial employees. It is not worth the stress to push the issue too far. I have found that you tend to lose.