POSTAL OPERATIONS MANAGEMENT
This chapter describes the mission and proponency of the postal operations management system, its postal network, doctrinal requirements, and standards of support. It includes requirements for personnel information, communication/automation, equipment, planning, transportation, and responsibilities of various key agencies throughout the postal network.The mission of postal operations is to operate a network to process mail and provide postal services within a theater of operations. Processing mail involves receiving, separating, sorting, dispatching, and redirecting ordinary and accountable mail, conducting international mail exchange, handling casualty and enemy prisoner of war (EPW) mail, and screening for contaminated/suspicious mail. Postal services involve selling stamps; cashing and selling money orders; providing registered (including classified up to secret), insured, and certified mail services; and processing postal claims/inquires.
Postal operations management includes all actions required to dispatch mail for movement from its point of origin to its ultimate destination and provide associated services. The flow of ordinary and accountable mail in the theater starts with transportation units transporting unit mail from a theater seaport or airport to a military mail terminal (MMT). It ends with a unit mail clerk delivering the mail to addressees.
The functional proponent for the postal operations management system is The Adjutant General Directorate, PERSCOM. One of the functions for the Adjutant General is acting as executive mail manager for the Military Postal Service Agency (MPSA). MPSA is the single mail manager for military mail.
DoD Manual 4525.6-M, DoD Postal Manual, Volumes 1 and 2, and AR 600-8-3, Unit Postal Operations, provide mandatory policy and procedural guidance for postal operations management during war, operations other than war (OOTW) and peace. Statutory requirements are found in United States Code and Code of Federal Regulations listed by topic in the following references.
The following references address postal policy, procedures, and guidance throughout the postal operations system:
- DoD Directive 4525.6, Single Manager for Military Postal Service (MPS).
- DoD Directive 5128.1, Assistant Secretary of Defense (Production and Logistics).
- Title 10, United States Code, Armed Forces.
- Title 31, United States Code, Money and Finance.
- Title 39, United States Code, Postal Service.
- Title 49, United States Code, Transportation.
- Title 32, Code of Federal Regulations, Armed Forces.
- Title 39, Code of Federal Regulations, Postal Service. This includes International Mail Manual (IMM) and Domestic Mail Manual (DMM).
- Title 49, Code of Federal Regulations, Transportation.
- DoD 4525.6-M, DoD Postal Manual, Volume I: Military Post Office Operating Procedures, and Volume II: Mail Handling and Delivery Procedures for Military Post Offices, Mailrooms, and Postal Service Centers.
- DoD 4525.6-C, DoD Postal Supply and Equipment Catalog.
- DoD 4525.6-H, Mail Distribution Instructions and Labeling Handbook.
- DoD 4525.6-L-1, Military Post Office Location List (MPOLL).
- DoD 4525.6-L-2, Military Post Office Mail Distribution Scheme (MPOMDS).
- DoD 4525.6 STD, Transit Time Information Standard System for Military Mail.
- DoD Directive 5200.33, Defense Courier Service.
- United States Postal Service Transportation Handbook Series T-7, Handling, Dispatching, and Transporting Military Mail by Air.
- DoD Directive 4410.6, Uniform Materiel Movement and Issue Priority System.
- DoD Directive 4000.19, Interstices, Interdepartmental, and Interagency Support.
- DoD Directive 8320.1, DoD Data Administration.
- DoD Directive 8910.1, Management and Control of Information Requirements.
Letter from U.S. Grant to W. T. Sherman
City Point, Va., Dec. 3d 1864
Maj. Gen. W. T. Sherman,
Comd. G Armies Near Savannah, Ga,
The little information gleaned from the Southern press indicating no great obstacles to your progress. I have directed your mails, which had previously been collected in Baltimore by Col. Markland, Spl. Agt. of the P. O. Dept. to be sent as far as the Blockading Squadron off Savannah to be forwarded to you as soon as heard from on the Coast . . .
- Yours Truly
The postal operations management system processes official, personal, accountable and "any-soldier" mail. Personal mail is that addressed to individual soldiers and civilians. Official mail is that addressed to military or other governmental organizations. "Any soldier" mail is that not addressed to a specific individual. Accountable mail is that which is registered, numbered, insured, or certified. The postal network makes special provisions for processing "any soldier" mail by assigning it a unique contingency APO number. It is still treated as personal mail.
Official mail can be moved through the postal system until it reaches the postal services platoon of the unit addressed. Official mail is delivered from the postal platoon to the addressee through official mail distribution channels which is a Signal Corps responsibility. Official mail is addressed in FM 11-75, Battlefield Information Services (BIS), FM 24-1, Signal Support in the Airland Battle, and AR 25-51, Official Mail and Distribution Management.
USPS sorts to battalion level (9-digit) in CONUS and ships it on in various containers such as pallets, tri-walls, and bags. A postal operations platoon routes the mail to postal services platoons which separate it by unit.
Unit mail clerks receive and sort the mail and provide it to addressees. The standard of service for first class mail is 12 to 18 days from the point of origin to individual soldiers worldwide. First class mail is all air-mailable matter that has the character of actual and personal correspondence.
The postal operations management network coordinates mail transportation requirements with transportation managers at each level of command. This applies to both inbound and outbound mail. Postal operations management will often be required to coordinate within the joint operations community.
To support force deployment, the MPSA, in coordination with the USPS and the operational MACOM, assigns contingency APO numbers to contingency forces. The MACOM provides the contingency APO to deploying personnel at least 24 hours prior to deployment if no permanent contingency APO for the unit has been assigned. This allows the USPS to sort mail to company/battalion level. The MPSA coordinates contingency APO activation with the USPS at the beginning of an operation. Assigned APO numbers for a unit remain constant throughout the operation.
The postal operations management system requires an information support module which provides interface with SIDPERS and aligns units and individuals with APO numbers. This module must support unit relocation, unit reassignment (from one command to another), and individual reassignment from one unit to another.
Processing mail based on its priority is situational dependent. Postal elements at all levels should process mail, build pallets, and load and unload trucks in a manner allowing priority/first class mail to be processed from point of origin to customer in 12 to 18 days. Degradation of processing of all other mail is not appropriate if it occurs only to move priority/first class faster than 12-18 days.
Desert Shield 1990, Saudi Arabia
During Christmas time, many soldiers would receive parcels at a quicker rate than letter mail. Because of the bulk of packages, they would often be processed almost immediately after arrival at the postal company, often at the expense of bagged letter mail that arrived many days earlier.
Priorities for processing mail on the battlefield (in descending order) are the following:
- All official registered mail including classified up to secret (inbound and outbound).
- All other accountable mail (inbound and outbound).
- Express mail.
- Personal registered.
- Certified official/personal.
- Insured official/personal.
- All other mail (inbound and outbound):
- Personal and "any soldier" mail priority/first class).
- Space Available Mail (SAM)/Parcel Airlift Mail (PAL).
- Surface (bulk rate, for example, magazines).
The standard for a theater of operations is unrestricted mail service. However, during the early stages of a contingency operation, it may be advisable for the theater commander in chief (CINC) to restrict personal mail to cassette tapes, post cards, and/or first class letters weighing less than 12 ounces. The CINC may lift restrictions and permit parcels as the theater matures, more postal personnel become available, and the theater ground transportation and airlift are able to handle the estimated increase in volume created when restrictions are lifted.
The CINC may recommend to the Secretary of Defense/National Command Authority free mail services during war or operations other than war. Free mail must originate from a free mail area designated by the President or Secretary of Defense or from any Armed Forces medical facility. These services must meet statutory criteria and will generally apply only to personal correspondence first class mail in the form of letters, post cards, and cassette or video tapes not exceeding 12 ounces, sent from personnel in the approved free mail area to addressees entitled to USPS services. In accordance with the National Defense Authorization Act signed by the President as law 30 November 1993, this privilege is extended to civilians, DoD employees, and DoD contractor employees who are essential to and directly supporting the military operation, as determined by the CINC.
Postal services platoons provide postal finance services to the extent possible consistent with the theater mail policy. These services include money order and stamp sales, accountable mail services, and package mailing. Postal services platoons provide finance services within brigade support areas and to soldiers and civilians in corps and echelons above corps (EAC) areas.
Units can coordinate with the services postal platoon leader to provide limited mobile postal finance services to units or teams not located near the postal platoon. The medical treatment facility (MTF) coordinates with the services postal platoon in its area to provide the MTF commander with necessary postal finance services to patients.
Letter from U.S. Grant to Post Master General,
City Point, Va., January 4th, 1865
Hon. W. Dennison
Post Master General
I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your communication in relation to the expediency of establishing a Money Post Office at City Point, and asking my wishes on the subject. In reply I have simply to say that I fully approve the system and believe that it will be highly advantageous to the soldier in the transmission of his money to his family or relatives
- Resplly &c
The postal network provides official and personal mail redirect service starting at the unit mail clerk level. There are two forms of redirect services: soldier redirect and unit redirect. Soldier redirect applies to individual pieces of mail requiring directory service prior to processing. This includes mail for individual soldiers who have changed units or locations as individuals and not with the unit. They probably have new zip codes. The unit redirect function involves redirecting bags, trays, or pallets of mail because of task organization changes, unit relocation, or unit redeployment.
Redirect services depend on the theater postal policy and the tactical situation. All operations and services platoons provide redirect services. A designated operations platoon(s) provides theater-level redirect services. The corps operations platoon(s) provides the primary redirect services for the corps. Services platoons handle redirect of unit mail within their area of responsibility and limited soldier redirect services. Large volumes of soldier redirect mail are sent to the operations platoon for processing. The theater PERSCOM and the personnel groups provide personnel and unit assignment and location information in automated form to operations and services platoons.
During the height of activity, the Central Postal Directory for the European Theater of Operations during World War II employed as many as 4,000 personnel to locate and redirect mail to reassigned or wounded soldiers lost to the units to which they had been originally assigned.
An electronic interface between SIDPERS and the Theater Army Medical Management Information System (TAMMIS) will assist postal units in the casualty mail redirect process. This interface will enable the personnel system to determine patient location and status within the corps medical system.
In accordance with DoD 4525.6-M Volume II, unit mail clerks will endorse all undelivered casualty mail without a forwarding address and return it through the postal services platoon(s) as soon as possible. The postal services platoon(s) sends it through postal channels to the designated postal operations platoon(s) that processes casualty mail. Individuals from the postal operations platoon(s) designated by PERSCOM to handle casualty mail will coordinate with the PERSCOM Casualty Branch for updated casualty information.
The theater PERSCOM will ensure that there is an in-theater capability for postal operations platoons to hold, readdress, and redirect undelivered mail for all casualty categories. If the soldier's or civilian's status is missing in action, killed in action, or unknown, the postal services platoon labels the mail "search" and returns it through postal channels to the designated theater operations platoon. This unit holds the mail until it can confirm through the theater PERSCOM that the casualty area commander has notified the next of kin, then returns it to the sender. When a soldier or civilian is a patient and the hospital is unknown, the postal services platoon labels the mail "hospital search" and returns it through postal channels to the designated postal operations platoon for redirect service. When the postal services unit knows the hospital, it labels the mail "patient" and forwards it to the hospital through the postal network.
Casualty mail processing requires special attention. This is essential to prevent premature casualty information disclosure and mail return before the casualty area commander notifies the next of kin. Figure 6-1 depicts casualty mail flow.
The Geneva Convention, relative to the treatment of prisoners of war, identifies the need for EPW mail operations. TC 27-10-2, Prisoners of War, Chapter 2, addresses mail.
Theater PERSCOM will coordinate with the provost marshal, an appropriate international neutral agency, and an American neutral agency to assess EPW mail requirements. Theater PERSCOM will identify the postal operations platoon(s) to handle EPW mail.
Theater PERSCOM will assess the needs for international mail exchange within the theater of operation and identify the postal operations platoon to conduct that mission.
International mail is discussed in the following: DoD Directive 4526.6-M, Vol. I, Chapter 8; part 125, Domestic Mail Manual, (reference (i)); and the individual country listings in the International Mail Manual, (reference (i)).
Host nation support can be a critical element of the postal support structure. It frees the U.S. postal personnel for more critical duties. Host nation personnel can be military or civilian, and they can handle all mail classes except official registered (classified) mail. Postal unit commanders must indoctrinate soldiers supervising host nation personnel in the customs, language, religion, and political conditions in the area of operations.
The postal network must make special provisions for processing contaminated/suspicious mail. Contamination may consist of nuclear, biological, or chemical agents. Suspicious mail may include conventional explosives or contraband. The postal network screens for contaminated/suspicious mail and stops the mail flow when it is discovered. It separates contaminated/suspicious mail and delivers it to units trained in handling contaminated/suspicious material. These units decontaminate the mail, if possible, and return it to the postal network. If decontamination is not possible, they destroy the mail under appropriate postal supervision. Postal units must coordinate with the local EOD unit for bomb support. Postal unit commanders must evaluate the threat environment and establish the postal unit's standard operating procedure for dealing with possible explosive devices found in parcels. Once a package is discovered with a suspected explosive device, postal operations are immediately halted, and postal personnel and customers are immediately evacuated from the danger area. The postal unit notifies EOD to clear the area/and dispose of the bomb safely.
The postal redirect function requires an integrated information management system throughout the theater of operations. A theater-wide network must provide individual and unit address information to all postal companies and platoons. Personnel services battalions (PSB) regularly provide servicing postal units with updated data bases of units supported. G3/G1 must provide postal units with current task organization and location changes.
The integrated information system must support requirements to generate and maintain a theater mail routing scheme. This system will enable postal managers to align the location of units according to their servicing postal services platoon. Postal services platoons must have assured, real-time communications by both voice and data with the PSB, brigade S1s, postal company headquarters, postal operations platoons, corps personnel group, and transportation units. Postal services platoons require daily communication concerning task organization changes, mail delivery point location changes, mail routing scheme changes, casualty mail redirect, postal activity update, and USPS postal bulletins.
Postal operations platoons must have assured, real-time communications by both voice and data with theater PERSCOM, CONUS (USTA PERSCOM, MPSA, JMPA), other operations platoons, supported postal services platoons, personnel group, postal company headquarters, corps and theater transportation units, MMT, and theater medical facilities.
Company headquarters must have assured, real-time communications by both voice and data with postal platoons, the PSB, and the personnel group.
Postal services platoons must have securable organic transportation to safeguard and transport undispatched mail and associated items such as stamps, money orders, accountable mail, and packages. They must also be able to carry 100 percent of the personnel, authorized organizational equipment, common table of allowances (CTA) equipment, and USPS equipment to provide support in forward areas.
Postal units are not equipped with transportation to deliver mail at any level within the theater. Postal units process and prepare mail for delivery, and the transporters deliver. Transportation must be coordinated for postal units from external sources at all command levels within the theater. This process should be a daily routine requirement within normal material movement channels in the logistics system. Delivery standards depend upon commanders providing transportation through assured scheduled air/land movement, leased commercial vehicles, host nation sup port, or other means.
The USPS Transportation Handbook, addresses rules and regulations that apply to the transportation, transferring of accountability, security, and escort of the various classes and types of mail within the MPS.
"A successful postal service for the armed forces is admittedly the greatest single factor affecting the morale of all troops. In spite of this, the Postal Service was... given inadequate support and left to improvise as best (it) could to provide service... (T)here was no lack of planning on the part of the postal people but rather a lack of recognition of their basic needs and failure to adequately provide the necessary personnel, equipment, and transportation. It was SOP to require Postal to beg for the tools to work with which should have been provided automatically."
- Colonel S. G. Schwartz
Theater Postal Officer
European Theater of Operations
29 August 1945
Postal operations and services platoons require equipment necessary to operate continuous 24-hour operations in an undeveloped theater without hardstand facilities as far forward as the brigade area. This equipment includes modern lighting, tentage, material handling equipment, automation, and communication equipment. USPS equipment such as Integrated Retail Terminals (IRT) and Postal Meter machines allow more efficient postal finance services. It helps eliminate long, unsafe lines and the need to maintain large stamp stockage, and it supports training in peace as in war. Modern equipment used in civilian post offices must be provided to deploying military post offices and to the military postal school and units for training.
Postal operations platoons require x-ray equipment. As a safety and security measure, postal platoons x-ray packages leaving the country. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) often requires postal units to x-ray packages prior to loading retrograde mail onto commercial aircraft.
Postal platoons require mission-essential equipment and supplies other than that found on a TOE. Commanders must plan for and obtain mission-essential USPS and CTA equipment as well as mission-essential items that require resupply. Mail flowing to and from the theater of operations on pallets and in containers will require tactical forklift movement and storage facilities with drive in/out capability.
Postal agreement between the USPS and the DoD includes the agreement that USPS will provide new and serviceable equipment and supplies necessary for the operation of and use in military post offices. This does not necessarily occur automatically. Commanders may need to provide detailed requests through the chain of command to the USPS to ensure receipt of all necessary equipment and supplies.
Planning of postal operations from lowest to highest levels is an essential consideration for any military operation. Postal service has played a vital role in morale support and national will efforts since the Civil War, and it is an important combat multiplier. Commanders and their staffs must plan for the logistical support given to competing demands and priorities during the execution phase of an operation to react to unanticipated but necessary postal operations support requirements. DoD Postal Manual 4525.6-M, Volume 1, outlines military postal service planning requirements and responsibilities.
The following are basic principles in planning and providing military postal support:
- Sustain equitable and unrestricted postal service to soldiers and civilians in all theaters of operation.
- Use USPS resources and procedures to the maximum extent.
- Relieve forward and deployed units of mail processing and movement responsibilities during heavily engaged operational commitments.
- Determine, plan, and establish personnel information, communication, and automation network requirements.
- Integrate military postal service resources to move and process mail on an area (population-supported) basis.
- Maintain readiness; plan shipment and resupply of mission-essential postal equipment, supplies, and postal pre-packs. This includes TOE, CTA, USPS, and expendable items.
- Estimate the number of pieces and/or pounds per soldier per day, and plan logistics. The current planning factor for incoming mail is 1.5 pieces and/or 1.34 pounds per soldier per day.
- Deploy with the same mission-essential TOE, CTA, and USPS equipment in which soldiers train.
Prior to deployment, the commander of the lead personnel group must determine postal support requirements in coordination with the contingency PERSCOM and the MACOM AG (postal directorate).
In determining requirements, the lead personnel group commander must consider infrastructure in the area of operations, deployment timing, force composition, and expected deployment duration. The commander must decide from his situational analysis what postal unit structure will be necessary to support the operation and where to place the theater MMT.
The normal postal unit requirement for supporting a deployed force is one postal operations platoon for up to 36,000 soldiers and civilians, a postal services platoon for up to 6,000 soldiers and civilians, and a postal company headquarters for every three platoons.
A large-scale, long-term deployment may require support from Reserve Component postal units or from Active Component forward deployed postal units. Operations and services postal units should deploy from the sustaining base to support contingency force projection operations without Reserve Component mobilization. Personnel group commanders must report their additional requirement for Reserve Component unit activation to the MACOM.
The MACOM AG/DCSPER must coordinate with the MPSA to activate preassigned contingency APO numbers for the deploying force. The MPSA coordinates with the USPS to activate additional numbers as necessary.
The MPSA coordinates with the JMPA for mail transportation from CONUS to the theater of operations. Normally, U.S. flag air carriers transport first class mail to a theater of operations. The USAF Air Mobility Command (AMC) is available to transport mail. However, other commodities may have higher priority.
After the mail arrives in the theater, further transportation becomes a lead corps responsibility. The personnel group commander must coordinate mail transportation requirements with the corps transportation officer. Organic transportation assets within postal units used to move personnel and equipment will not support mail movement. Effective mail movement requires assured military, contracted, or host nation transportation support.
A postal operations platoon will locate near an MMT. The postal operations platoon mission is to receive and process incoming mail and dispatch outgoing mail back to the sustaining base gateways/ports of embarkation. The postal services company headquarters collocates with the PSB. Postal platoons collocate with the PSB whenever possible to enable the platoons to draw life sup port from the PSB. Postal platoons can deploy as far forward as the brigade area in accordance with the METT-T. Chapter 15 describes postal organization in greater detail.
Depending on the operational scope and expected duration, postal platoons and/or postal companies must deploy with the main body of the combat forces. Trained and equipped postal units can be operational within 48 hours after arrival in the theater of operations. Mail flows within the theater from the postal operations platoon(s) at the MMT to the postal services platoon(s). The postal services platoons process and dispatch mail to unit mail clerks who deliver to addressees. The personnel group commander coordinates mail transportation to the divisions and all nondivisional units in the area of operation. Within the division, the G1 coordinates with the division transportation officer (DTO) for transportation from the postal platoon to units. Outgoing mail follows the same route from the originator to the postal operations platoon(s) at the MMT.
As the theater matures, the theater Army PERSCOM assumes responsibility for postal operations. MPSA establishes DoD policy and operating procedures. MPSA is the single point of contact with the USPS, Washington D.C., and it commands and controls JMPA, Atlantic and Pacific.
JMPA manages movement of mail from CONUS gateways and is responsible for coordinating mail terminals or sea ports.
The theater PERSCOM establishes mail policies for the theater. It establishes and maintains the theater mail routing scheme, establishes or designates a casualty mail and theater directory postal unit, and directs subordinate postal operations platoons. The personnel group executes the corps/TAACOM mail policies approved by the theater PERSCOM postal directorate, establishes and maintains the internal routing scheme, and directs subordinate postal units.
The theater postal operations platoon(s) assumes responsibility for receiving and processing mail from the MMT, coordinating mail movement to the corps postal operations platoons, and operating theater locator and redirect service to include processing casualty mail. Postal operations platoons sort mail according to the mail routing scheme and location of postal services platoons and coordinate onward shipment to the postal services platoons. They arrange onward movement of all mail pallets and containers pre-sorted by postal service platoon APO numbers and location.
Mail positioned/palletized according to postal service platoon APO numbers by USPS and the Air Force, does not require the postal operations platoon(s) to off-load all pallets, and the postal operations and platoon can direct them to the appropriate postal services platoon. This allows for more efficient use of transportation and improves mail delivery time. Pallets built with multiple APO mail must always be downloaded for processing and onward movement. The postal operations platoon(s) location placement is key to the success of casualty redirect, missent, intra-theater and retrograde mail operations.
The postal services platoon(s) receives mail dispatched from the operations platoon(s), sorts it by serviced units, and prepares it for dispatch to the mail delivery points/serviced unit mail clerks. Division G1 coordinates with the G4, DTO, and DISCOM commander for the onward transportation of mail from the postal services platoon to the brigade mail delivery point (MDP) normally at the brigade S1 location. The postal services platoon is the MDP for the units located at or near the same location as the postal service platoon. For example, the brigade MDP may be at the postal services platoon, if the brigade is located nearby. Company and/or battalion mail clerks pick up mail from the MDP and coordinate delivery to addressees. Mail clerks coordinate collection of retrograde mail from unit soldiers and deliver it daily to the MDP at the same time as pick-up of unit mail. The same transportation used to deliver mail to MDPs transports retrograde mail in reverse through the postal network. Mail flow in theater is shown in Figure 6-2.
The units and agencies in the following paragraphs have critical roles during the various stages of the deployment, sustainment, and redeployment process in establishing postal support for deployed forces. Figure 6-3 depicts the functions and tasks of postal operations.
Unit mail clerks are key to ensuring that all letters and parcels are properly, expeditiously, and legally delivered to the soldiers. Unit mail clerks assume a great deal of responsibility, and they are faced with daily ethical and legal decisions in their efforts to get soldiers their mail. They must possess strong character and good judgement and must be above reproach. Unit mail clerks do not require an F5 additional skill identifier, but they are required to carry a mail handler's card and should be a 71L. Unit mail clerks perform the following critical tasks:
- Receive mail and sort it by location to the lowest remaining unit levels.
- Deliver mail to addressees.
- Collect 100 percent of retrograde mail from unit soldiers and forward it to the postal services platoon via the MDPs.
- Forward retrograde mail to the postal services platoon/mail delivery point separated by outgoing and intra-theater (local) military mail.
- Ensure that all mail is safeguarded and handled IAW DoD postal regulations (without exception).
- Coordinate with the S1 to maintain an accountability roster by location of unit soldiers to ensure efficient mail redirect for soldiers who become casualties or change location.
- Appropriately label and redirect casualty mail to the postal services platoon for forwarding.
- Deliver accountable mail to soldiers and civilians IAW DoD postal regulations.
- Immediately report any postal problems to the commander and/or unit S1.
The battalion S1 develops and coordinates a postal operations plan for assigned and attached units within the battalion by performing the following critical tasks:
- Supervise all battalion mail operations.
- Provide the brigade S1 and S4 with grid coordinates of the preferred and most efficient daily MDP and alternate MDPs.
- Collect and route daily outgoing mail to the postal services platoon.
- Coordinate with the S4 for delivery of mail to soldiers.
- Ensure that mail clerks are properly trained and certified and can handle all mail IAW DoD postal regulations.
- Collect and sort incoming mail.
- Inform the ACofS G1 and postal services platoon through the brigade S1 of all task force additions and deletions as well as requested MDP location changes.
- Coordinate with the brigade S1 to assist whenever possible with mail service to soldiers in units under operational control (OPCON) of the battalion.
- Ensure proper marking and redirect of mail for wounded, deceased, or missing soldiers and civilians to the postal services platoon.
- Coordinate with the brigade signal officer and brigade S1 for handling of official mail.
- Investigate and coordinate to reconcile any problems within the battalion hindering the delivery of mail to soldiers.
The brigade S1 develops and coordinates a postal operations plan for assigned and attached units within the brigade by performing the following critical tasks:
- Supervise all brigade mail operations.
- Coordinate with the S4 for transportation of mail to battalion S1s and remote troop locations.
- Collect and route outgoing mail to the postal services platoon.
- Provide the G1 with grid coordinates of the preferred daily MDP and alternate MDPs.
- Ensure the proper marking and redirect of mail for wounded, deceased, or missing soldiers and civilians through the postal services platoon.
- Coordinate with OPCON unit S1s and their parent units to assist whenever possible with mail service to soldiers in units under operational control of the brigade.
- Coordinate with the division signal officer for the handling of official mail in coordination with the brigade signal officer.
- Ensure that unit mail clerks handle all mail IAW DoD postal regulations.
- Coordinate with the G1 and/or postal services platoon to provide postal finance services to brigade soldiers.
- Investigate and coordinate to reconcile any problems within the brigade hindering the delivery of mail to soldiers in a timely manner.
The Assistant Chief of Staff G1 has overall staff responsibility for all mail operations (except official mail) for the division and attached units. The G1 develops and coordinates postal operations plans for all assigned and attached units within the division by performing the following critical tasks:
- Act as a liaison between the division and the postal services platoon(s).
- Coordinate with the G4, DTO, and DISCOM for delivery of mail from postal services platoons to brigade S1 MDPs.
- Maintain the road conditions and the locations for the BSA MDPs, alternate MDPs, MSRs, enemy, postal units, transportation units, isolated units, and other significant elements, and prepare the recommended order of priority for MDPs. List S1 MDP requests in order of priority. Establish alternate MDPs when transportation is limited.
- Prepare transportation requests for pick-up and delivery of mail to each brigade MDP and/or brigade S1/BSA.
- Coordinate transportation requests with the DISCOM, G4, DTO, CofS, and/or Assistant Division Commander for Support (ADC(s)).
- Provide a copy of transportation requests to postal services units, inform S1s of approved MDPs, and reconcile problems.
- Spot-check retrograde and casualty mail and mail operations against the standards of service.
Responsibilities of the PSB are the following:
- Provide command and control for postal units.
- Incorporate postal headquarters in all deployment plans.
- Assist the postal company commander with coordinating life support for postal platoons.
- Include the postal company in vehicle maintenance, weapons maintenance, communication, and supply planning.
The personnel group provides policy and procedural guidance for postal companies and is responsible for performing the following critical tasks:
- Determine postal support requirements for the deploying force.
- Coordinate the employment of postal units throughout the corps.
- Ensure that all corps postal units receive initial pre-pack items required from USPS as well as re supply of those items.
- Ensure that all corps postal units have adequate personnel, equipment, weapons, food, and supplies to survive on the battlefield and perform their mission.
- Determine the command relationship of postal platoons to the unit supported.
- Collect postal statistical and historical workload information from postal units.
- Coordinate with the corps G4 and COSCOM for transportation of mail from postal operations units to the appropriate postal services units.
- Reconcile postal units' problems concerning transportation, command and control, life support, communications, automation, and logistics.
- Receive policy guidance from PERSCOM concerning casualty mail operations. Establish and monitor procedures for casualty mail operations.
- Spot-check retrograde, casualty, and regular mail operations.
- Provide guidance to the G1 and corps commander on the impact of theater and/or corps mail policies.
- Provide individual and unit postal training guidance to PSB/postal company commanders.
- Publish a rating scheme for postal unit officers and senior NCOs.
- Request MACOM activation of essential postal units, as required.
- Coordinate with the corps transportation officer for intra-theater mail transportation.
- Select an MMT location(s).
- Establish the mail routing theme.
- Receive policy guidance concerning EPW mail, and coordinate with the provost marshal, International Red Cross, corps G1, and theater PERSCOM for proper and efficient execution.
The corps G1 provides policy guidance and coordinates with the personnel group commander to keep the corps commander informed of postal operations. The corps G1 is responsible for performing the following critical tasks:
- Coordinate with higher headquarters to ensure the required number and type of postal units to support the deployed force are in the corps.
- Reconcile problems between the personnel group, postal units, transportation units, PERSCOM, and units served.
- Coordinate with the theater postal directorate, and communicate the corps commander's guidance to the personnel group commander on all mail operations (except official mail).
The theater PERSCOM is responsible for postal management within the theater and for performing the following critical functions:
- Ensure the manning and operation of MMTs.
- Operate a theater locator and redirect service.
- Coordinate transportation for mail movement to and from the corps postal operations platoon(s).
- Establish theater mail operations policies.
- Determine the location and function of theater postal operations units.
- Coordinate the theater EPW mail plan, and monitor its execution IAW the Geneva Convention.
- Coordinate with the Unified Commander to request and ensure appropriate MPS resources for the postal responsibilities in the theater.
- Provide unit mail routing information to JMPA.
- Consult with JMPA to develop instructions and procedures with optimum mail routing.
The responsibilities of the MACOM AGs are the following:
- Coordinate Reserve Component unit activation.
- Request contingency APO activation from MPSA.
The Unified Commander is the coordination link between MPSA and the separate services and performs the following critical tasks:
- Issues and coordinates theater MPS policy and procedures to ensure that plans of the military service component commands adequately and equitably address MPS support.
- Coordinates first opening or last closing of any MPO in the theater.
- Selects the most appropriate military service component command to provide the necessary support throughout the integrated MPS resources of the theater.
The responsibilities of the MPSA are the following:
- Establish policy and procedures required for proper administration of the MPS.
- Act as the single DoD point of contact with the USPS and other government agencies on MPS policy and operational matters.
- Activate contingency APOs.
- Coordinate initial mail routing schemes with the JMPA.
- Coordinate an integrated network of major military mail distribution and transportation facilities in overseas areas.
- Establish and maintain liaison with the DoD transportation operating agencies.
- Provide military postal transportation planning support to DoD components in support of the plans of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) and other military operations.
The responsibilities of the JMPA are the following:
- Act as a single point of contact with the USPS at the gateways.
- Coordinate the transportation of mail to the needs in the host nation.
- Coordinate mail movement transportation needs with the military AMC, as necessary.
- Coordinate mail routing scheme changes with gateways.
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