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Support Our Troops

Troop Support Mail Policy

Q. What can I do to support our troops?

A. Thank you for thinking of our troops! Thousands of Americans are asking what they can do to show their support for servicemembers, especially those serving overseas in this time of war. Reach out to military families in your community, especially those with a loved one overseas. Please do not flood the military mail system with letters, cards, and gifts. Due to security concerns and transportation constraints, DoD cannot accept items to be mailed to
"Any Servicemember." Some people have tried to avoid this prohibition by sending large numbers of packages to an individual servicemember's address, which however well intentioned, clogs the mail and causes unnecessary delays. The support and generosity of the American people has touched the lives of many servicemembers, over 300,000 of whom are deployed overseas.

Below are Web sites for several organizations that are sponsoring programs for members of the Armed Forces overseas. While it would be inappropriate for DoD to endorse any specifically, servicemembers do value and appreciate such expressions of support:

Q. How can I find the address of a specific present or former member of the U.S. Armed Forces?

A. Responsibility for current military personnel records falls within the jurisdiction of the military departments, not the Office of the Secretary of Defense. Therefore, requests for military addresses should be sent to the respective service of the individual whose address is being sought. There is no comprehensive source for e-mail addresses. Even if there were, military regulations and the Privacy Act of 1974 do not permit the military departments to provide home addresses or telephone numbers of service personnel. Moreover, regulations do not permit random dissemination of listings of names and addresses of service personnel. These regulations have been established to protect individual service men and women from commercial exploitation and to respect their right of privacy. Because of the large volume of requests that each service locator receives, please allow four weeks processing time for written requests.

Specific information
The following information is needed for all requests for all locator services:

Give as much identifying information as possible about the person you wish to locate such as full name, rank, last duty assignment/last known military address, service number, and Social Security number.

The locator service is free to immediate family members and government officials. Other family members, civilian friends, businesses and others must pay $3.50. The check or money order must be made out to the U.S. Treasury. It is not refundable.

United States Army
The Army will help you locate individuals on active duty only, not retirees. The place to start is the Army World Wide Locator. The address is:

U.S. Army Enlisted Records & Evaluation Center
ATTN: Locator
8899 East 56th Street
Fort Benjamin Harrison, IN 46249-5301

United States Navy
The Navy's locator service helps locate individuals on active duty and those whose service ended less than a year ago. In addition, the Navy will forward letters as long as the correct postage is affixed to the envelope. You can call the locator service at 1-901-874-3388. Unless you are active military, local or federal government, or a family member, the fee for researching an address is $3.50 per address. Fees are retained in cases resulting in an unsuccessful search or for unreleasable addresses. Mail your correspondence with your fee, check or money order payable to United States Treasurer, to the following address:

World Wide Locator
Bureau of Naval Personnel
5720 Integrity Drive
Millington, TN 38055-3120

United States Marine Corps
The Marine Corps locator can provide the duty station for active duty personnel and reservists. For retired individuals, the locator service can provide the city and state, but not an address. The service will provide the service member's current rank and unit address; however, due to the locator's staffing, the office cannot forward mail except in special cases. Telephone requests to 1-703-640-3942/43 are free of charge to immediate family members and government officials calling on official business. In addition, telephonic service will be provided at no cost to any individual, business or organization, if the Marine locator decides the information would benefit the individual. Send written locator requests to:

Commandant of the Marine Corps
Headquarters, USMC
Code MMSB-10
Quantico, VA 22134-5030

United States Air Force
The Air Force Information Information Management can locate active duty personnel, as well as retirees, reservists and guardsmen. This information is not available for those who have separated from the Air Force or are Army Air Corps retirees. Information on individuals stationed overseas or in a sensitive position will not be released. However, the locator service will forward mail to that person for up to 90 days, as long as the correct postage is on the envelope and any required fee has been paid. Parents, spouses, and government officials may call 1-210-652-5774 for a recorded message or 1-210-652-5775 for non-recorded service.

For locator service write to:
550 C Street, West, Suite 50
Randolph AFB, TX 78150-4752

Q. How can I contact military personnel in an emergency?

A. If you need to contact a military member for emergency purposes, please call your local Red Cross chapter. Use operator assistance if necessary, or you may also find your local Red Cross chapter telephone number by visiting the Red Cross web site and clicking on "Your local Red Cross" and entering your zip code.

Q. Is there a central email directory for Air Force people?

A. There is no central email directory for Air Force people.

Q. Is there a central e-mail directory for Navy people?

A. The Navy/Marine Corps White Pages of official e-mail accounts is available to those operating on Navy and Marine Corps servers, but there is no central e-mail directory for Navy people or for Navy commands open to the general public. For the general public, your best course of action is to check to see if the command has a Web site and, if it has information on how to e-mail personnel assigned.

Q. Does the Navy issue e-mail accounts to Sailors?

A. Many Navy commands, primarily ships and shipboard commands, do provide e-mail accounts as a quality of life issue. Most shore commands provide an official e-mail account, not personal one, since Sailors can easily communicate with family members, either because the family is co-located or the Sailor can easily obtain a personal account through a commercial Internet Service Provider (ISP).

Q. Can I send e-mail to a sailor aboard ship?

A. Yes, but it depends upon the ship to which the sailor is assigned. Many do have e-mail accounts and provide an e-mail account to crewmembers as a quality of life issue. Personnel operating on Navy or Marine Corps servers can use the Navy/Marine Corps White Page to find e-mail addresses. Members of the general public should check the list of Navy Web Sites. You may also visit the USN Fact File section for the Web sites of various ships to see if the ship's web site lists how to e-mail a Sailor.

Q. Are there other means by which to communicate with a sailor or Marine aboard ship?

A. Yes. Another means is the Military Affiliate Radio System (MARS). MARS is run entirely by volunteers and has been providing communications between Sailors and their loved ones for many, many years. More information is available at the Navy-Marine Corps MARS Telecommunications System National Home Page.

How to locate a someone who was in the Navy
Retirees and those who have left the Navy, but are not retired: The Navy does not keep track of anyone once they've left the Navy. Individuals may serve an initial obligation of a certain number of years and then be discharged, or they may remain for more than one tour and then be discharged, or they may remain until eligible to transfer to the Fleet Reserve or to retire. To locate retirees, limited service is available through the World Wide Locator. Correspondence will be forwarded, if possible, to the retiree since individuals' addresses are not releasable by law under the Privacy Act. Also, many times the address is not known.

For those individuals who left the Navy prior to being eligible for retirement or transfer to the Fleet Reserve, there is no formal way of trying to locate them. You may try the last place they called home and see if there are any records with either that local government or in the local newspaper's files, or you may just place an advertisement in any of the many veterans' organizations magazines.

Q. How can I contact someone who is in the Marines?

A. The following U.S. Marine Corps Family Referral hotline numbers are for family only. In addition, they will not be able to provide casualty information. Because of the sensitivity of casualty information, the Marine Corps will contact the Marine's immediate family first. The numbers provided apply to both active duty and Reserve Marines.

  • For Marines stationed East of the Mississippi River (minus Wisconsin): (800) 336-4663

  • For Marines stationed West of the Mississippi River (plus Wisconsin): (800) 253-1624

West Coast Marine Corps Units

MCB Camp Pendleton
The 1st Marine Expeditionary Force has established a toll free information line to allow friends and family members access to current information. Call 1-866-676-0662, for information on:

  • 1st Marine Expeditionary Force, press 1
  • 1st Marine Headquarters Group, press 2
  • 1st Marine Division, press 3
  • 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, press 4
  • 1st Force Service Support Group, press 5
  • 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit, press 6
  • 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit, press 7
  • 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit, press 8.

  • For news and information about the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force, visit their Web site.

  • For news and information about the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit, visit their Web site.

  • For news and information about the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit, vitis their Web site.

  • For news and information about the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit, visit their Web site.

MAGTFTC 29 Palms
Family Readiness Information Line: Call 1-866-676-0662

7th Marine Regiment out of 29 Palms: 1-800-759-7602

  • For 1/7 press 1
  • For 2/7 press 2
  • For 3/7 press 3
  • For 3/4 press 4
  • For HQ press 5
  • For 7th Marines Regiment press 6
  • For 1st Tanks, 3/11, or AAV press 7

For information about Fleet Marine Force Units aboard 29 Palms, visit their web site,

MCAS Miramar
Family Readiness Information Line: Call 1-866-676-0662

Family Readiness Information Line: Call 1-866-676-0662

View Web sites for the Marine units aboard MCAS Yuma.

East Coast Marine Corps Units

MCB Camp Lejeune
Camp Lejeune has established a Community and Family Assistance Center toll free Deployment Support Line at 1-800-451-6227.

The 2nd Marine Expeditionary Force has also established several toll free information lines to allow friends and family members access to current information.

  • 2nd Marine Expeditionary Brigade: 1-877-817-7322
  • 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit: 1-800-664-7193
  • 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit: 1-800-230-8762

For news and information about the 2nd Marine Division, visit their Web site.

For news and information about the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit, visit their Web site.

For news and information about the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit visit their Web site.

For news and information about the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit, visit their Web site.

MCAS Beaufort
Family Readiness Information Line: 1-800-451-6227

MCAS Cherry Point
Family Readiness Information Line: 1-800-451-6227

For news and information about the 2nd Marine Air Wing, visit their Web site.

MCAS New River
Family Readiness Information Line: 1-800-451-6227

Outside the Continental United States

MCB Hawaii
Family Readiness Information Line: Call 808-257-2410/ 2584

View information about Marine units located at MCB Hawaii.

MCAS Iwakuni
View information about Marine units aboard MCAS Iwakuni.

For news and information about the III Marine Expeditionary Force, visit their Web site.

MCB Okinawa

Q. How do I find an address for a deployed Marine?

A. For the latest unit addresses and information about sending mail to deployed Marines you should contact the Main Post Office at the installation where the Marine was assigned before deploying. Letters and packages sent to Marines at their stateside Marine Corps Postal addresses will be forwarded to deployed Marines with a minimum delay.

  • Main Post Office MCLB Barstow, CA, (760) 577-6155/6554/6297
  • Main Post Office MCAS Beaufort, SC, (843) 228-7220
  • Main Post Office Camp Lejeune, NC, (910) 451-2789/2204/5134
  • Main Post Office Camp Pendleton, CA (760) 763-3401/5769/1230/1196
  • Main Post Office MCAS Cherry Point, NC, (252) 466-4242/2069
  • Main Post Office MCAS Miramar, CA, (858) 577-4777/6282
  • Main Post Office MCAS Yuma, AZ, (928) 269-2162/3119
  • Main Post Office MCCDC Quantico, VA, (703) 784-2822/2100
  • Main Post Office MCLB Albany, GA, (229) 639-5219
  • Main Post Office MCAS New River, NC, (910) 450-6501
  • Main Post Office MCRD Parris Island, SC, (843) 228-2906/2482
  • Main Post Office MCRD San Diego, CA, (619) 524-5775/8147
  • Main Post Office MAGTFTC 29 Palms, CA, (760) 830-7399/6640
  • Main Post Office MCB Camp Butler, Japan 011-81-611-747-2468/5010
  • Main Post Office MCB Camp Smith, HI, (808) 477-5080/5085
  • Main Post Office MCAS Iwakuni, Japan, 011-81-6117-53-6217/6322

Q. What can be mailed to deployed Marines?

A. The following items are PROHIBITED:

  • Illegal substances;
  • Alcoholic beverages;
  • Explosives, including fireworks;
  • Offensive or obscene materials, including photos, drawings or any other material which may have the potential to offend members of the opposite sex, members of another race, background, nationality or ethnicity; anything which would make uncomfortable, someone who is deeply religious, conservative or modest.

The following is a list of highly desirable items for deployed Marines. It is recommend that you keep the boxes small - about the size of shoe box or a Postal Service Express mailing box - for easy transportation.

  • Beef Jerky
  • Books
  • Cameras (disposable)
  • Camper style foods
  • Candy
  • Cards
  • Chapstick
  • Dental floss
  • Facial tissues
  • Fast food Hot Sauce packets
  • Flashlights
  • Girl Scout cookies
  • Gum
  • Magazines
  • Moist Wipes
  • Music CDs
  • Nerf toys (small footballs, etc.)
  • Odor Eaters (for boots)
  • Pencils
  • Pens
  • Personal message
  • Phone cards
  • Playing cards
  • Postage
  • Powdered drink mix (non-alcoholic)
  • Razors
  • Sardine
  • Sheets of stationery
  • Snacks* (cookies, granola bars)
  • Tea bags
  • Toiletries (travel sizes)
  • Toothbrushes
  • Toothpaste
  • Travel games
  • Travel mugs
  • Tuna snack kits
  • Valentines
  • Vienna Sausages