A Step-by-Step Guide on How to Fill Out an APO Address Correctly

Last Updated: September 21, 2023By Tags: ,

A Step-by-Step Guide on How to Fill Out an APO Address Correctly

Supporting our military personnel serving overseas with a care package is a heartfelt way to show our love and appreciation. But, to make sure your package gets to the right place, it’s important to know how to properly fill out an APO address. APO addresses are a unique system of mail routing used by the US military and can be slightly confusing for the uninitiated. This guide will walk you through the process, ensuring your packages reach their intended recipients every time.

What is an APO Address?

An Army Post Office (APO) address is part of a system developed to deliver mail to military personnel, irrespective of where they are stationed in the world. APO addresses are used for Army or Air Force installations, while the Navy uses Fleet Post Office (FPO) addresses. For U.S. diplomatic staff and embassies worldwide, Diplomatic Post Office (DPO) addresses are used.

The Structure of an APO Address

Understanding the structure of an APO address is the first step to filling one out correctly. An APO address typically consists of the service member’s full name, a unit or PO Box number, and a specific APO, FPO, or DPO code followed by a regional code (AA, AE, or AP) and ZIP code. 

Here is a typical format:

Service Member’s Full Name

Unit and PO Box number

APO, FPO, or DPO, AE or AP or AA, ZIP Code

The parts of the address are explained below:

– APO, FPO, DPO: Denotes the type of military or diplomatic installation.

– AA, AE, AP: These codes stand for Armed Forces Americas, Armed Forces Europe, and Armed Forces Pacific, respectively. They are used in place of the city name in a standard address.

– ZIP Code: The ZIP code corresponds to a specific base or installation. Military ZIP codes often start with a 0 or 9, but can range from 09000 to 96200.

Step-by-Step Guide to Filling Out an APO Address

Now that you understand the structure of an APO address let’s go step-by-step through how to fill one out correctly.

  1. Recipient’s Full Name: Start with the full name of the recipient. Include rank if known. 
  2. Unit and Box Number: Include the recipient’s unit and box number, if provided. This detail is crucial for ensuring the package is directed to the correct individual at the military location.
  3. APO and Regional Code: Write APO followed by either AA, AE, or AP, depending on the location of the recipient’s military base.
  4. ZIP Code: Finally, include the ZIP code, which corresponds to the specific military base or diplomatic post.
  5. Country Name: Do NOT write the country name anywhere on the address. APO addresses are treated as domestic mail, even though they may be going to a foreign country.

Examples of Correctly Filled Out APO Addresses

Let’s take a look at some examples of correctly filled out APO addresses:

– Sgt. Jane Doe

PSC 3 Box 4120

APO AE 09021

– SSgt John Smith

Unit 2050 Box 4190

APO AP 96278

Common Mistakes to Avoid

When filling out an APO address, avoid these common mistakes to ensure your package is delivered correctly and promptly:

– Not including the recipient’s full name and, if known, rank.

– Writing the name of the country in the address.

– Leaving out crucial details like the unit or box number.

– Incorrect formatting of the APO and regional code.


Knowing how to correctly fill out an APO address is essential when sending care packages to military personnel overseas. It ensures that your package reaches the intended recipient without any hitches. The process might seem a bit complicated at first, but once you understand the structure of an APO address and the common mistakes to avoid, it becomes straightforward.

At ShipThrifty, we’re always here to help you navigate the shipping process with ease. If you have further questions or need additional help with filling out an APO address, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. Happy shipping!

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