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Free mail

Definition Free mail refers to a military service that allows enlisted members and their families to send personal, written communication to each other without any charges. It is commonly used during times of war or conflict. The letters can be sent to and from designated areas defined by the Secretary of Defense. Key Takeaways Free […]


Free mail refers to a military service that allows enlisted members and their families to send personal, written communication to each other without any charges. It is commonly used during times of war or conflict. The letters can be sent to and from designated areas defined by the Secretary of Defense.

Key Takeaways

  1. Free Mail is a special provision provided by the U.S. Military services, allowing military personnel stationed overseas to send letters, cards and lightweight packages to home without postage stamp.
  2. It’s generally applied in “active duty” scenarios where soldiers are deployed in international conflict zones or areas where U.S. military operations are actively going on.
  3. The items sent via Free Mail are typically marked with the term “Free” in the place where the stamp would normally be affixed, indicating that the sender did not have to pay for postage.


The term “Free mail” in military operations is significant because it plays a crucial role in maintaining the morale of servicemen on deployment.

It allows for cost-free delivery of personal correspondence between military personnel in war areas and their families or loved ones back home.

By waiving the typical postage fees, it facilitates the easing of the emotional strains for these individuals who are serving in extremely challenging and often isolating conditions.

Furthermore, it helps to establish and maintain a sense of connectivity, helping to combat feelings of homesickness and isolation.

The practice of delivering free mail stands as a testament to the value placed on mental wellbeing and emotional support for those in military service, in conjunction with their physical safety.


The concept of “free mail” serves an important purpose in military operations, specifically as a morale sustaining operation for the military personnel deployed overseas. This service was first officially designated by the U.S.

Department of Defense during World War II as a means of facilitating communication between service members stationed abroad and their loved ones back home. The purpose of “free mail” is to provide an essential emotional link between military members and their families, serving as an integral part of the support system for these men and women risking their lives far away from home.

What “free mail” does is essentially waive off the cost of mailing letters, cards and envelopes, enabling service members to send and receive correspondence without incurring any postage charges. This is significant because keeping lines of communication open with their families and friends back home can greatly improve the overall well-being and morale of service members.

The “free mail” system helps to alleviate some of the inevitable stressors that come with being in a combat zone or simply being away from home for extended periods of time, thus enhancing the mental and emotional resilience of the troops serving overseas.

Examples of Free mail

Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm (1990-1991): During these operations, the U.S military allowed service members stationed in the Persian Gulf region to send mail back home at no cost. They often used this service to write letters to their families, keep in touch with loved ones, or update their friends about their experiences overseas.

World War II (1939-1945): The U.S. military offered free mail as part of V-Mail service for overseas military personnel. V-Mail was a highly effective and secure way to correspond with soldiers stationed abroad, and it played a significant role in boosting the morale of American troops.

Korean War (1950-1953): The United States Postal Service again provided free mail services for U.S. troops stationed in Korea. This helped soldiers keep morale up by allowing them to stay connected with their families and home life amid the intense conflict.

FAQs about Free Mail in Military Operations

What is Free Mail in Military Operations?

Free Mail in Military Operations refers to the mail services provided by the military departments to the members serving in certain designated areas to enable them to communicate with their families and friends back home free of charge.

Who is eligible for the Free Mail service?

The Free Mail service is available to members of the Armed Forces who are serving in certain designated combat areas. The Department of Defense identifies these areas.

What can be sent via Free Mail?

Free Mail can be used to send letters, postcards, and recorded audio and video media to the family and friends of the service member. It is not intended for business or commercial use.

How is confidentiality maintained in Free Mail?

The confidentiality of Free Mail is maintained in the same way as regular mail. All the Free Mails are opened only by the recipient. The military postal service does not have the right to open and inspect these mail unless there’s a valid reason.

What happens to undelivered Free Mail?

If the Free Mail is marked undeliverable, it will be returned to the sender without any postal charges. Reasons for being undeliverable can include inaccurate address, service member has relocated, or service member is no longer serving in a qualifying area.

Related Military Operation Terms

  • Compensation and Pension Mail
  • Free VA Medical Prescription Shipments
  • Veteran’s Blind Rehabilitation Services
  • Insurance Dividend Checks and Refunds
  • Communications from Veterans and their Representatives

Sources for More Information

  1. United States Postal Service – Military Mail History: This shares the historical background of Free Mail, especially its utilization during war periods.
  2. Military One Source – Mail Delivery: Offers insights about the free mail service in the military.
  3. US Army – Free Mail Still Exists: An authoritative military resource sharing information about the ongoing free mail services in combat zones.
  4. US Navy – Free Mail FAQs: This page gives answers to commonly asked questions regarding free mail in the Navy.

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