Magazine article Army Reserve Magazine

Restricted Mail Policy

Magazine article Army Reserve Magazine

Restricted Mail Policy

Article excerpt

According to Col. Donald Kennedy, commander of 3rd Personnel Command, military and civilian personnel continue to place restricted items capable of destroying life and property into packages mailed home from Iraq. Consequences for sending restricted items can be severe, depending upon what was sent and whether damage was caused. This can include Uniform Code of Military justice action that could permanently damage a military career and result in fines, a reduction in grade, or even imprisonment.

All parcels undergo an inspection by a mail clerk at the camp post office before being accepted for mailing. Postal patrons also must complete customs forms and declarations pertaining to the contents of parcels being mailed. In addition, parcels are subject to x-raying at several points en route to their destinations.

According to U.S. Central Command, U.S. Postal Service and Department of Defense policies, "any article, composition, or material is non-mailable if it can kill or injure another, or injure the mail or other property." Harmful matter includes, but is not limited to, poisons, poisonous animals, diseases, germs, explosives, flammables, infernal machines, chemicals, and other items that may ignite or explode.

Certain "war trophies," defined as "enemy weapons, ammunition, explosives or items of equipment," also are non-mailable. This includes live rounds, pistols, machine guns, weapons magazines, and anti-personnel mines. War trophies that clearly pose no health risk, such as flags, uniforms, photos, and medals that were captured or found abandoned and do not dishonor the dead or result in improper or illegal conduct can be mailed according to CENTCOM policy. …

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