Photo Information

MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. - A Marine sits at the scanning station in the Harriotte B. Smith library here to send a Motomail to one of his fellow Marines who is deployed overseas. Motomail is a free, private and secure system that friends and loved ones can use to send letters to Marines who are deployed overseas.

Photo by Lance Cpl. Adam Johnston

Motomail - A faster, cheaper alternative

16 Feb 2006 | Lance Cpl. Adam Johnston

For Marines who are deployed overseas in support of Operations Iraqi and Enduring Freedom, keeping in touch with family and friends is vital. The quickest and easiest way might be through e-mail; however, not everyone has access to a computer while deployed. Old-fashioned mail is still an option, but it can take letters more than a week to arrive at their final destination. So what’s the solution?

Motomail, which was originally used by British Forces, launched Dec. 4, 2004. Through this free service, Marines deployed to either Iraq or Afghanistan can receive letters from back home within a mere 24 hours.

“The great thing about getting a letter versus an e-mail is you can grab it, hold it and read it as much as you want, whenever and wherever,” said Master Sgt. Robert A. Simpson, a postal quality control chief with Headquarters and Service Battalion, 2nd Marine Logistics Group. “Motomail is just like getting regular mail, only faster.”

Once an overseas Motomail station receives a message, it’s immediately downloaded, printed, sealed, sorted and delivered to the recipient in no more than 72 hours.

“The closer a Marine is to the receiving station, the quicker he or she will get the letter,” said Simpson. “Theoretically, if a Marine’s dad sends his son the halftime score of a football game, if that Marine was standing right next to a receiving station, he could get the message before the game was even over.”

To use Motomail, family and friends can go to and register for an account. The only piece of information the sender needs to have is the recipient’s deployed mailing address.

For those who wish to send hand-written letters, the scanning location at the Harriotte B. Smith library is available for use during normal library hours. It too is offered free of charge.