Make sure your mail arrives on time

27 Nov 2012 | Lance Cpl. Scott W. Whiting

Christmas is right around the corner, and with the holidays comes an influx of mail sent overseas to service members. The United States Postal Service released their deadlines for getting mail sent overseas to arrive in time for the busy Christmas season.

The fastest way to send mail is through express mail. In order to take advantage of this service when sending to a military installation overseas, the mail must be sent by Dec. 17 for it to arrive on time. First-class mail, which includes letters, cards and parcels 13 ounces or lighter, should be mailed no later than Dec. 10. Priority mail is first-class mail weighing more than 13 ounces, and it should also be sent by Dec. 10. Parcel airlift mail needs to be mailed by Dec. 3.

“These dates are recommended since Christmas gets so busy, especially when sending out mail,” said Sgt. Guadalupe Nicks, an assistant postal finance officer with the post office aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune.

As of Nov. 15, the U.S. Postal Service is also able to once again ship lithium batteries to international locations, including Army, Fleet and Diplomatic Post Offices overseas.

“They are now able to be mailed, but there are specific requirements for them in order to be sent,” said Nicks.

The lithium batteries must already be installed in the device requiring the battery by the time they are mailed, or packaged alone. If they are being sent alone, they must be in the originally sealed packaging. Multiple batteries must be separated and cushioned within the parcel to prevent short-circuiting, movement or damage. The mail itself cannot exceed five pounds.

For more specific guidelines on shipping lithium batteries, and for more information on the holiday mailing deadlines, visit