APO Address

The person’s profile shows cards sent with both US and IT prefixes. The profile claims that the person is an American “living in Italy.” I mispoke; “AE” includes Armed Force Europe and Africa.

If an American is living in Italy using at IT code fine. But “living in Italy” isn’t the same thing as serving in Italy as part of US armed forces. If someone has access to an APO military post office for some reason that address should not be treated as a foreign address for purposes of Postcrossing unless Postcrossing wants to make that clear, which it doesn’t.


Technically it could also be a partner or child of the one serving in Itally.
And also I would guess they have some free time outside of the base.

And the mixing IT and US-IDs are from time the are visiting in the states on holidays.


But “living in Italy” isn’t the same thing as serving in Italy as part of US armed forces.

I don’t really agree with this- I was serving in Japan as part of the US armed forces. However, I had my own apartment on Japanese soil- not on American soil. My landlord was Japanese. I shopped in Japanese grocery stores and attended events with local friends. I got to travel all over Japan as a tourist when I was off duty. I would consider this “living in Japan”. Serving in the armed forces was my job. I put on a uniform and went to work like everyone else did. But I still lived there for 3 years and had all of the same experiences as someone just “living there”.

Because sending something to an APO address can take the same length as sending to someone in another country and the item still needs to meet customs regulations for the country the base is in, it is considered (to postcrossing) an address in another country (which it is in another country technically speaking). But it will still be a US address due to being delivered onto a US base in another country.

Map wise as well, it will still show that the postcard travelled to the country the base is located.

I had numerous packages and even envelopes that had been inspected by Japanese customs (They left notice in the parcel) that were sent to me from the US.


Explanation is, that person who is in US army abroad does Postcrossing during freetime. Code is same as the place where person is. Address is what US army has given for him/her.


WOW @elikoa - I am new so I did not know this piece of information. Thanks for sharing :heavy_heart_exclamation:

Very informative post for newbies - Thank you for sharing :heavy_heart_exclamation:

You said something about “US forces in Africa” yourself. Well, turns out it is Italy. Whatever, it doesn’t change the essence of my post:

  1. You can save on postage.
  2. The receiver might get their mail through Army Post, but identifies as “living in (Italy or whatever country)”. Others have elaborated on the implications on how that might look like in detail.

Ugh. Forget whether the US Postal Service considers it a domestic or international address. The person is in Italy and at the end of the day it’s going to Italy. Postcrossing checks IP addresses and the Postcrosser couldn’t get an US code if he wanted to.

Bottom line: you got an address, you send a card. No ifs ands or buts. You have a problem with this, then Postcrossing may not be for you.


That would be for receiving, this is about sending. Just don’t put a return address on the card, and hey presto, no security issue.


If you enable same-country OK, your address is available for others to send to you as much as you to send to them.

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If you disable own country you cannot send nor receive to / from your country. It’s both.


I realise that. My point is that the security issue with cards travelling within the same country would be if you received the card, not when you send it, unless you choose to put your address on the card.

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It is the same as with Puerto Rico (USA), Guernsey (UK) or Åland Islands (Finland). They are all parts of countries, but they do have their own top level domain, so for Postcrossing they are countries of their own.


I don’t view this any differently than if a US-based person was visiting Germany, for example, and changed their profile to travel mode. They’ll get a DE identifier and be considered as based in Germany for the period of time that they are there. APO folks are still residing in a foreign country, even if they technically have a US address. I was a military brat, and my husband is a veteran. If postcrossing were around in the 80s, I would’ve totally sent cards on the economy with country of origin stamps. They’re the recipient in this case though. Thank them for their service and move on. If it keeps happening, and it bothers you, I’m sure the PC team will get back to you. They’re just a really small group.


Some years ago I received an official card with a Japanese ID, depicting Micky Mouse and bearing a domestic U.S. stamp. The hand cancel was clear enough to read - it had a code number on it. When I googled the postmark details I found that the card had been sent from the United States Navy Base in Yokosuka. I imagine that this members Postcrossing address would have been care of the U.S. Armed Forces, rather than an address in Japan. As a fan of postal history and of postmarks in general I found this card of great interest to me.


Not sure why you dont want to send a card to an international destination for just 1 Forever stamp. Someone serving overseas would be happy to get a postcard. Sorry to say but this complaint seems unkind or super entitled. Send a card and move on.


I understand how it works (though I still wonder what “APO” stands for) but what I don’t understand is why it is a problem.
Is it because you don’t want to send to someone who is an American because it is not exotic for you? So if you drew an address of someone in, say, Japan, but they turned out to be an American, it would be disappointing? I am not saying this is what you said, I just really can’t find an explanation in my mind.
[I never lived in my country of birth in the six years I’ve been on Postcrossing, so is it disappointing to people that they don’t send to a real Singaporean? Or likely, people just don’t care because the amazing diversity of people’s life paths is so precious?].
Or you said something afterwards that implied an “expat” would be fine but not a military person? Is it just because their post is handled by the US, while an expat’s post will be handled by the country they live in? :thinking: Very confusing to me. So it doesn’t matter to you who this person is, but only how your card travels to them? Or is it because of the army? I don’t like armies as a concept and what they represent (I know, I know, they do a lot more than war), but I understand that someone in the army can still be a person enjoying Postcrossing and perhaps very much enjoying the experience of living somewhere else. And again, we couldn’t exclude people based on the job they do (then vegetarians would refuse to send to butchers? :joy:).
But again, I’m still grasping for a rational explanation as I cannot find it.

I doubt it is a glitch, I don’t think there are glitches in this kind of system. And if there were, we would have heard about it in all these years.

Sure, but I was explaining why that feature exists. I don’t see any other reason for it, as excluding people based on location or nationality is very very very very very much against the spirit of Postcrossing. So you cannot exclude someone because you don’t like them, but I guess the security issue was considered important enough to make this exception (perhaps less relevant in large countries like the USA, though of course still possible to get an address near-ish you).


Maybe out of topic, but:

What’s the full phrase of APO?


Is it Army Post Office?

Edit. I’m trying to understand would this all be ok, if the address was “Italy”, even when they were American working there?

I don’t send to my own country, so I can understand it would feel weird to get address saying “Finland”, but since it’s not actually in Finland, it wouldn’t matter.

Correct! Army Post Office. And FPO is Fleet Post Office for Navy and their ships.

And for this interesting thread, I don’t think @MrMopar is angry to receive an APO address but is just curious how Postcrossing treats APO addresses, especially since he declined to send to domestic addresses. It’s a real interesting situation!