DND recognizes Canada Post’s ‘Mail to the Troops’ program

The Canadian Armed Forces’ (CAF) Royal Canadian Logistics Service (RCLS) recognized Canada Post’s “Mail to the Troops” program, as well as its routine support of the Canadian Forces Postal Service (CFPS), yesterday during a special ceremony in Ottawa.

Canada Post President and CEO Doug Ettinger received a commendation on behalf of the Crown corporation from Major-General Richard Goodyear, a senior CAF logistician, for the Mail to the Troops program, which has been in operation for 15 years. Through the program, Canada Post offers free letter and parcel deliveries to deployed troops from family and friends during the holiday season.

“This unprecedented year has reminded us just what Canada Post is all about: serving Canadians and connecting them to one another – and to the world,” said Ettinger, who was appointed to the helm of the Crown corporation in March 2019, while accepting the commendation on Oct. 29.

“Our more than 60,000 employees do that through hard work, dedication, and pride. They also bring those ingredients to the holiday mail and parcel program so that Canadian Armed Forces personnel overseas can receive mail and parcels from family and friends during the holiday season. This is Canada Post ‘serving the Canadians who serve,’ and it captures the great mutual respect between our military and our postal service.”

A tag affixed on mailbags of the NATO-led Stabilization Force in Bosnia-Herzegovina denotes registered mail. Photo by Hugo Deshaye.

‘MAIL TO THE TROOPS’

The window for free delivery of lettermail and regular parcel items began Oct. 13 and runs until Jan. 8, 2021, with lettermail deliveries extended until December 2021.

Due to capacity limitations on military aircraft carrying supplies to deployed forces, this offer is restricted to family and friends of CAF members serving overseas.

“As we commemorate 15 years of the cost-free mail program for deployed personnel, it is important that we acknowledge Canada Post Corporation’s support,” said Goodyear. “I would like to thank each and every employee of Canada Post, who has worked tirelessly to support the Canadian Forces Postal Service and Canadian Armed Forces personnel.”

A 1986 stamp marks the 75th anniversary of the Canadian Forces Postal Service.

CANADIAN FORCES POSTAL SERVICE

Founded in May 1911 as the Canadian Postal Corps, the CFPS operates Canada Post post offices in support of CAF deployments and ships located worldwide.

CFPS personnel provide postal services and support to both the CAF and Department of National Defence. CAF mail is mail sent to or by CAF personnel, their family members and applicable civilians through a Canadian Forces post office (CFPO) or fleet mail office (FMO).

A CFPO is a CFPS-operated military post office providing postal services to personnel authorized to send or receive CAF mail either domestically or overseas.

Another CFPS-operated military post office, the FMO provides postal services to Her Majesty’s Canadian Ships (HMCS). Mail is gathered at the FMO in Halifax or Victoria, and each FMO is then responsible for sorting and preparing the mail for shipment to the deployed ship.

To read more about the CFPS, including the Mail to the Troops program policies, click here.

1986 CFPS STAMP

In May 1986, Canada Post issued a 34-cent stamp (Scott #1904) marking the 75th anniversary of the CFPS.

In his 1958 memoirs, Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery noted a soldier’s morale “is the greatest single factor in war, and the best way to achieve a high morale in war-time is by success in battle.”

Another major aspect of war-time morale, Montgomery wrote, is a connection with friends and family back home.

“He will do anything you ask of him so long as you arrange he gets his mail from home, the newspapers, and, curiously enough, plenty of tea.”

During both 20th-century world wars, the CFPS accomplished its morale-boosting mail delivery to troops by mobilizing “many post office employees,” according to a statement issued by Canada Post upon the release of the 1986 stamp.

Designed by Montréal graphic artist Jacques DesRosiers and printed by Ashton-Potter, the stamp’s design is based on a war-time photograph of military personnel handling letters and parcels.

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