For 20 years now, Deutsche Post has been serving German service members stationed abroad and ensuring that these troops can keep in touch with their friends and families at home. The German military forces, or Bundeswehr, and Deutsche Post marked the anniversary today with a joint celebration in Bonn. The foundation of the partnership between Deutsche Post and the Bundeswehr was laid back in 1955 when the Bundeswehr was created. The first letters made the trip abroad in 1992, when German service members took part in a humanitarian mission in Cambodia. The German term for military mail, Feldpost, was officially used for the first time a year later.
Eight military post offices
Today, German soldiers can receive and send mail at eight military post offices in Kosovo, Uzbekistan and Afghanistan. In an effort coordinated by the military mail operations center in Darmstadt, Germany, about 2,000 tons of military mail were processed in 2011. This total included about 1.1 million letters and approximately 270,000 freight shipments.
To the service members stationed in the world’s hot spots, letters, parcels and small packages sent to and from home form emotional and material bridges to their families and friends. It is particularly important to them that a letter sent to their spouses will arrive in time for a birthday and that, on the other hand, a package filled with Christmas treats will help spread joy on Christmas Eve. The military mail service provides service members with all of the services that Deutsche Post offers at home: In addition to receiving and sending letters, parcels and packages, service members can take care of their Postbank business at the military mail offices.
3,000 employees have served as military mail specialists
Just like in Germany, mail is delivered to crisis regions of the world by Deutsche Post employees. They volunteer for this duty and are trained by the Bundeswehr to become military mail specialists. Since 1992, about 3,000 Deutsche Post employees have served as military mail specialists. In the beginning, 10 military mail specialists handled the job each year. Today, 130 Deutsche Post employees serve the troops annually. The military mail specialists are held in high regard by service members because they maintain the link to home.
At Christmas and Easter mail volume increases
At Christmas and Easter, the military mail specialists have a particularly big job on their hands. Before these holidays, mail volume can increase by more than 100 percent. During these periods, the military mail specialists process about 12,000 letters and approximately 3,000 parcels and small packages a day. Even though they face danger on the job, they are glad to perform this service in faraway lands because a letter from home can frequently act as a form of miracle cure for homesickness.
“At times, military mail specialists risk their own lives to carry out the Group’s legally mandated mission, and you cannot praise this work too highly,” says Diethelm Scholle, the head of military mail at Deutsche Post. “The professional organization by Deutsche Post and the individual commitment of thousands of military mail specialists have helped make the term Feldpost a synonym for reliable, secure and fast postal services for German soldiers serving abroad,” adds Col. Frank Mertes of the Bundeswehr’s Armed Forces Support Command in Cologne.