Remember the time you moved from one state to another and just went on the internet to file your new address? And remember how your mail just started showing up seamlessly at your new place not long thereafter?
If you've ever PCSed from an OCONUS location back home you know that things aren't that easy there. There's no online anything. Instead there's paperwork (because it's the military -- and there's always paperwork). And there's a prayer that this paperwork magically means your mail someday will find you after the right person files it in the right place.
And since we've all dealt with other paper filers (like finance, for example) we know that the likelihood of this actually working the way it is supposed to seems like it should be categorized under "fat chance."
But that's about to change.
Thanks to work from Military Postal Service Agency (MPSA) to bring military addresses into compliance with the standard United States Postal Services (USPS) ones, in November you'll be able to file your change of address online.
Yes, the INTERNET.
And that will mean that instead of your mail going aaaaaaaaaaaaaall the way to Japan before being sent aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaall the way back to your Mom's house in Ohio (which is the address you filed in Japan because you didn't know a new address for you), and then hopefully being captured by that change of address you filed stateside and moved aaaaaaaaaaall the way to California where you now live before finally being delivered, it will instead simply be redirected to the last change of address you filed online.
It's so simple it's crazy. Here's a little graphic on the subject from MSPA showing the old verses the new process:
At the very least this will make moving from an APO location easier. The change isn't going to take place until November, and could mean that you are about to get a change of address order from your commander to get your APO address into "compliance" with the USPS system. I know there have been some headaches involved with those changes. But if it means a better system later, is it worth it?