Complete Set of 4 nos of postage stamps on the 150 years of the Field Post Office (FPO) :
Issued by India
Issued on Dec 8, 2006
Issued for : The Department of Posts is proud to issue a commemorative postage stamp on the Field Post Office on this glorious occasion.
Stamp & FDC : Sankha Samanta
Cancellation : Alka Sharma
Type : Se–tenant Strip of 4 Stamps, Mint Condition
Colour : Multi Colour
Denomination : 500 Paise each
Stamps Printed : 0.4 Million each
Printing Process : Wet–offset
Printer : Security Printing Press, Hyderabad
- In the long and glorious history of the Indian Army, Army Post Offices have played a pivotal role in maintaining the morale of the troops. Being a part of the national postal system, Field Post Offices have served as a connecting link between the troops placed in far-flung locations guarding the frontiers and their families back home.
- The Field Post Offices accompanying the Expeditionary Forces abroad were called as Field Forces Post Offices (FFPOs). The first Field Force Post Office came into operation during 1856 to accompany the British Expeditionary Forces to Persia. This FPO functioned at Bushire from 12 December 1856 to 2 October 1857. The second FPO functioned at Mohamasa (present Khorramshahi) from 24 March 1857 to 16 May 1857 and third FFPO at Kharaj from August 57 to 4 February 1958.
- Thus we find that the history of the Field Post Offices commences and grows steadily to assume greater responsibility later. Initially some officials of the Department of Posts were made to work under the control of Army Officers but later Chief Superintendent of Post Offices of the Department of Posts started controlling the postal operations. Volunteering for Field Service became an all India affair from the Afghan war onwards.
- Field Post Offices initially provided all major postal facilities except payment of money orders and Indian Postal Orders. Gradually FPOs became an integral part of the Army and are set up, worked, controlled and closed under the orders of the Army’s own postal organisation, the Army Postal Service (APS). Raised as a war time postal organisation till World War II, the Jammu and Kashmir operations in 1947 had brought in the need and necessity to have it as a permanent organisation of the Indian Army. Initially the Army Postal Service, which controls the Field Post Offices, was affiliated to Army service Corps till it became a separate entity on 1 March 1972.
- The most important contribution of the Field Post Office in the life of a soldier is that it keeps up his morale, whether he is in dizzy height Himalayas, dense forest of the North East, the scorching deserts of Western India, or the counter-insurgency led mine-field environment. The postal facility is not only extended to the Army but also to the Air Force, Border Road Organisations, Rashtriya Rifles and other Para Military Forces like Assam Rifles, BSF and CRPF. Besides this, the Field Post Office facility has been, of late, extended to Army units on peacetime locations also. The recent introduction of PIN code for Army units with ‘9’ as the first index number enables the Army mail move with the soldier wherever he moves with a unit. Unlike in the civilian postal service, the soldier need not change his address when he moves from one place to another nor does he need to reveal his location in his address.
- The Field Post Offices are fully mobile and equipped to function in tents, trucks, bunkers, and even in open air as befits their Army role. However, in the changing IT environment FPOs are also functioning in well-built, well-equipped accommodation. With the provision of computers in every FPO, the counter operations have been automated to give fast and hassle free services to the customers. In its 150th year, the FPO is marching ahead to extend all the postal facilities and premium services to their clientele. The FPOs have made a giant leap forward in their mission to serve the soldiers with zeal and dedication both in peace and war for the last 150 years of its existence.
- Text : Material provided by the APS Directorate.