Whether or not you enjoyed your military service, one thing is always remembered fondly, even decades later: the packages and letters from home. For 125 years, the Army postal service has been making soldiers' lives sweeter with sumptuous food parcels and passionate love letters. A commemorative stamp was issued by Swiss Post on this occasion.
Each year, the Army postal service delivers two million letters, a quarter of a million parcels and 1.3 million newspapers supplied free of charge by the publishers to their recipients - and postage is free up to five kilos. Every now and then, however, the soldiers are in for a bit of a shock. Thomas Ramseier recalls: "We've received fused tin cans, concreted-over car tyres, and even a foul-smelling pig's head." Ramseier has also been taken aback by the sheer size of some of the deliveries. One morning, for instance, more than 200 packages were delivered for a tank officer. To put a stop to such excesses, in 2006 the free postage for Army post was limited to five parcels per trip to the post office, per recipient.
Today, as well as conveying letters and parcels to and from every corner of Switzerland, the Army postal service, with its 30 or so military post offices, also serves as the military information office for troop locations and telephone numbers (Office Switzerland).
What's more: since 2004, it has even operated outside Switzerland. Wherever Swiss Army personnel are serving far from home, the Army postal service organizes their post – be it in Kosovo or Bosnia Herzegovina. So one thing is for certain: the Army will always need a postal service. It's the Landjager sausages and love letters that keep the army going.