Harry Ashton, a postal inspector and document examiner, is credited with forming NARPI in 1967 when he started getting together with other retired inspectors and their wives in Florida. The group initially assumed the name “The Retired Inspectors Club.”

After a story on this “snowbird group” was published in an Inspection Service Bulletin, the national organization began to be formed. When the 165 charter members met, they selected a President, Vice-President, and Secretary/Treasurer and voted to change the name to the National Association of Retired Postal Inspectors. From then on, local chapter meetings were held throughout the country.

In March 1970, it was decided area meetings should be held in other parts of the country besides Florida. In October 1970, a Midwest Area meeting was held in Hot Springs National Park, and a Central Area meeting was held in Cadiz, KY. The first Western Region meeting was held in Monterey, CA, in September 1975.

In 1980, members voted to include membership eligibility to include retired Special Investigators and Investigative Aides. In 2003, an amendment was added to admit retired Support Personnel as Associate Members, and in 2013 Postal Police Officers were also included as Associate Members.

The organization continues expanding as it fulfills its mission of promoting social fellowship and communication with its members.