Marines


Funded Environmental Morale Leave

 

FEML Ends as Japan Opens Its Borders - Media Release June 22, 2022

With the extraneous conditions incumbent on overseas travel from Okinawa having been mitigated through easing of COVID-related travel regulations into Japan, the ending of the authorized FEML designation has been set for 1 August 2022.

Individuals with FEML travel reservations submitted on 1 Jun 2022 or earlier remain valid if travel commences prior to 1 Oct 2022. For all FEML travel reservations submitted on or after 2 Jun 2022, travel must begin before 1 Aug 2022. All reservations submitted on or after 2 Jun 2022, where travel begins on or after 1 Aug 2022 are no longer valid and must be rebooked. It is highly recommended for individuals with these reservations to contact their unit's approving officials prior to taking any action to confirm their status or for additional guidance.

 

All new FEML requests for MARFROJ personnel must start travel NLT 31 July. The MCIPAC DMO will stop taking new FEML requests for on 8 July to ensure sufficient time to process all requests.

FEML designation was established for Okinawa due to the GOJ travel restrictions and ROM requirements on mainland Japan.

The purpose of FEML is to provide all eligible individuals the opportunity to execute leave off the island of Okinawa, spend time with family and friends, and maintain operational and personal morale after almost two years of pandemic and GOJ travel restrictions and ROM requirements. 

Please get with your command for further guidance if you have FEML travel planned/authorized on or after 1 Aug.

 

What is Funded Environmental and Morale Leave Travel?

On 19 November 2021, the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Manpower and Reserve Affairs designated Okinawa as a Funded Environmental and Morale Leave (FEML) location. This designation allows commands to provide eligible individuals with round trip Government-funded transportation off Okinawa and designates Seattle as the Aerial Port of Debarkation (APOD) for this FEML location. Commanders shall incorporate responsible use of FEML for eligible Service members, DoD civilian employees, and their dependents executing leave until the Government of Japan removes the quarantine restrictions for DoD personnel assigned to Okinawa.

This program assists with costs of travel, but does not supersede command-level leave and travel policies.

The purpose of Funded Environmental and Morale Leave is to provide all eligible MARFORJ Marines, Sailors, and DoD civilians, and their families the opportunity to execute leave off the island of Okinawa, spend time with family and friends there, and maintain operational and personal morale after almost two years of pandemic in the face of unique conditions in the Western Pacific.

Eligibility

All MARFORJ MIL/CIV personnel and dependents with 24-36 month orders to Okinawa executing leave outside of Okinawa; there are limits to number of times FEML may be used each tour per eligible SOFA status traveler, see the JTR, table 4-11.​

If the Patriot Express is not available to the authorized Aerial Port of Debarkation, or if there is insufficient government travel seating available (individual or grouped travelers), booking transportation via commercial air carriers is authorized, but requires general officer authorization via an Exception to Policy (ETP) input in DTS. Commercial air travel will be booked by exception only. See MARFORJBul 1050 for reference. 

As of 6 Jan, a FEML blanket waiver approves FEML travel for those even within their first 6 months of their tour starting or last 6 months of their tour ending.​

Dependents may execute FEML travel without sponsor accompaniment (accompanied tour)​

Students attending school away from sponsor’s PDS (accompanied tour) ​


Steps to Set up your travel:

  1. Traveler is required to verify eligibility and receive verbal approval from their section DTS AO.
  2. Fill out the FEML Request for Patriot Express booking. This step must be completed on Sharepoint and requires a Common Access Card (CAC) to access the website. 
  3. DMO will receive the request and provide booking data upon availability and return the info to the traveler
  4. Traveler will enter all travelers into DTS and create the DTS travel authorization.
  5. DTS will begin the routing process after the traveler signs the authorization.
  6. After the AO approval level in the DTS authorization the AO will track the travel along with DMO.
  7. The traveler will receive his/her flight tickets.
  8. Ensure that you file a DTS voucher upon your return to Okinawa!

If the dates you wish to travel are not available, request that CTO/DMO office place you on a “hold” status. Depending on the aggregate need, a flight can be generated within about 7 days. Ensuring your CTO/DMO have your preferred travel window will aide in matching your travel needs with flight availability.

Marine Corps Installations Pacific