In accordance with the Assistant Secretary of Defense (ASD) Military Personnel Policy memorandum, “Request for Funded Environmental Morale Leave for Okinawa, Japan,” dated November 19, 2021, Okinawa, Japan has been designated a FEML location due to the ongoing Coronavirus-19 pandemic and the travel hardships incumbent with virus mitigation measures.
** In an April 8 amendment to the FEML memo, this exception to policy will now expire 60 days after the Government of Japan removes the quarantine restrictions for DoD personnel assigned to Okinawa.
The information below assists in the necessary documents and procedures required for requesting FEML.
** The Flight Statuses spreadsheet is current as of the annotated date/time, and will be updated every 2-3 days. Between updates, the number of available seats are subject to change when booked. **
For COVID-related travel policies and testing requirements, refer to the COVID-19 Information webpage.
OSD Amendment to Okinawa FEML Designation Memo - 8 April 2022
INDOPACOM FEML Waiver for First/Last Six Months of Tour
Defense Transportation Regulation Passenger Air Travel
Joint Travel Regulations FEML Excerpt
U.S. Army Japan FEML Operations Order
Army 10th SG FEML Leader's Guide
Army 10th SG FEML Soldier & Family Guide
Air Force 18th Wing FEML Worksheet
Air Force 18th Wing FEML Flowchart
Air Force 18th Wing FEML Policy Letter (Updated 24 Mar 22)
Marine Corps FEML Policy Bulletin
DoDEA FEML for Okinawa Memorandum
A Service member assigned to an overseas duty location that includes extraordinarily difficult living conditions or adverse environmental conditions that would offset the full benefits of annual leave programs may obtain EML or FEML based on:
1. Geographic isolation, substandard housing, inadequate commercial transportation, and lack of cultural and recreational facilities.
2. Notably unhealthful conditions, such as high incidence of disease and epidemics, lack of public sanitation, and inadequate health control measures.
3. Excessive physical hardship (e.g., deleterious effects of climate and altitude and dangerous conditions affecting life, physical well-being, or mental health).
-A service member or a civilian employee may be eligible for FEML if they have orders to Okinawa for 24 or more consecutive months (required to have been physically on-island for at least six months). The required 24 months can include a 12-month tour that has been approved for an additional 12 months. A dependent is eligible for FEML when residing with the service member or civilian employee serving an accompanied tour, if the service member’s dependent is command-sponsored or the civilian employee’s dependent is authorized. Dependents may travel with sponsor or separately.
-A student attending school away from the PDS is considered to be residing with the Service member or civilian employee in terms of FEML eligibility.
Personnel who are within the first or last 6-months of their tour (waiverable at the Combatant Commander level).
You can request a waiver to the signatory authority that certifies your orders; you do not need to request a waiver from the INDOPACOM CCDR. Refer to the INDOPACOM FEML Waiver for First/Last Six Months of Tour for more information.
-PCS Orders to Okinawa (to prove command sponsorship)
-Copies of No-Fee Official Passport for dependents or memorandum in lieu of provided by passport agent (required by FCG)
-Command Sponsorship Memorandum (if marriage or birth occurred after arrival)
-Copy of Green Card and home country passport for non-US citizen dependents.
FEML funding authorizes payment/reimbursement for transportation costs only, but not to exceed the cost of government transportation to and from SEATAC for round trips. Costs can change without notice, as of 15 Dec 2021, PE estimated ticket costs are: $1,252 one way or $2,504 roundtrip – per diem and lodging are not covered. Additionally, travelers may not use cruises or tourist packages to, or from the authorized destination.
FEML authorizes leave to start the day after arrival to the aerial port of debarkation and leave ends the day prior to arrival at the aerial port of embarkation. For example, a member departs Kadena AB via the Patriot Express (rotator) and arrives in Seattle – their leave starts the day after they arrive in Seattle; also, when a member flies back to Seattle to utilize the Patriot Express (rotator), their leave ends the day prior to arrival in Seattle.
The Joint Travel Regulations (JTR) Para 040401. 01 November 2021 determines FEML entitlements.
Air Force- Reference the Air Force FEML Worksheet in the Policy Letters section.
Army- Reference the Army FEML Family Guide in the Policy Letters section.
Marine Corps- Reference MARFORJ, U.S. MARINE CORPS FORCES JAPAN BULLETIN 1050, 10 Dec 2021 and contact your chain of command to input request through Defense Travel Management Office.
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.
PE flights are the first option for travel, but there are travel plans where PE flights cannot be utilized. PE Gov ticket reimbursement is normally based on similar commercial costs, but not to exceed the cost of government transportation to and from SEATAC for round trips. Costs can change without notice, but to our knowledge, PE estimated ticket costs are: $1,252 one way or $2,504 roundtrip. It’s highly recommended to check with your local CTO/DMO for exact reimbursement cost prior to making approved commercial reservations.
A recommend 10-day window for outbound and inbound reservation requests, but check with your command for specific service guidance.
FEML can be used once during a two-year tour or twice during a three-year tour while stationed at the FEML location.
USTRANSCOM and AMC are adding flights as requirements are identified in the reservation system. It’s very important for FEML travelers to request reservations through their TMO/DMO as soon as possible to create the demand signal for additional airlift as needed. A requested demand for certain time blocks drive the need for additional flights; there are no set dates or days.
There will be four commercial charter buses with up to 50 seats for passengers. One GSA bus for 44 passengers along with a baggage trailer. Also there will be a van for the 10 larger pets for each mission. There is no fee for the ground transportation if using one of the four commercial charter buses, the GSA bus, or the van for larger pets (click on the below link for more details).
Ground transportation from SEATAC to JBLM