CAMP BUTLER, Okinawa, Japan – United States Marine Corps Forces Japan (MARFORJ) released their Environmental and Morale Funded Leave in Okinawa newsletter on December 10, 2021.
MARFORJ Bulletin 1050 was quickly but thoroughly designed to provide the necessary guidance to officers and eligible members to administer FEML law recently authorized by the Okinawa Secretary of Defense.
“FEML’s goal is to provide all eligible MARFORJ Marines, Sailors and DoD Civilians, as well as their families, the opportunity to perform time off off the island of Okinawa, to spend time with family and friends there, and to maintain operational and personal morale after nearly two years of pandemic in the unique conditions in the Western Pacific, ”said Lt. Gen. James W. Bierman Jr., General commander of the III Marine Expeditionary Force.
Since COVID-19 responses began in 2020, military personnel stationed in Okinawa have faced significant obstacles in arranging regular and unrestricted annual leave outside of Japan, as well as to and from the United States.
This FEML designation provides government funding for eligible military personnel, dependents, and DoD civilians to travel from Okinawa to Seattle, Washington.
Participants can travel to locations other than Seattle. However, when such deviations are made, the total transportation costs cannot exceed the costs that would have been incurred if the participants had traveled to Seattle from Okinawa.
FEML travel time is not billed as leave, and no more than two FEML trips are permitted on any overseas tour, including extensions to that tour.
“FEML is a right and all eligible people will be encouraged to take advantage of it,” Bierman said. “Each FEML eligible MARFORJ member will be briefed by a staff officer or non-commissioned officer of the opportunities and procedures outlined in this policy. ”
Dependents are eligible for FEML when residing with the service member or civilian employee serving on an escorted tour, if the service member’s dependent is command-sponsored, or if the dependent of the service member. civilian employee is permitted.
In addition, FEML travel cannot be completed within 6 months of the start or end of the member’s period of service. This funded trip will be directly approved by the member’s chain of command. Unit commanders will establish their own process for prioritizing and sequencing FEMLs based on preparedness requirements and individual situations.
“Throughout the period of FEML execution, combat readiness must be maintained as a priority; through deliberate planning, operational requirements and FEML can be balanced, ”said Bierman.
The FEML is classified as an exception to the policy and will no longer be valid once the government of Japan removes travel restrictions related to the COVID pandemic affecting DoD personnel in Okinawa.
|Date posted:||12/13/2021 12:45 a.m.|
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