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Behind the FEML orders: The Airmen boosting morale

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Anna Nolte
  • 18 Wing Public Affairs

A small team of 718th Force Support Squadron, 18th Logistics Readiness Squadron and 18th Comptroller Squadron Airmen are facilitating the Funded Environmental and Morale Leave program, working behind the scenes to help raise morale and get Airmen and their families to where they want to go.

FEML is a program that offers eligible service members, DoD civilians and dependents funding for a flight from their duty station to a destination of their choice, limited to the cost of a plane ticket from their duty station to Seattle.

“Bottom line, our mission is to cut accurate orders for everyone who is eligible to travel,” said U.S. Air Force Capt. Marshal Neubauer, 718th FSS operations officer.
Due to an increased need for manpower, the FEML cell recently expanded from a team of two to six Airmen, all of whom work long hours and weekends to get the job done, said Neubauer.

“The most challenging part of the job has been the numbers; the amount of people actually taking FEML is a lot,” said U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Brandon Tucker, 718th FSS personnelist working in the FEML cell. “We’ve had people come from other units to help us out."

For Tucker, the challenges are all worth it when he sees people coming back to work refreshed after being able to visit their loved ones outside of Japan.
Taking FEML is a great opportunity for eligible members that can help raise morale, but it won’t last forever.

“It’s a lot easier to travel in and out of the country now, therefore FEML will be terminated by July 31st. But in order to give time to process orders and finalize travel reservations, the worksheet must be turned in by July 25th,” warned Neubauer, who advises everyone to complete their FEML worksheet and get the paperwork process started as early as possible.

For those who choose to take FEML, this team of capable Airmen are standing by to ensure the process, from reviewing worksheets to cutting orders, goes smoothly.

“Our overall mission is to help people travel – to see their families, to go on vacation after being in Okinawa for years due to COVID – just feel more resilient,” said Neubauer.

For more information on FEML, please visit