What is the Environmental and Morale Leave (EML) Program?

This program is designed to provide environmental relief from a duty station which has some “drawbacks” and to offer a source of affordable recreation otherwise not available. In simple terms, it boils down to allowing Active Duty military personnel and their dependents to fly Space-A on military aircraft. There are, however, a couple of big differences in EML leave and regular Space-A leave. First, dependents are permitted to travel accompanied or UNACCOMPANIED by their sponsor. They may utilize “suitably equipped DoD logistic-type aircraft” as well as AMC channel and contract aircraft. Secondly, EML has a Category II classification (for sponsors and their dependents traveling together) which is higher than regular Active Duty, Category III and Retired Space-A classification (Category VI). Dependents traveling on EML leave orders alone are in Category IV. Military sponsors and/or dependents on EML revert to ordinary leave status when they arrive in CONUS. They regain their EML status only when they depart CONUS for their EML program area. A good bit of EML travel is utilized in the Middle and Far East areas. This means that fewer flights may be available from this area for lower category personnel. The EML program is a tremendous morale booster to those assigned in far-off places and is very popular in these areas.