Air Force Scholar LEAPs to the top of his ISOS class

Air Force Scholar LEAPs to the top of his ISOS class

Air Force Scholar LEAPs to the top of his ISOS class

MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE, Ala. -- Growing up, Captain Rocque Gartland’s abuelita would tell him stories about his family, his Chilean heritage, and what is means to be “lo mejor”.

Translation: the best

“You don’t have to always be the best, but you should always do your best,” Capt Rocque Gartland said, “work as hard as you can and let the results speak for themselves”. 

For Capt Gartland, in both languages, his results speak volumes. The former T-1A Jayhawk flight instructor just graduated top of his International Squadron Officer School class at Inter-American Air Force Academy in San Antonio, Texas. He was also selected for the Commandant’s Leadership Award, Outstanding Contributor, academic honors, and was the Distinguished Graduate in his class. 

Accomplishments made possible by the Air Force Culture and Language Center’s Language Enabled Airman Program.

“The program gives you some really great opportunities and unique ways to serve the Air Force and our country,” he said.

Capt Gartland enriched his Spanish-speaking skills through LEAP. The program was founded to help Airmen sustain their language skills with a two-part method that involves online eMentor courses and Language Intensive Training Events or immersions. Capt Gartland has taken three eMentor courses and has traveled to Bogota, Colombia for an advanced LITE.

“Going on an advanced LITE to Bogota, Colombia gave me insight into how security cooperation works. In addition to the cultural understanding I received from being immersed in Bogota for a month I also got to see firsthand how we work with our international partners to reach mutual goals. The lessons I learned on my LITE gave me good perspective and a background that I used to connect with my classmates at ISOS,” Capt Gartland said. 

The regional expertise combined with the language skills were what Capt Gartland needed to success at ISOS. All of his courses were taught exclusively in Spanish.

“The LEAP eMentor classes have kept my speaking, listening, and language skills really sharp. All of the officers that attended ISOS in my class were top-notch officers in their career fields and countries. Staying current on my language skills through LEAP helped me to hang right there with them. Everyone brought a different strength to the team and it was truly an honor to get to work and learn from my counterparts and the instructors at IAAFA these past two months”.

As a LEAP participant, accomplished C-17 Copilot, and Specialized Undergraduate Pilot Training (SUPT) Instructor, Capt Gartland has built up a repertoire of job titles and experience over the years. During his time in the Air Force, he has served in various positions including: flight scheduler, squadron standardization/evaluation monitor and executive officer. From here, he wants to work towards becoming a Foreign Area Officer and use his language training and LEAP experiences to help the Air Force.

“My focus first and foremost is to be the best husband, father, and officer I can be,” Capt Gartland said, “as far as career goals I'd like to become an evaluator pilot in the C-17, and then eventually serve our country as a Latin American FAO. Being a part of LEAP for the past six years and attending ISOS has given me a solid foundation for that”.