By AFCLC Outreach Team
/ Published February 02, 2021
Photo Courtesy of Capt Christine Martinez
“Currently, I am so lucky to be a Spanish and Portuguese instructor at the U.S. Air Force Academy. We talk to our cadets often about the Language Enabled Airman Program and the opportunities it provides. LEAP can be a significant motivation for cadets to study a language and complete their language minor. I have been in LEAP since 2013 to study Spanish and Portuguese. Since then, I have completed several e-Mentor courses in Spanish and Portuguese and have been lucky enough to do three Language Intensive Training Events.The first was to Rio de Janeiro in 2014 [to attend a language school for Portuguese], the second was to San Antonio in 2016 [to attend a Defense Institute of Medical Operations Spanish curriculum workshop], and the third was to Colombia for International Squadron Officer School in 2018.
LEAP has given me the ability to maintain my language skills through focused training throughout my career and opened the door to so many great opportunities! At ISOS, I learned from fantastic instructors from the Inter-American Air Forces Academy, including an exchange officer from El Salvador and another from Brazil. Our cohort of myself and one other USAF officer, plus around 20 students from the Colombian military, completed the ISOS curriculum entirely in Spanish. This was the opportunity of a lifetime to improve my language skills and also to be thrown into the Colombian culture and learn how our international partners do things in their military.
On the horizon for me, I will be entering the training pipeline in 2021 to become a SOUTHCOM Foreign Area Officer. LEAP has undoubtedly played a role in setting me up for this chance to put my language skills and cultural knowledge to use!”
-LEAP scholar and FAO, Capt Christine Martinez
551 E. Maxwell Blvd, Bldg 500, Maxwell AFB, AL 36112