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LEAP Spotlight: Maj. Darrell Moyers

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  • By AFCLC Outreach Team

“I have a bachelor’s degree in history, an associate degree in French, and master’s degrees in both International Security Studies/Intelligence and Africa Security Studies, as well as a master’s certificate in European Security Studies. I graduated from the Naval Postgraduate School and the Defense Language Institute. 

“I studied French in college but showed little interest in it. However, I started studying French again on my own during my various deployments beginning in 2015. I used a smart phone language app to achieve a 1+/1 DLPT score and then asked the Language School House on Hurlburt Airfield if they could provide additional tutoring. Using those resources, I raised my competency to a 2/2/1. I was then accepted to the Air Forces’ Advanced Academic Degree program, which (at the time) included language training at the Defense Language Institute. DLI had always been a dream of mine since I was a cadet in ROTC. I worked very hard in the program and managed to garner a 3/3/2 by the time I graduated. I hope to leverage the Language Enabled Airman Program to help me achieve a 3/3/3. 

“By nature of my education, I am also an Africa Subject Matter Expert for USAFE-AFAF. I routinely assist our desk officers in their engagements and partnership projects. I leverage my skills and cultural understanding in ways that keep the U.S. as the preferred partner of choice in areas subject to influence by rival countries. Again, going back to understanding a language versus just knowing one, I can relate to partners in a way others cannot. As such, I can leverage these relationships to pursue U.S interests and enhance regional security.

“I have served as a Flight Commander twice while in the Air Force Special Operations Command. I recently completed an assignment as the Force Protection Intelligence Branch Chief for USAFE-AFAF/A2. I was just accepted to a 14N Milestone (leadership) assignment under USAFE-AFAF/A2. I work with partners from across Europe daily and am tasked with traveling for key leadership engagements on behalf of USAFE-AFAF throughout Europe. 

“I have served four deployments in CENTCOM, EUCOM, and AFRICOM. I have also supported exercises in INDOPACOM. As an Africa subject matter expert for USAFE-AFAF, I am often the assigned Action Officer for duties concerning Africa. I have worked with partners in Kenya, Tunisia, Rwanda, Djibouti, Senegal, and Uganda. I often use my French language skills during these duties where appropriate.

“During a deployment in the AFRICOM AOR, I was taken under the wing by the Senior Defense Official and his Attaché for my expertise and advanced French language skill set. I accompanied the Defense Attaché Officer team during many partner engagements, including translating for VIP visits, meetings with the service chiefs, and technical demonstrations. My culture, language, and professional expertise provided me with relationships that I leveraged to forge the backbone of the country’s first Joint Force initiative - their Joint Reconnaissance Center. I influenced strategic decisions to pursue U.S. interests and build stronger relationships with a key African partner. 

“Although I’ve had several opportunities to utilize my culture and language skills in my daily AFSC, my experience with LEAP is still fairly new since joining in October 2021. Soon after, I did my first eMentor class in December. I was extremely impressed with the professionalism of my instructor and plan to take eMentor classes as they are available to help improve my skills. I participated in my first Language Intensive Training Event in June 2022 – the Cyber Advanced Special Emphasis LITE. While the Cyber topics were interesting, what was valuable to me was the ability to use my language skills amongst other LEAP Scholars and hear their stories. I see a great benefit in being part of the program and can’t imagine a better USAF resource to maintain and hone my language skills. 

“While I am very new to LEAP, it has already opened several opportunities for me. French has been a career-long pursuit of mine, and I have always struggled to learn it on my own. I have had to find creative means to maintain and build my skills, but I can only go so far on my own. Now that I have LEAP, I am extremely optimistic about my future as a language scholar. This optimism has rekindled my enthusiasm to learn because now I know it will take me somewhere - I am no longer on my own. I am excited to not only learn my language but to use it in meaningful and deliberate ways. Without LEAP, I believe the USAF would have forgotten about my talent, regardless of how hard I worked to build that skill set. 

“LEAP is a fantastic opportunity, so work for it! LEAP is not meant to create something from nothing; it will improve and build on what you have, but it needs a foundation to work with. So study, test, build on your own, and keep applying to the program. It’s worth working for and will allow you to do some of the coolest things you’ll do in your Air Force career. 

-French LEAP Scholar Maj. Darrell Moyers

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