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LEAP Spotlight

  • LEAP Spotlight: Capt. Brian Reed

    “The Language Enabled Airman Program helped reinforce my perspective on just how important it is for United States and Japanese military forces to be able to effectively work together on a strategic, tactical, and operational level,” Japanese LEAP Scholar Capt. Brian Reed said.
  • LEAP Spotlight: LEAP to Space Force with SMSgt. Adrian Gaxiola

    “LEAP gave me skills and experiences I would have never gained within my AFSC. It also allowed me to serve in a PME role while being an intelligence professional. Currently, my role is to teach NCOA to Airmen and Guardians while helping the USSF stand up its first Enlisted PME Center. In the future, I hope to leverage LEAP to help bring international students to attend United States Space Force Enlisted PME courses. Without LEAP, I would not be working for the USSF today," Spanish LEAP Scholar SMSgt. Adrian Gaxiola said.
  • LEAP Spotlight: Colonel Ceir Coral

    “As I go into my 36th year of service in the USAF, I can reflect on my opportunities to utilize my language skills and am fortunate to be a part of the tremendous, force-enabling LEAP; I am excited to see the continual growth in language and culture awareness,” Portuguese Brazilian Language Enabled Airman Program Scholar and Foreign Area Officer Col. Ceir Coral said.
  • LEAP Spotlight: Maj. Julio “Baxter” Arizmendi Laclaustra

    “I first found out about the Language Enabled Airman Program at the Air Force Culture and Language Center while in ROTC when my Detachment Commander and early mentor Lt. Col. Delucca notified me about the opportunity to join the program. I was interested and excited to grow professionally while enhancing my cultural and language abilities. As military officers to one of the most powerful and talented global air forces, we should strive to build partnerships and understanding of our allies and partner countries to ensure synergy and interoperability to effectively defeat our adversaries and retain air, space and cyberspace supremacy."
  • LEAP Spotlight: Special Agent Rory Swafford

    “A firm understanding of cultural nuances is critical for building international partnerships, and LEAP has undoubtedly been a vital cornerstone in greatly expanding my knowledge base,” Special Agent Rory Swafford said.
  • LEAP Spotlight:1st Lt. James Kiesewetter

    “A question I’ve often thought about — what does being a part of another culture look and feel like? For me, learning German started when the U.S. Air Force Academy chose what language I would take for one year: German. I fell in love with learning a language, and here I am more than five years later. I have spent about half of my adult life in Germany, studied in Germany, and have wonderful German friends who will be in my life forever.
  • LEAP Spotlight with Maj. Wesley Meredith

    “I joined the Language Enabled Airman Program in 2010 for Swahili, which I learned while growing up and going to school in Kenya. I started with a limited knowledge of Swahili, but through LEAP, I grew my language capabilities. I went on my first Language Intensive Training Event in 2015 to Tanzania. I have been able to go on two more LITEs for Swahili since then, and each time I have returned with an improved proficiency and confidence in the language. Combined with the eMentor courses, LEAP enabled me to maintain and grow my proficiency in Swahili year to year.
  • LEAP Spotlight: Tech. Sgt. Emmanuel Franco-Heredia

    Tech. Sgt. Emmanuel Franco-Heredia completed his master’s degree in Logistics and Transportations in 2018. During that time, he also learned about the Language Enabled Airman Program offered by the Air Force Culture and Language Center.
  • LEAP Spotlight: Capt. Maira Garza

    Language Enabled Airman Program Scholar Capt. Maira Garza is currently providing Spanish language support to the 12th Air Force in Guatemala for a site survey supporting Resolute Sentinel Exercise Related Construction and Humanitarian Assistance Program projects. During this Training Partnership Request, Capt. Garza worked with Guatemalan Emergency Response Agencies, the U.S. Agency for International Development, and various Department of Defense representatives.
  • LEAP Spotlight with Capt. Abdulaziz Ali

    “Fostering America’s talents. This is America’s strength; they draw talents from all parts of the population. I’ve heard some variation of this sentiment from several high-ranking officers during exercise SILENT WARRIOR 20 in Garmisch, Germany. Hosted by SOCAFRICA, the Joint-Combined Exercise brought together African Partner Nations and a host of panelists for a weeklong forum to discuss some of the lessons learned, successes, and challenges countering Violent Extremist Organizations on the African continent. APNs could articulate both the logistical challenges, from basic training and equipping, to the complex social, economic, and political factors that contribute to the growth of VEOs. It was a tremendous vignette that demonstrated how we need to collaborate closely with our partners in developing objectives and long-term solutions to shared security threats.
  • LEAP Spotlight: Capt. Michelle Cazares

    “My parents are from Mexico, but I was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois. Growing up, my father was very strict about my siblings and me speaking Spanish at home. He felt it was important for us to speak our native language and be educated about our culture.
  • LEAP Spotlight: Staff Sgt. Felix Gomes

    The Language Enabled Airman Program has been a wonderful experience since the start. I was assigned to amazing eMentor instructors for both my 48-hour traditional course and recently the 16-hour advanced course. I learned a lot from both and honed my language skills, which made me more confident.
  • LEAP Spotlight: Capt. Caleb Yee

    “I am a 14N Intel Officer and have been stationed at Osan Air Base, Republic of Korea, for about three years now. In my first year In Korea, I immediately applied for the Language Enabled Airman Program after hearing how much it would help me during my first assignment.
  • LEAP Spotlight: Lt. Col. Sylvia Kim

    U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Sylvia Kim is a member of a very elite club. She is one of more than 3,000 scholars in the Air Force Culture and Language Center’s Language Enabled Airman Program. As a lifelong language learner, she instantly knew LEAP was a perfect fit.
  • eMentor Spotlight: Capt. Margarita Balish

    Capt. Margarita Balish has been a Russian LEAP scholar since 2012 and has a cross-training language in Mandarin Chinese. She has completed two Russian Language Intensive Training Events, four Russian eMentors, one Chinese eMentor, and one Spanish eMentor.
  • LEAP Spotlight: Capt. Emily Stith

    Capt. Emily Stith is a 38F (Force Support Officer) who has been a Japanese Language Enabled Airman Program scholar since 2016. Her father was a career U.S. Navy Surface Warfare Officer, and as the story of the military child goes, she was born overseas in Okinawa, Japan. After a short stateside stint, her father was then relocated to Yokosuka Naval Base, Japan, where she spent her childhood and adolescence.
  • LEAP Spotlight: Maj Regis Zozo

    My Air Force Culture and Language Center training has helped me understand the vital triad effect between the military, government, and the population when it comes to the fight against violent extremism.
  • LEAP Spotlight: Capt. Byron Muhlenberg

    The Language Enabled Airman Program is an indispensable program that enables our Airmen to expand their cultural understanding and make operational and strategic impacts well beyond their immediate career field. My journey as a LEAP scholar began as a freshman at the U.S. Air Force Academy, but the journey did not start as expected.
  • eMentor Spotlight: Capt. Brady Gough

    In 2009, I began studying at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Arizona. I wasn’t just a student but also a cadet in the Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps.
  • LEAP Spotlight: Capt. Fiona Akoth

    “My story starts in a rural town in western Kenya, which is on the eastern side of Africa. I grew up in Kisumu City, right off the coast of Lake Victoria, and when I was 13, we moved to the United States. I went to middle and high school in Texas, and it was at that time that I learned about the United States Air Force.
  • AFCLC’s Language Enabled Airman Program: A strategy for improving pilot retention

    In 2016, retired Air Force Chief of Staff General David Goldfein publicly called the United States Air Force’s pilot shortage a crisis. At the time, the Air Force was reportedly short 1,500 pilots. According to reports, the Air Force still needs an estimated 2,100 pilots – and many say that number is steadily growing.
  • LEAP Spotlight: SSgt Giancarlo Cintron

    “I am Staff Sergeant Giancarlo Cintron, and I am an Aircraft Hydraulics Systems Regional Training Center Instructor at Ramstein Air Base, Germany.
  • LEAP Spotlight: Capt Richard Scherl

    Capt. Richard Scherl is an 11M (Mobility Pilot) who has been a Spanish Language Enabled Airman Program scholar since 2017.
  • LEAP Spotlight: MSgt Svetlana Alviar

    Watch as Air Force Research Laboratory MSgt Svetlana Alviar shares her LEAP experiences.
  • LEAP Spotlight: 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.
  • CMSgt Angel Milan: “LEAP is the weapons school for languages.”

    CMSgt Angel Milan will soon celebrate 25 years of service in the U.S. Air Force. With more than eight years in the Air Force Culture and Language Center’s Language Enabled Airman Program, he couldn’t imagine doing anything else. He said he has the perfect job.
  • LEAP Spotlight: Lt Col Daniel Schoeni

    From August 2017 to August 2019, Spanish LEAP scholar and JAG officer Lt Col Daniel Schoeni was the Chief of Security Cooperation at 12 AF (AFSOUTH)/JA, and participated in 17 TDYs held in Latin America.
  • LEAP Spotlight: TSgt Nikola Bozic, Capt Daniel Bergstresser, and Capt Victoria Villa

    Hundreds of Airmen across Joint Base San Antonio are currently enrolled in the Language Enabled Airman Program.
  • LEAP Spotlight: Maj Adam Bergoo

    “I was born in Sweden and grew up speaking the language at home. I started learning Spanish in middle school and continued to develop it as a cadet at the United States Air Force Academy, where I met my wife. She was an exchange cadet from Colombia, so that was one of the things that first drew us together.
  • LEAP Spotlight: MSgt Andre De Lira

    In a post on Facebook on 4 December, Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force JoAnne S. Bass acknowledged Language Enabled Airman Program Scholar MSgt Andre De Lira. CMSAF Bass wrote:
  • LEAP Spotlight: Ramstein Airmen LEAP into learning new languages

    The Language Enabled Airman Program (LEAP) is beneficial to the U.S. Air Force across worldwide relations and for interoperability.
  • LEAP Spotlight: 1st Lt Josh Edelman

    “I am an Aircraft Maintenance Officer and having the ability to see the missions we fly every day with the C-17, I noticed we were heavily involved in SOUTHCOM.
  • LEAP Spotlight:1st Lt Rachel Olvera Quinn

    1st Lt Rachel Quinn has been a Spanish Language Enabled Airman Program (LEAP) Scholar since 2018. While born in Raleigh, NC, she moved to Mexico City with her father when she was 3 years old and grew up speaking Spanish.
  • LEAP Spotlight: SMSgt Selma Stinson

    Earlier this year, Language Enabled Airman Program (LEAP) scholar SMSgt Selma Stinson was awarded the Navy Achievement Medal, along with LEAP scholar TSgt Ana Cruz, for their Spanish language support on the USNS Comfort in Santa Marta, Colombia, in November 2019.
  • eMentor Spotlight: Maj Richard Uber

    “I joined LEAP in 2011. As a LEAP scholar, I have continued growing and developing in the study of foreign language and culture while advancing in my primary job as an Operations Research Analyst. Through LEAP, I have participated in several e-Mentor classes, including two special projects classes, in which I could practice technical vocabulary related to my professional interests.
  • LEAP Spotlight: Capt Panupong Phongpitakvises

    LF Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) is an annual exercise consisting of a series of bilateral training evolutions between the U.S. and several Southeast Asian countries, in which U.S. Marines and Sailors train cross-culturally with service members of these nations.
  • LEAP Spotlight: 1st Lt Kent Romney

    “Although I had picked up Ukrainian from studying Russian and living in Ukraine for a couple of years, it was not until I enrolled into the Language Enabled Airman Program (LEAP) that I received any formal Ukrainian language study.
  • LEAP Spotlight: MSgt Oleksiy Redko

    “There are approximately 7,000 different languages and dialects in the world and thanks to my foreign background, I can freely communicate in three of them (English, Ukrainian, and Russian). However, during my involvement with the Language Enabled Airman Program (LEAP), I realized that there are other skills required to strengthen global partnerships and interoperability.
  • LEAP Spotlight: Maj Jacob Jensen

    “I joined the Language Enabled Airman Program (LEAP) in 2010. I learned Portuguese while living in Brazil for two years doing community service before joining the Air Force. As a LEAP scholar, I was allowed to grow my language capabilities and go on a Language Intensive Training Event (LITE) in 2011 to Portugal.
  • LEAP Spotlight: Lt Kate Thormann

    “The Language Enabled Airman Program (LEAP) is an incredible program that will most definitely help shape U.S. relations with other countries and determine the U.S.’s competitive edge in the global arena.
  • LEAP Spotlight: MSgt Andrés F. Moreno-Rojas

    “A few years ago, I was accepted into the Language Enabled Airman Program (LEAP) and since then, I have had the distinct pleasure of partaking in two eMentor courses and one Language Intensive Training Event (LITE) to Bogota, Colombia, as well as a quick turn translation support for SOUTHCOM’s Caribbean Nations Security Conference (CANSEC) 2020.
  • LEAP Spotlight: Capt Viktor Belov

    Capt Viktor Belov has been a Russian LEAP scholar since he was a 2d Lt. As a LEAP scholar, he increased his language proficiency through Language Intensive Training Events (LITEs) in Latvia and Ukraine as well as online language training through eMentor.
  • LEAP Spotlight: Maj Theodore Shillig

    Maj Theodore Shillig is a 62E (Developmental Engineer) who has been a Japanese LEAP scholar since 2011. He began his language training during a two-year immersion in Japan. During this time, the focus was solely on learning to speak.
  • LEAP Spotlight: 2nd Lt Katherine Scheibner

    Meet the Air Force Culture and Language Center’s (AFCLC) first United States Space Force (USSF) scholar 2nd Lieutenant Katherine Scheibner.
  • LEAP Spotlight: Maj Sofia Ciro

    "The Language Enabled Airman Program (LEAP) is more than just a program to me. It is being part of an elite community inside the Air Force. I learn and develop personally and professionally every day and can contribute to the Air Force's mission in a unique way.
  • LEAP Spotlight: Maj Evgenia Peduzzi

    We would like to congratulate our LEAP Scholar Maj Evgenia “Hazel” Peduzzi, who not only just promoted from Captain to Major on Friday, 29 May 2020, but she’s also about to begin her new job as Aide de Camp to the Vice Chief of Staff of the United States Air Force, Gen. Stephen W. Wilson, the second highest-ranking military officer in the USAF.
  • LEAP Spotlight: SSgt Dainius Milingis

    “Being a Language Enabled Airman Program (LEAP) scholar has awarded me with multiple opportunities to serve in the United States Air Force beyond my primary career field as a logistician.
  • LEAP Spotlight: Capt Thien Duong

    Recently, an overseas unit lost an Airman of Vietnamese heritage. Due to the proximity of the Airman’s family, Barksdale AFB Mortuary Affairs was responsible for assisting the family through the ordeal.
  • LEAP Spotlight: MSgt Alain Mukendi

    “Last June, AFCLC and LEAP gave me the opportunity to assist the U.S. Army Cadet Command summer program in a six-week training mission to the Republic of Congo as linguistic and cultural regional subject matter expert.
  • LEAP Spotlight: Capt Lesly Toussaint

    “I’ve been in the Language Enabled Airman Program (LEAP) for six years now and I speak Haitian Creole, French, and English. Professionally, AFCLC helped me develop insight and critical thinking within my primary AFSC.
  • Facing the Future with Perpetual Optimism

    One of 2nd Lt Stephenie Reid’s favorite quotes is from retired U.S. Army Gen. Colin Powell: “Perpetual optimism is a force multiplier.” According to Reid, “it encourages me to stay positive. I always try to remember the importance of having positivity and enthusiasm with others and oneself, especially when it comes to any language acquisition journey because it’s a lifelong endeavor that revolves around constant improvement.”
  • LEAP Spotlight: 1st Lt Stefan Curcic

    I encourage anyone who has a gift with a certain language set to check out the Language Enabled Airman Program (LEAP)
  • LEAP Spotlight: 1st Lt Gorge Hernandez-Rodriguez

    When 1st Lieutenant Gorge Hernandez-Rodriguez enlisted in 2008, he was living in Puerto Rico, struggling financially, and looking for a way to support himself through college. Rodriguez knew the Air Force would afford him those opportunities, but he had no idea that his commitment and his language skills would help him grow both professionally and personally.
  • LEAP Spotlight: Maj. Reni Angelova

    The Language Enabled Airman Program, or LEAP, is a career-spanning program designed to identify, develop, and sustain America's foreign language and cultural capabilities to cultivate cross-culturally competent leaders who can meet Air Force global mission requirements. In this feature, LEAP participant Capt Reni Angelova assists joint exercises between the US Army and Bulgarian forces.
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