You are invested in one or more foreign languages through academic study, travel, cultural immersion, growing up in a foreign country, and/or living in a multi-lingual household. Why put your skills on a shelf? Develop and sustain them as a LEAP scholar (see LEAP Spotlight series).
LEAP develops and sustains language and cross-cultural skills in two primary ways:
eMentor: Online synchronous language courses (targeting growth in all four modalities: listening, speaking, reading, and writing), which explore culturally relevant topics and are scheduled on days / times that work with your schedule, taught by gifted and engaging native-level language instructors.
Language Intensive Training Events (LITEs): Periodic temporary duty (TDY) immersions, averaging 30 days, involving classroom learning with other service members (often in a target language country) and / or via Department of Defense sponsored bilateral and international exercises, conferences, or mobile training team events.
The Air Force Culture and Language Center (AFCLC) provides flexible scheduling for all courses, working around the LEAP scholar’s schedule, training, and mission needs. The AFCLC understands that career field requirements and technical training take priority.
Through LEAP, the AFCLC connects service members to language-designated opportunities and events. Being a part of LEAP distinguishes the service member within their career field and opens doors to:
• Serving as a Foreign Area Officer (Regular Air Force or Reserve).
• Serving as a Bilateral Affairs Officer in the Air National Guard (ANG) in support of a State Partnership Program (SPP).
• Supporting mobility advisory and security cooperation missions.
• Providing medical advisement and assistance through the International Health Specialist program.
• Serving as an Air Force Office of Special Investigations (AFOSI) agent.
• Teaching at schools such as the Inter-American Air Forces Academy (IAAFA) and United States Air Force Academy.
• Participating in a Military Personnel Exchange Program (MPEP).
• Contributing through your primary Air Force Specialty Code (AFSC) as the subject matter expert on language and culture.
LEAP scholars who attain the required level of proficiency and experience are awarded the LEAP Special Experience Identifier (SEI), which is used by force managers to identify qualified service members for assignments and other opportunities. In addition, the LEAP SEI is used to qualify LEAP scholars for Foreign Language Proficiency Bonus (FLPB) pay. For more information, see AFI 36-4005.
The purpose of this correspondence is to inform commanders and potential applicants of the 2023 LEAP cadet selection process. Eligible candidates may submit an application during the 2023 LEAP application window, 30 January – 10 March 2023. Application packages must conform to all requirements and must be submitted on time. This includes submission of scores from a Defense Language Proficiency Test (DLPT) and/or Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI), which often takes several months to schedule and requires cadet access to a Department of Defense testing facility. The 2023 LEAP cadet selection board is scheduled for 11-12 April 2023. Candidates and their commanders will be notified of the results approximately 60 days after the board concludes.
LEAP is designed to deliberately develop language-enabled, cross-culturally competent service members across Air Force specialties to enhance the application of air power and fill global mission requirements. The AFCLC selects Airmen who exhibit demonstrated language ability and commitment, develops and sustains Language Regional Expertise and Culture skills throughout a career, and postures them for utilization in assignments, professional military education, and deployments. Please see the Benefits of LEAP (Attachment 1) to learn more about how this program can enhance service members’ careers.
To become a LEAP scholar, cadets must meet specific requirements identified in the Eligibility Criteria and Application Instructions (listed below) and compete via a board process. Selection to LEAP is based on an applicant’s academic history, existing language proficiency, intercultural knowledge, cross-cultural experience, the potential to achieve higher levels of language proficiency, and Department of Defense language requirements.
Who may Apply:
USAFA and AFROTC applicants will need to download a Portable Document Format (PDF) of the application from the AFCLC website at https://www.airuniversity.af.edu/AFCLC/Language-Studies/Application-Info/. To safeguard Personal Identifying Information (PII):
Application Format: The following documents, saved as PDFs are required for a complete application package:
A. Application form PDF (via AFCLC website).
B. All college transcripts listing all courses taken and the associated grade for each course (unofficial post-secondary copies are acceptable). Certificates from foreign language schools are optional. Transcripts and certificates must be legible and upright (not upside down or sideways).
C. Defense Language Proficiency Test (DLPT) for Listening and Reading and/or Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI) for Speaking. Applicants must provide score reports for all languages in at least two of the three modalities.
All Arabic language applicants must provide test cores for Modern Standard Arabic (MSA). Applicants are also highly encouraged to provide test scores in an Arabic dialect.
Portuguese Brazilian / European
The applicant’s Detachment Commander for AFROTC or Air Officer Commanding (AOC) for USAFA should submit an endorsement directly through the LEaDeR site before the closing of the application window. Endorsements will include an assessment of the applicant’s professional qualities and a “push note” statement (maximum 500 characters). AFROTC Detachment Commanders without access to LEaDeR should contact the AFCLC Selection Manager for alternate means of submitting the endorsement at AFCLC.LEAP.Selection@us.af.mil.
Endorsement by a supervisor is optional. For the LEAP application process, the supervisor may be one of the cadet’s military professors, cadre members, or training instructor.
Application Review: The following process will be used to track and determine application eligibility:
Step 1 – AFCLC staff will trasnscribe all applications submitted via e-mail, into the LEaDeR program.
Step 2 – Once an application is loaded and submitted in LEaDeR, the system will generate a confirmation email with an endorsement invitation to the Det CC/AOC and designated supervisor based on the email inputs provided in the application.
Step 3 – The Commander/Supervisor designated by the applicant will receive an automated endorsement reminder on or after 28 Feb 2023, if required.
Step 4 – The AFCLC will review cadet applications thoroughly to determine eligibility/non-eligibility on or after 11 March 2023. Applicants and their Commanders/Supervisors will receive a status update email.
Step 5 – If you do not receive these automated updates by 31 March 2023, your application has not been processed. To ensure your application is considered, immediately contact the AFCLC at AFCLC.Leap.Selection@us.af.mil.
NOTE: Applications containing unreadable or incorrectly aligned (sideways or upside down) documents will be marked "ineligible" for consideration.
The purpose of this correspondence is to inform commanders and potential applicants of the FY23 LEAP Officer and Enlisted selection process. Eligible candidates may submit an application during the FY23 LEAP Officer and Enlisted application window (please see above for specific categories and/or dates).Application packages must conform to all requirements and must be submitted on time. This includes submission of the results of a Defense Language Proficiency Test (DLPT) and/or Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI), which often takes several months to schedule at a Department of Defense testing facility. Candidates and their commanders will be notified of the results approximately 60 days after the board convenes.
LEAP deliberately develops language-enabled, cross-culturally competent service members across General Purpose Force specialties to enhance the application of air and space power and fill global mission requirements. LEAP selects willing and able Airmen and Guardians, develops and sustains their Language Regional Expertise and Culture skills over the course of a career and postures them for utilization in assignments, contingencies, and deployments. Please see the Benefits of LEAP Tab on how this program can enhance service members’ careers.
To become a LEAP scholar, applicants must meet specific requirements identified in the Eligibility Criteria and Application Instructions (listed below) and compete via a board process. Selection to LEAP is based on an applicant’s job performance, academic history; existing language proficiency, intercultural knowledge and cross-cultural experience; the potential to achieve higher levels of language proficiency and Department of Defense language requirements.
Who may apply:
Regular Air Force (RegAF)
SrA thru CMSgt
Minimum Time in Service (TIS)
4 years as of 14 August 2023
No minimum TIS
Maximum TIS or Commissioned Service
Applicants who have more than 10
years from their Total Active Federal Military Service Date (TAFMSD) as of 14 August 2023 will be considered on a case-by-case basis
Applicants who have more than 10 years commissioned service as of 14 August 2023 will be considered on a case-by-case basis
Applicants must not have a pending separation or retirement
Completion of 5-Skill Level and Career Field Education and Training Plan (CFETP) requirements
1N3 and 1A8X1 career fields
16F and 16Z – Foreign Area Officers
Applying through the Language Enabled Development Resource (LEaDeR) will require the use of a Common Access Card (CAC) and Air Force (AF) Portal account.
Applicants must submit applications through LEaDeR at https://leader.sso.cce.af.mil. Applicants who need to create or update their AU Portal account will be redirected to the AU Portal upon initial access attempt to the site.
Application Format: An application submitted via LEaDeR with the following attachments is required:
A. Single Unit Retrieval Format (SURF). Can be retrieved from the Assignment Management System (AMS). The Career Data Brief, located from virtual MPF will not be accepted.
B. DLPT and/or OPI score report. The following guidelines have been updated for FY23, so applicants are advised to read carefully. Applicants must provide score reports in at least two of the three modalities.
C. Three most recent, signed/finalized Performance Reports (OPR/EPR), Training Reports or combination.
D. College transcripts listing all courses taken and the associated grade for each course (unofficial post-secondary copies are acceptable). If an officer or enlisted member has degrees listed on their SURF, they must provide the transcripts for those degrees. Certificates from foreign language schools are optional.
E. Commander endorsement. The unit commander, director, or civilian equivalent for each applicant must complete an endorsement form which assesses the applicant’s professional qualities, standing among peers, academic record, leadership qualities and potential for future growth and development through LEAP. The narrative block is limited to 500 characters.
F. Supervisor endorsement. The immediate supervisor (if different from the commander) of each applicant must complete an endorsement form which assesses the applicant’s professional qualities, standing among peers, academic record, leadership qualities and potential for future growth and development through LEAP. The narrative block is limited to 500 characters.
Failure to heed and acknowledge the information below will result in the application being marked ineligible for the board.
Applicants must convert PDF documents to a non-XFA PDF format to ensure cross-browser/LEaDeR software compatibility.
Please see the tutorial link below:
As previously stated, failure to perform these steps may result in the application being marked ineligible due to non-viewable documents. Additionally, applications that contain unreadable or incorrectly aligned (sideways or upside down) documents will be marked “ineligible” for consideration.
LEAP Fact Sheet
eMentor Fact Sheet
Training Partnership Request Fact Sheet
2023 Cadet Selection Guidance
2023 Cadet Application
2023 Officer and Enlisted Selection Guidance
Application PDF Tutorial
LEAP Application Tips
Commercial Phone: 334-953-7729
Need LEAP Support?
If you have questions about applying to Leap please contact our AFCLC LEAP Selection Team.
If you are currently a LEAP scholar and have questions about your record contact AFCLC Language Division.
If you have questions about an upcoming LITE or eMentor contact AFCLC LEAP Admin Support.
551 E. Maxwell Blvd, Bldg 500, Maxwell AFB, AL 36112
2023 Cadet Application Submission Window
2023 Cadet Board
2023 Active Duty Application Submission Window
2023 Active Duty Board