LEAP application windows, selection board dates, and eligibility criteria, are advertised annually through the Air Force Portal, the AFCLC public website, and the AFCLC Facebook page.
The AFCLC accepts eligible Air Force and Space Force Active Duty members, United States Air Force Academy (USAFA) cadets, and Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps (AFROTC) cadets. Application packages include current Defense Language Proficiency Test (DLPT) and/or Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI) scores, transcripts, performance reports, training reports, Single Unit Retrieval Formats (SURFs), language training certificates, commander’s endorsement, and/or other documents as specified in the application announcement.
To apply for LEAP, applicants must possess some proficiency in a foreign language specified on the Air Force Strategic Language List (SLL), as measured by DLPTs or OPIs. The SLL is managed by the Air Force's Language, Regional Expertise and Culture Program Office (AF/A1D-LREC) at the Pentagon. Interested applicants should contact their local Test Control Officer (TCO) to check if their language is on the Air Force SLL. TCOs are usually located with the local Education Office.
Selection to LEAP is based on applicants’ existing language abilities, potential to achieve higher levels of language proficiency, and Air Force requirements. The LEAP Selection Board reviews applicant packages to determine which applicants are most willing and able to undertake LEAP education and training with the potential to fill Air Force and/or Space Force language positions and taskings. The AFCLC Director makes selection recommendations to the Air Force Senior Language Authority (SLA) based on LEAP Selection Board results and Air Force LREC office guidance. Upon entry into the program, LEAP scholars are assigned a language based on their documented proficiencies and Air Force and/or Space Force needs. This language is deemed their “selected” language, or Control Language (CLANG).
Eligible candidates may submit applications to the AFCLC within the respective timelines. Applications submitted after the established deadlines will not be considered. Candidates and their commanders will be notified of the results via email approximately 60 days after the selection board convenes. Personnel must submit applications through the LEAP site, LEADeR, accessible through the Air Force Portal. Service members must have a Common Access Card (CAC) reader and register for an Air University (AU) Portal account to submit a LEAP application.
A. Regular Air Force Active Duty (RegAF AD) Commissioned Officers (excluding 16F - Foreign Area Officers).
B. RegAF AD Enlisted Airmen (excluding IN3, IA8XI career fields) with at least 48 months of time in service as of 18 August 2020, rank of SrA through SMSgt, completion of all 5-Skill Level and Career Field and Education Training Plan (CFETP) requirements.
A. Applicants must possess Defense Language Proficiency Test (DLPT) and/or Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI) scores in at least two modalities. If Listening and Reading tests are available for a given language, service member must provide scores for both. If Listening and/or Reading tests are not available for a given language, service member must provide OPI scores. Submission of OPI scores is highly encouraged for all languages. Due to the temporary closure of testing facilities during the COVID-19 outbreak, Airmen may submit scores that have passed their currency. For purposes of the FY20 LEAP Board, scores of 3/3 or higher must have been certified on or after 1 March 2017. For scores of 2+/2+ or lower, they must have been certified on or after 1 March 2018. Applicants must have no less than a 0+ to apply. See AFI 36-4005, Total Force Language, Regional Expertise, and Culture Program, for additional information regarding DLPT and OPI currency requirements.
B. Applicants' records must reflect superior performance with no referral reports, Unfavorable Information Files (UIF), control rosters, or other derogatory information.
C. Applicants that are commissioned officers are required to submit all collegiate academic transcripts and should demonstrate scholastic achievement. Enlisted applicants are encouraged to submit collegiate transcripts, but not required.
D. Applicants must attest in their application to having a minimum of two years of retainability (remaining service) in the Air Force or Space Force.
E. Applicants who have reached 16 years' total active federal military service will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.
Applicants must submit applications through the LEAP site, Language Enabled Airman Development Resource (LEADeR), at https://leader.sso.cce.af.mil/Leap.
The completeness of the package is part of the evaluation. All forms should be portable document format (PDF), legible and correctly displayed. It is the applicant's responsibility to ensure their forms are complete and correctly aligned. All forms submitted that are illegible or not correctly aligned will not be submitted to the Selection Board and the applicant will be considered "ineligible" for consideration.
The following documents are needed for a complete application package:
A. Application form.
B. Single Unit Retrieval Format (SURF).
C. Three most recent, signed/finalized Performance Reports (OPR/EPR), Training Reports, or combination.
D. All college transcripts (unofficial post-secondary copies are acceptable) (optional for enlisted).
E. DLPT or OPI score report. Applicants must ensure scores are in Military Personnel Data System (MilPDS) official records, or must upload their score report (see Eligibility Requirements above).
F. Certificates from foreign language schools are optional.
G. An endorsement from applicant's Commander/Director is mandatory and should be submitted directly through the online application site, prior to the closing of the application window.
SECTION I – LEAP Background
Q: What is the purpose of LEAP?
A: The purpose of LEAP is to deliberately develop language enabled cross-cultural service members across the General Purpose Force (GPF) Air Force and Space Force specialties to enhance the application of air and space power and posture members to fill global mission requirements. LEAP scholars are provided with the education and training required to reach and sustain desired proficiency levels with very little time away from their units at a lower cost over an acceptable time. LEAP selects willing and able service members, develops and sustains Language Regional Expertise and Culture (LREC) skills over the course of a career and postures them for utilization in assignments, contingencies and deployments.
Q: Who manages LEAP?
A: The AFCLC manages LEAP for the Air Force and Space Force, to include tracking administrative records, executing training, and other related tasks. The AFCLC is organized under Air University and Air War College, located at Maxwell AFB, Alabama.
Q: How and why did LEAP originate?
A: In 2005, the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) released the Defense Language Transformation Roadmap, which charged the services to create a bench of language capable personnel within the GPF. In 2009, the Air Force Senior Language Authority (SLA) directed AFCLC to initiate LEAP, a career-spanning program to develop a cadre of Airmen across all specialties with working level foreign language proficiency. ln FY13, LEAP was designated a Program of Record. In FY20, LEAP was identified to provide Space Force professionals the same level of access to LEAP.
SECTION II – LEAP Eligibility and Application
Q: Are Air National Guard or Air Force Reserve members eligible for LEAP?
A: No. Currently only Reg/AF/RegSF members or Air Force Officer Candidates are allowed apply (1N3 and 1A8 AFSC not eligible). However, RegAF/RegSF LEAP scholars who later transition to the Air Reserve Component (ARC), may participate in LEAP (eMentor courses space available) and ARC Foreign Area Officers may participate in eMentor courses. The program is expected to extend to the Total Force in the future depending on Air Force needs and requirements.
Q: Can I apply to the LEAP if I haven't received a performance report?
A: Yes. Applicants are required to submit any performance reports in their records. It is understood that some newly commissioned applicants or those in Initial Skills Training may not have performance reports. If applicants have Training Reports or prior service performance reports to validate and support their job or academic performance they should provide them with the application.
Q: Do I have to take the DLPT to apply to the program?
A: Yes. Applicants must possess Defense Language Proficiency Test (DLPT) and/or Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI) scores in at least two modalities. If Listening and Reading tests are available for a given language, service members must provide scores for both. If Listening and/or Reading tests are not available for a given language, service members must provide OPI scores. Submission of OPI scores is highly encouraged for all languages. Due to the temporary closure of testing facilities during the COVID-19 outbreak, service members may submit scores that have passed their currency. For purposes of the FY20 LEAP Board, scores of 3/3 or higher must have been certified on or after 1 March 2017. For scores of 2+/2+ or lower, they must have been certified on or after 1 March 2018.
Q: Will the AFCLC consider any of the following:
1. Waiver of eligibility requirements
2. Extensions or submission of application documents after deadline
3. Change of supervisor and/or commander's endorsement after deadline
4. Special consideration for deployed members, e.g. application extension
5. Post-deadline edit of one's application
6. Appeals to the board's decision
A: No. The AFCLC will not consider the requests listed above.
Q: How many times may I apply for LEAP?
A: Members may apply as often as necessary given they meet the program requirements.
SECTION III – SELECTION
Q: How many LEAP scholars are selected per year?
A: The AFCLC recruits, selects, and on-boards scholars with the objective of building and sustaining an inventory that exceeds one percent of the RegAF Active Duty force. The annual selection target is 400 LEAP scholars per year based on Air Force SLA guidance.
Q: Who reviews LEAP applications?
A: AFCLC staff members review applications to determine compliance with program guidance. The LEAP Selection Board consists of senior leaders who represent a cross-section of LREC specialist, policy, and force management communities. Board members review applicant packages and assign a score based on their assessment of the service member’s attitude, aptitude, and record of performance.
Q: What languages does the board consider for the program?
A: The AFCLC considers service members in languages listed on the Air Force Strategic Language List (SLL). The Air Force SLL dated 1 July 2015 describes languages in which the Air Force has requirements authorized in out-years as well as strategic languages of interest. The Air Force SLL is based on the Department of Defense SLL and is expanded to align with validated Air Force requirements. The Air Force SLL is For Official Use Only and may be obtained from one's Test Control Officer at each installation education office.
Q: How are Airmen selected for LEAP?
A: The AFCLC develops an order of merit list based on each service member’s board score and potential to fill future language requirements, including Language-Designated Positions and low density languages on the Air Force SLL. The AFCLC assigns each LEAP scholar a "Selected" or Control Language (CLANG) based on the service member’s documented proficiencies and Air Force and Space Force needs. The SLA is the approval authority for LEAP Selection Board results.
SECTION IV – LEAP Commitment
Q: Does acceptance into LEAP require me to incur an Active Duty Service Commitment (ADSC)
A: No. Participation in LEAP does not incur an ADSC.
Q: If selected, will the Airman be reassigned or deployed?
A: The AFCLC does not determine or have any involvement in selecting members for assignments or deployments. However, LEAP scholars may be identified by force managers based on award of the LEAP Special Experience Identifier (SEI). The LEAP SEI identifies Airmen in the Air Force personnel system for filling language-designated positions via assignments, deployments, and TDYs.
Q: What time commitment is expected of a LEAP scholar?
A: LEAP is a volunteer program that occurs outside of normal duty requirements. LEAP scholars are expected to complete online eMentor courses every two to four years, depending on their proficiency level. Courses are delivered in 48-hour and 16-hour modules, with four hours of class every week. The AFCLC offers Language Intensive Training Events (LITEs), averaging 30 days, to LEAP scholars who qualify. To participate in a LITE, a LEAP scholar must first obtain their commander’s approval.
SECTION V – Foreign Language Proficiency Bonus (FLPB) Pay
Q: If accepted into LEAP, will I be authorized to receive FLPB Pay?
A: Upon reaching specific LEAP training and DLPT requirements, LEAP participants may qualify for the LEAP SEI, which authorizes one to receive FLPB.
For additional program information, please visit https://www.airuniversity.af.edu/AFCLC/Language-Studies/ or, requests for information can be sent directly to the AFCLC Staff by email at email@example.com.
551 E. Maxwell Blvd, Bldg 500, Maxwell AFB, AL 36112
FY20 Application and Selection Board Schedule
Cadet Board Submission Window
Cadet Board Convenes
Active Duty Enlisted Board Submission Window
Active Duty Enlisted Board Convenes
Active Duty Officer Board Submission Window
Active Duty Officer Board Convenes