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The Language Enabled Airman Program (LEAP) is an Air Force Culture and Language Center (AFCLC) managed, volunteer program open to Active Duty officer and enlisted Airmen in most Air Force Specialty Codes.  LEAP deliberately develops language enabled, cross-cultural Airmen across the General Purpose Force (GPF) with working-level foreign language proficiency.  With these skills, Airmen can better support the application of airpower through strengthening partnerships and interoperability. 


To become a LEAP scholar, Airmen must demonstrate some level of proficiency in a foreign language specified on the Air Force Strategic Language List, receive endorsement from their unit commander, and compete via a board process.  Selection to LEAP is based on applicants’ academic history and job performance, existing language proficiency, potential to achieve higher levels of language proficiency, and Air Force language requirements.


Eligible candidates may submit applications to the AFCLC within the timelines listed below and in accordance with application instructions.  Applications submitted outside the established windows will not be considered.  Candidates and their commanders will be notified of the results approximately 60 days after the selection board convenes.


Candidate Type

Application Window

Selection Board


1 Jan - 15 March 2020

15 - 16 April 2020


1 May - 15 July 2020

18 August 2020


1 May - 15 July 2020

19 August 2020


For more information about LEAP, please email us at AFCLC.Language@us.af.mil

A.  USAF officer candidate seniors commissioning in the current academic year (Air Force Reserve Officers Training Corps (AFROTC)/United States Air Force Academy (USAFA).


B.  Regular Air Force Active Duty (RegAF AD) Commissioned Officers (excluding 16F – Foreign Area Officers).


C.  RegAF AD Enlisted Airmen (excluding 1N3, 1A8X1 career fields) with at least 48 months in service (TIS) as of 18 August 2020, the rank of SrA through SMSgt, completion of all 5-Skill Level and Career Field and Education Training Plan (CFETP) requirements.

A.  Applicants must possess a current Defense Language Proficiency Test (DLPT) or Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI) score.  These scores must be valid through the end of the board.  Scores of 3/3 or higher are valid for two years, and 2+/2+ or lower are valid for one year from the certification date.  There are no minimum or maximum scores required 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 must have a superior performance record: no derogatory information, referral performance reports, Unfavorable Information File (UIF), control rosters, etc.


C.  Applicants that are officer candidates or 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 two years of retainability (remaining service) in the Air Force.


E.  Applicants with over 16 years of total active federal military service will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

A.         RegAF Active Duty and USAFA applicants must submit applications through the LEAP site, Language Enabled Airman Development Resource (LEADeR), at https://cmsweb.maxwell.af.mil/Leap.  You must be on an Air Force (AF) computer and have an Air University (AU) Portal account to begin your LEAP application.  Applicants that need to create or update their AU Portal account will be redirected to the AU Portal upon initial attempt to access the site.


B.         AFROTC applicants should contact their Detachment Commander for an application and to request an endorsement.  AFROTC applicants must send completed application packages in readable PDF format through an encrypted email via their Detachment Commanders to AFCLC.Language@us.af.mil.




Applicants who meet all of the above eligibility requirements may submit an application package to the AFCLC.  The completeness of the package is part of the evaluation.  All forms should be a portable document format (PDF), legible, and correctly aligned.  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). (RegAF AD only)


C.  Three most recent, signed Performance Reports (OPR/EPR), Training Reports, or combination. (RegAF AD only)


D.  All college transcripts (unofficial post-secondary copies are acceptable). (Optional for enlisted)


E.  DLPT or OPI score report.  AD applicants must ensure scores are in Military Personnel Database System (MilPDS) official records or must upload a copy of their score report.  Cadets must include current scores. (All applicants)


F.  Certificates from foreign language schools are optional.


G.  An endorsement from the applicant’s Commander/Director is mandatory and should be submitted directly through the online application site, before the closing of the application window.  AFROTC Detachment Commanders and other commanders without access to LEADeR should contact the AFCLC for alternate means of submitting the endorsement at AFCLC.Language@us.af.mil.  



SECTION I – LEAP Background


Q:  What is the purpose of LEAP?


A:  The purpose of LEAP is to deliberately develop language enabled cross-cultural Airmen across General Purpose Force (GPF) Air Force specialties to enhance the application of airpower and posture Airmen fill Air Force global mission requirements.  LEAP provides Airmen 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 period.  LEAP selects willing and able Airmen, develops, and sustains Language Regional Expertise and Culture (LREC) skills throughout 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, to include tracking administrative records, executing training, and other related tasks.  While multiple offices within the AFCLC provide support for LEAP, the program is primarily managed by a small staff within the Language Division.  The AFCLC is under Air University, 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.  The Secretary of the Air Force then emphasized the need to increase the language inventory from within the force.  In 2009, the LEAP concept was approved, and a pilot program was initiated.  In 2010, the U.S. House Armed Services Committee lauded LEAP as the model program for the services.  In the fall of 2010, LEAP sustainment and enhancement training began through eMentor distance learning.  In FY13, LEAP was designated a Program of Record.  



SECTION II – LEAP Eligibility and Application


Q:  Are Air National Guard or Air Force Reserve members eligible for LEAP?


A:  No. The AFCLC is funded for the development of RegAF Airmen.  Only RegAF Active Duty Airmen or Air Force Officer Candidates may apply.


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, a current DLPT or OPI score (for languages where a DLPT is not available) is required to apply.  Failure to provide language proficiency score reports will result in the rejection of your application.  Defense Language Aptitude Battery (DLAB) scores are not required to apply to the program.


Q:  Will the AFCLC consider any of the following:

1.  Waiver of eligibility requirements

2.  Extensions or submission of application documents after the deadline

      3.  Change of supervisor and/or commander’s endorsement after the 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:  Why can’t I access LEADeR to submit an application?


A:  At present, LEADeR can only be accessed from a Common Access Card (CAC)-enabled computer on an Air Force domain by users with an Air University (AU) Portal account.  To obtain an AU Portal account:

1.  Login to the Air Force Portal

2.  Search for the Air University Portal and select AU Link

3.  Login to the Air University Portal (you will have to create an account if you do not have one)

4.  On the left-hand side of the page hover over Distance Learning and then Cultural and Language Center and then select LEAP. If you continue to have issues with your AU Portal account, follow up with AU Education Services: Toll-free number at 1-800-262-9140, or e-mail: AU Education Services (au.ecampussupport@us.af.mil

Q:  How many times may I apply for LEAP?


A:  Members may apply as often as necessary, given they meet the program requirements.





Q:  How many LEAP scholars are selected per year?


A:  The AFCLC recruits, selects, and on-boards scholars to build and sustain an inventory that exceeds 1 percent of the Active Duty force.  The annual selection target is 400 LEAP scholars per year based on Air Force Senior Language Authority (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 Airman’s attitude, aptitude, and record of performance.


Q:  What languages does the board consider for the program?


A:  The AFCLC considers Airmen in languages listed on the Air Force Strategic Language List (SLL).  The AF 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 AF SLL is based on the Department of Defense (DoD) SLL and is expanded to align with validated AF requirements.  The AF 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 Airmen’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 Airman’s documented proficiencies, and Air 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:  Selection to LEAP does not generate PCS or reassignment.  Award of the LEAP Special Experience Identifier (SEI) will identify Airmen in the Air Force personnel system for future assignments, deployments, and TDYs.  However, the AFCLC does not determine or have any involvement in selecting members for assignments or deployments.


Q: What time commitment is expected of a LEAP scholar?


A:  LEAP is a volunteer program that occurs outside of normal duty requirements.  Airmen 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 Airmen who qualify.  To participate in a LITE, a LEAP participant 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 afclc.language@us.af.mil.

LEAP Announcements

FY2020 LEAP Application and Solicitation

***Trouble accessing LEADeR?***
Please open a vESD ticket request to have a technician run the FBCA Cross Certificate Removal Tool

Need LEAP Support?
For more information on LEAP contact:
AFCLC Language Division


LEAP Contact

General Inquiries

Commercial Phone: 334-953-7729

LEAP Support Email

AFCLC Language Division
AFCLC LEAP Admin Support

551 E. Maxwell Blvd, Bldg 500, Maxwell AFB, AL 36112



Important Dates

FY20 Application and Selection Board Schedule


Cadet Board Submission Window


  • 1 January - 15 March 2020


Cadet Board Convenes

  • 15-16 April 2020


Active Duty Enlisted Board Submission Window

  • 1 May - 15 July 2020


Active Duty Enlisted Board Convenes

  • 18 August 2020


Active Duty Officer Board Submission Window

  • 1 May - 15 July 2020


Active Duty Officer Board Convenes

  • 19 August 2020