The Language Enabled Airman Program (LEAP) is designed and managed by the AFCLC. LEAP deliberately develops a core group of language enabled, cross-cultural Airmen across the General Purpose Force (GPF) with working level foreign language proficiency per Air Force Instruction (AFI) 36-4001, Air Force Language, Regional Expertise and Culture Program. With these skills, Airmen can better support the application of airpower through strengthening partnerships and interoperability.
Participation in LEAP is voluntary and available for Active Duty officer and enlisted Airmen & select Reserve officers. To become a LEAP scholar, Airmen must demonstrate 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’ existing language proficiency, potential to achieve higher levels of language proficiency, and Air Force language requirements.
LEAP develops and sustains Airmen via a two-part system of recurring online training and periodic immersions. Online eMentor courses are a LEAP requirement, and participants are encouraged to complete a course within the first 18 months of selection to the program. The hands-on immersion component - Language Intensive Training Events (LITEs) - is contingent upon participant availability and home station approval.
LEAP scholars may earn the LEAP Special Experience Identifier (SEI) upon meeting eligibility criteria which may qualify them for Foreign Language Proficiency Bonus (FLPB) pay and other language-related opportunities. The LEAP SEI is used by force managers to match Airmen with language dependent assignments, deployments, and TDYs, with roles that include international affairs, security cooperation, mobility advisory, and special operations. Other benefits to LEAP membership include access to social media, networking tools, and mentoring from senior LEAP scholars and Foreign Area Officers (FAO).