United States Air Force Academy

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Character and leadership are the essence of the United States Air Force Academy.

character & leadership development
Evening View of Polaris Hall & the Academy Chapel

Polaris Hall is the newest iconic structure on the United States Air Force Academy. Opened in 2016, this facility houses the Center for Character & Leadership Development.

Wakin Lecture
World Class Forum for World Class Speakers

The Forum is a world-class venue for inspirational speakers to connect with cadets and permanent party.

Leadership Overview

Integrity, Service, Excellence

The Academy’s mission is “to educate, train and inspire men and women to become officers of character motivated to lead the United States Air Force in service to our Nation.” The Academy’s Center for Character and Leadership Development (CCLD) is at the heart of accomplishing that mission. CCLD helps align academic, athletic and military efforts—for faculty and staff and across all four years of the Academy course of instruction—to develop leaders of character. We aim to graduate lieutenants and sustain an Academy that will exemplify the Air Force’s core values, first articulated here and inscribed prominently on the ramp leading into the cadet area: Integrity First – Service Before Self – Excellence in All We Do.

To support the Academy-wide character and leadership mission, CCLD:

  • Advances understanding and implementation of effective character and leadership development practices across military, academic and athletic settings—for cadets, faculty and staff
  • Inspires cadets to embrace the Air Force Core Values as the foundation of their lifelong development as leaders of character
  • Provides experiences, tools and collaborative, inspirational settings to foster character and leadership development for cadets and Academy faculty/staff
  • Advises Academy leadership on character and leadership development issues

Organizations interested in learning more or working with CCLD in areas of common interest may contact us at ccld@usafa.edu.


Polaris Hall, Suite 300
USAF Academy, Colorado 80840-6260
Phone: (719)-333-4904
Fax: (719) 333-4276

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