United States Air Force Academy

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Development Division


The Development Division is charged with the development of our future leaders using the Leader of Character Framework. We strive to provide Development Opportunities (DOs) through our open enrollment process, unit specific requested workshops and providing DOs to permanent party. The Development Division is comprised of five branches which are the Professional Development branch, Healthy Relations Education, Experiential Based Learning/Outdoor Leadership Complex team, Prototyping/Innovation and our Profession of Arms Center of Excellence (PACE) Liaison officer.

Professional Development Branch

The Leader of Character workshops represent the foundational offerings in leader and character development. Our overview workshop introduces the Leader of Character Framework while the deeper dives – Living Honorably, Lifting Others, and Elevating Performance – explore the details of what it is to be a leader of character. Participants are engaged in a variety of meaningful conversations, activities/exercises and ultimately walk away from these workshops learning ways they can embody and live out the framework in their daily lives.

Healthy Relations Education

The Healthy Relations Education (HRE) program allows permanent party and cadets at USAFA to develop an understanding and practice of leadership through emotional intelligence, Daring Leadership, energy management, mindset training, the practice of resiliency and wellness, and healthy relationships development. Workshops can be personalized to specific needs and have included topics such as: The Multigenerational Workforce, Safe Zone Training, The Science and Philosophy of Happiness, Confidence, and a variety of book clubs. HRE addresses factors that impact personal, professional, character and leadership development. Workshops address lowering risk factors that negatively impact the workforce and increasing positive outcomes in productivity and healthy relationships.

Experiential Based Learning (EBL)/Outdoor Leadership Complex (OLC)

The Experiential Based Learning (EBL) team serves as the integrator of adventure and experiential based learning (AEBL) methodology. Utilizes knowledge of AEBL to build curriculum, direct and execute programs offerings, and assess effectiveness. Fosters integration of character development throughout USAFA mission element programs through coordination with faculty, staff, and cadets. We do this group academic year squadron training experiences (directed development training and team development time) and team experience for cadets and permanent party meeting the teams where they are, helping them get where they want to be interpersonally and organizationally. The experiential activities stimulate insights for Cadets about behaviors needed to achieve goals related to character and leadership development. Some of our key efforts are:

  •  EBL manages all operations and program execution for the Outdoor Leadership Complex (OLC), provides customized team-building activities for units at the OLC and using portable equipment. The OLC includes the original ropes course
  •  EBL assists the Cadet Wing with Interpersonal Leadership Training (ILT), a summer program for rising 3-degree cadets with upper class cadre as primary facilitators.
  • EBL shares knowledge and best practices by integrating within the CCLD Development Opportunities and building portable team development programs that align with airman development efforts
  • Consulting with Cadet Wing and Academics for integration of experiential methodologies into curriculum and training

The Prototyping branch works with other USAFA teams to conduct research, develop new programs, and guide program prototyping goals and efforts. The primary focus is to identify cutting-edge innovations in educational practices and leadership development and includes character and leadership training, experiential education, and adult learning theory. The Prototyping branch also coordinates and leads multi-function teams to develop innovative practices and foster the integration of moral development across USAFA programs. Efforts also include researching, assessing, presenting, and publishing refereed scholarship in character and leadership and fostering the exchange of best practices throughout USAFA and beyond.

Profession of Arms Center of Excellence (PACE) Liaison

The Profession of Arms Center of Excellence (PACE) at Air University’s Eaker Center provides professional and leadership development tools, courses, and resources similar to CCLD with a laser focus on strengthening identity and culture across the Air Force.  The PACE liaison ensures collaboration of professional development best practices across the organizations while delivering workshops and developmental opportunities for both CCLD and PACE.  Some of PACE’s outstanding resources include Heritage Today videos, “What Now Airman?” ethical dilemma scenario series, Leadership and Team Assessment (LTA) workshops, and many others, available at www.airman.af.mil.