United States Air Force Academy

Go to home page

Integration Division

Cadets in formation marching.

CCLD’s Integration Division serves the Academy by elevating the performance of how we engage cadets in the context of the Framework.

Integration Division collaborates with teams across our organization to leverage the Leader of Character Development Framework (Framework) as we engage cadets along their 47-month journey.  Our main focus is supporting the Air Officer Commanding (AOC) 3-year development program, the National Character and Leadership Symposium (NCLS), and integrating the Framework with the Academy’s Course of Instruction (COI).

The 3-year Air Officer Commanding (AOC) program begins with a one year Master’s Degree experience at the University of Colorado—Colorado Springs.  After graduating from this program, these officers are then placed in command of a 110-person cadet squadron for two years. During this two-year period we engage these officers to further develop their effectiveness as commanders and leader developers.

The Air Officers Commanding (AOC) coaching program was initiated to help elevate the leadership performance of these high performing leaders through coaching. The International Coaching Federation (ICF) defines coaching as partnering with individuals in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential.

Coaches help create an environment of vulnerability with the Coachee so they can reflect and become more self-aware of their environment and what improvement is possible. Progress is then measured through goal-setting and accountability. All of our coaches are trained through ICF-accredited coaching programs and use open-ended questions that allow the Coachee to reach his or her own answers.

Our program is designed to take into account the already limited time our leaders have for personal development. Sessions are flexible and revolve around the Coachee’s availability.

The Academy’s National Character and Leadership Symposium (NCLS), is one of our most visible leader of character development events. Annually, NCLS brings together distinguished scholars, military leaders, corporate executives, world-class athletes, and others to explore a leader of character-related theme. The purpose of NCLS is to motivate and equip participants for honorable living and effective leadership. It accomplishes this by connecting participants with powerful speakers, in presentations and discussion sessions, to encourage reflection and motivate personal action. NCLS reflects and fosters a culture at the Academy that is conducive to openly and deeply discussing issues of character and leadership in a critical and rigorous manner, regardless of sensitivity. NCLS provides development opportunities that allow NCLS cadet and faculty/staff to practice character-based leadership in a real world application. Finally, NCLS exemplifies our core value of excellence, showcasing the U.S. Air Force Academy as a unique and valuable character and leadership resource for the Department of the Air Force and Nation.


The Academy’s Course of Instruction (COI), is the totality of Education, Training, and Experiences (ETEs) with which we engage cadets along their 47-month journey.  These ETEs occur across our academic, airmanship, athletic, and military domains.  In assessing these ETEs through our 9 Outcomes, we leverage the Framework to improve this content, and the manner or how we engage cadets to assess, challenge, and support their development.  Using data to inform this process, we elevate the Academy’s ability to develop cadets as leaders of character.


A leader of character - Lives Honorably, Lifts Others, Elevates Performance