United States Air Force Academy

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  • What is NCLS?

    NCLS is a two day symposium in which participants have an opportunity to hear from speakers sharing inspirational stories of character and leadership with the audience through his/her own words. It is one of the premier national symposiums in the area of character development, brings together distinguished scholars, armed forces leaders, corporate presidents and others to explore various dimensions of character and leadership. Speakers share their life experiences in order to challenge the audience to meet the objectives. NCLS is a personal development symposium.

  • Who can attend?

    NCLS is open to anyone. This includes, but is not limited to, Undergraduate Students, Visiting Faculty members, community participants, military academy graduates, Association of Graduates members, USAFA staff and faculty, out of state military members, local military/ DoD ID Card Holders, and federal, state, county, and city government employees.

  • Who will be speaking?

    You will hear from distinguished scholars, military leaders, corporate presidents, world-class athletes, and others in order to explore a character-related theme. The speakers will share their life experiences, challenges, and triumphs in alignment with the NCLS year-long theme, reinforcing the Air Force Core Values, encouraging reflection, and motivation for personal action. Visit the Speakers page for more info on this year’s speakers.

  • How do I register?

    Registration is scheduled to open in the fall of 2020 (exact date TBA). Once Registration is open, an email invitation will be sent to our previous participants and a “Register Now” button will be available on the website. Please call 719-333-0736 for more registration questions.

  • What is my registration type?

    On the NCLS landing page, click the hot button that describes you. Or, click the blue “Register Now” button located on the top right side of any page on the NCLS website. If doing the latter, select “Participant” as your registration category, then select one of the types below:

    Visiting Student
    • You are a student at a college or university between ages 18-26
    Visiting Faculty:
    • You are a college or university faculty or staff member attending NCLS with students
    • You are an academic educator attending without students
    Community Participant
    • You are a college or university student over age 26
    • You are an Air Force Academy alum or Association of Graduates member
    • You are a member of the local community with no military affiliation
    • You are local or non-local area military, not assigned to USAFA and not an Association of Graduates member
    USAFA Permanent Party
    • You are military or civilian assigned to any USAFA organization

  • I do not see my college or university on the list, what do I do?

    In order to complete your registration in a timely manner, please select “Other” to proceed. Our NCLS registration team will update both your individual registration and our list of visiting universities.

  • If my school already has four students selected, can I still attend?

    If your school already has four students confirmed, we can place students on a waiting list. Should a spot become available, students will be notified on a first come first served basis, after January 31. Once all the registration requirements have been met, the registration status will change from “pending” to “confirmed.” If you wish to be placed on the waiting list, please have your faculty sponsor email NCLS@afacademy.af.edu with your name, email and college/university.

  • Why is there a fee?

    NCLS fees are strictly associated to participant meal packages. For visiting students, your meal fee covers breakfast, lunch and dinner at Mitchell Hall for the duration of your stay. For visiting faculty, your meal fee covers breakfast at the Falcon Club and lunch at Mitchell Hall on both days of the symposium. It also covers your meal at the formal NCLS dinner on Thursday evening and dinner at the Falcon Club on Friday evening. For all others, meal fees cover either breakfast and lunch both days, OR breakfasts, lunches and the symposium dinner (depending on which you prefer).

  • When I register I only see a certain speaker listed once, but I know they are speaking more than once. Why is this?

    Typically, each NCLS speaker is schedule to present multiple times over the course of the two days, however a few of our speakers may only speak once, due to schedule limitations. Speakers are scheduled for various venues throughout the cadet area, some large and some small (such as our 73-person lectinars). The speaker you are looking for may be scheduled for a smaller venue, which may already be full. If that is the case, that specific speaker session will no longer be visible as a registration selection.

  • Where do I pick up my badge?*

    Check-in and badge pick-up for Visiting Students, Visiting Faculty and Community Participants will be available in Falcon Club according to the following schedule:
    Wednesday, 24 February from 10 a.m.-10 p.m.
    Thursday, February 25 from 6:30 a.m.-6:00 p.m.
    Friday, February 26 from 6:30 a.m.-3:00 p.m.
    *Please note that USAFA Permanent Party members are not required to check-in at Falcon Club and will not be issued badges.

  • Will there be transportation?

    There will be no ground transportation provided from Denver International Airport (DIA). Participants who choose to fly into DIA will need to arrange their transportation to and from USAFA. For participants arriving into the Colorado Springs Airport, NCLS will provide transportation shuttles on a regular basis on Wednesday starting at 10 a.m. on February 24th, and 04:00 a.m. Saturday, February 27th. You can find shuttle personnel outside the baggage claim area. The shuttle schedule and information can be found on the Travel & Lodging page.

  • Can I enter the Academy through the South Gate?

    Individuals with a valid, DoD-issued identification card can enter the base through the South Gate. All others must arrive through the North Gate. The NCLS Team will create an entry access list enabling all our registered participants to access the Academy through the North Gate (Visitor’s Gate).

  • How do I get to and from the cadet area?

    Visitor parking in the cadet area during the symposium is not authorized. As a result, ground transportation to and from Falcon Club and the cadet area will be provided throughout the symposium.

  • Where will I stay?

    Student (age 18 – 26): will be housed at no cost in the Air Force Academy Cadet Dormitories. Visiting students will be assigned a cadet escort and will room with that cadet in the cadet dormitories. The two Academy dorms, Vandenberg and Sijan Hall, are co-ed dorms with shower facilities on each floor. While dormitories are co-ed, individual rooms and shower facilities are not. Rooms have either two or three residents.

    Faculty and Guest: Visiting faculty and guests may stay on the USAFA campus at the Rampart Lodge (also known as the Visiting Officers’ Quarters, or VOQ) pending availability.  Alternative lodging is available at other surrounding facilities.

  • As a visiting student, what should I bring?

    – Cell phone charger
    – Shower shoes (Flip Flops)
    – Bath robe to walk to the shower
    – Towel
    – Pillow
    – Toiletries
    – Business casual or uniform attire for up to three days
    – Casual clothes for the evenings
    – Jacket (gets windy, and may be cold!)
    – Comfortable walking shoes
    – Lip balm (dry weather)
    – Water bottle
    – Sunscreen & Sunglasses
    – Prescription Eyewear
    – Notepad and Pencil

  • Can a guest attend with me?

    While a guest may certainly attend with you, the registration system now requires all attendees register independently. We apologize for any inconvenience this may create.

  • Who can attend the Symposium dinner?

    All senior leaders/DVs, speakers, community participants, and visiting faculty are invited to attend the Symposium Dinner. You will be prompted to sign up and pay for the dinner at the time of your registration. There are a limited number of seats available and walk-ins are not allowed. Visiting students and cadet delegates may not attend.

  • What should I wear to NCLS?

    For military members, a combination of blues/Class B uniform is appropriate during the day.

    For the Symposium Dinner, uniform will be Service Dress/Class A uniform.

    For civilian members, business casual is appropriate during the day.

    For the Symposium Dinner, Suit and Tie is appropriate.

  • What is the CCLD?


    To serve USAFA by advancing character and leadership development in preparation for service to the nation.


    To be the center of excellence for the advancement of character and leadership development.

    Created in 1993, originally as the Center for Character Development, the CCLD serves as the focal point of USAFA’s commitment to developing leaders of character. Since character and leadership are complementary and inseparable concepts, synergies result from integrating character and leadership training/education into a common effort. The focus of the CCLD is on the development of cadet character and leadership through high quality, daily interactions with faculty and staff. The Center’s three areas of commitment are:

    1. Elevate and integrate character and leadership development
    2. Develop the character and leadership of cadets and faculty/staff
    3. Advance the scholarship of character and leadership development