United States Air Force Academy

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  • What is NCLS?

    NCLS is two day conference 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 other in order to explore a character-related theme. The speakers will share their life experiences with the audience in order inspire and encourage development of character and leadership. Visit the Speakers page for more info on this year’s speakers.

  • How do I modify my registration (to select speakers, update my info, etc)?

    To modify your registration, click on the “My Registration” tab located just below “Contact Us” on the left side menu.  Then click on the blue “Modify” button located at the top left.  To change your information, select information.  To change your speaker selections, select registration.  Follow the prompts clicking “Next” as appropriate.  Clicking “Finish” will save and complete your modifications.

    If you do not see that tab, click on the “Already Registered” at the top of the NCLS home page.  You will be asked to enter your email address and confirmation number.  This can be found in your original confirmation email.  If you do not have or never received such an email, please contact the NCLS Team.

  • What registration category am I?

    On the NCLS landing page, click the hot button that describes you. Or, click the blue “Register Now” button located on the bottom 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:

    – If you are a student at a college or univerity between ages 18-26, select Visiting Student.

    – If you are a college or university student over age 26, select Visiting Faculty.

    – If you are a college or university faculty or staff member attending NCLS with students, select Visiting Faculty.

    – If you are military or civilian assigned to any USAFA organization other than CCLD, select USAFA Permanent Party.

    – If you are military or civilian assigned the CCLD, select CCLD Staff regardless of other affiliation.

    – If you are an Air Force Academy alum or Association of Graduates member, select Community Participant.

    – If you are an Association of Graduates member and a visiting faculty or staff member coming to NCLS from out of town, select Visiting Faculty.

    – If you are a member of the local community with no military affiliation, select Community Participant.

    – If you are local or non-local area military, not assigned to USAFA and not an Association of Graduates member, select Community Participant.

  • 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. Then, please send an email to ncls@usafa.edu with the subject “Please Add My School to Registration.” Include your name, your registration confirmation number, and the full name of your college or university. Our NCLS registration admin 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?

    We can place students on a waiting list. If we do not reach our overall visiting student maximum (200 students), we will contact individuals on the waiting list and invite them to attend even if there are already four representatives from their college or university. If you wish to be placed on the waiting list, please have your faculty sponsor email ncls@usafa.edu with your name, email and college/university. The wait list is first come first served and wait listed students will be contacted after registration closes (30 Jan).

  • Why is there a fee?

    Fees charged for NCLS go strictly toward your meals during the conference. Fees collected do not go toward souvenirs, staff support, or any other cost associated with the symposium. 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). Unfortunately, due to our registration setup, we are not able to allow registratants to al la carte meals at this time.

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

    Most NCLS speakers are scheduled to speak multiple times, though certain individuals are only able to speak once due to their personal 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.

  • I registered using my .MIL address but have received no email communication. Why?

    Due to technical issues, email from our system is typically blocked by .MIL email servers.  We are working to resolve this, but do not anticipate a fix for this year’s symposium.  If you registered with a .MIL email address, please use the “Contact Us” tab to provide an updated email address or request specific information, letting us know that you’ve registered with a .MIL address.

  • Will there be transportation to/from the airport?

    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, February 22nd, and Saturday, February 25th. 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, on base transportation to and from Rampart Lodge 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. Room costs are approximately $60 a night. Alternative lodging is available at downtown 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
    – Toothbrush, Toothpaste
    – Other Toiletries (hair brush/comb, shaving items, soap, deodorant, shampoo)
    – Camera
    – Money for souvenirs
    – Business casual or uniform attire for two days
    – Casual clothes for the evenings
    – Jacket (gets windy, and may be cold!)
    – Comfortable walking shoes
    – Lip balm (dry weather)
    – Sunscreen & Sunglasses
    – Prescription Eyewear
    – Notepad and Pencil

  • What should I wear?

    Active duty military and visiting ROTC students are encouraged to wear their uniforms during the conference (blues, Class Bs). All other participants should wear business casual (e.g. slacks and collared shirt). The National Character & Leadership Symposium Dinner is on Thursday evening at Arnold Hall. Military members should wear service dress (Class As). All other attendees should wear business professional (e.g. jacket and tie). Visiting students and their cadet hosts will not attend the symposium dinner.

    Visiting students staying in the dorms are reminded that floors are co-ed, and that they should bring appropriate attire to wear to and from shower facilities (shower shoes and robes are recommended). During off periods of the symposium it is asked that you wear modest attire while staying in the dorms.

    Please bear in mind that Colorado can be cold in February, and that the Air Force Academy sits at over 7,000 feet. All participants are encouraged to bring a jacket and/or warm outerwear in the event of cold weather.

  • Can a guest attend with me?

    Yes. When registering, you will be offered the option of adding and paying for a guest. Guests are registered participants in NCLS and will be prompted to select a meals package and speaker sessions. This feature is designed for participants and guests who will be attending sessions and items together. The guest feature should not be used for mass group registration of participants that will not be arriving and attending activities together.

    A non-registered guest may attend up to two sessions with a registered participant. However, non-registered participants do not receive meals and MUST be escorted by their registered counterpart at all times. Additionally, in the event that a given session/venue is full (“sold out”), a non-registered guest would be expected to vacate their seat to make room for registered participants.

  • 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.

  • I paid, but my registration is still reflecting a payment due. Why?

    Unfortunately, our registration system and our payment system do not “talk” to one another at this time. The NCLS Registration Team receives a regular report from the payment site, and they must go into the registration system and manually mark individuals as paid in full. If you have received confirmation of your payment, then you are paid in full. Please do not be alarmed if your registration still shows a payment due. It may take several days for the Registration Team to catch up with payments.

  • What is the USAFA Center for Character & Leadership Development (CCLD)?

    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