United States Air Force Academy

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Character & Leadership Research, Integration & Assessment

The CCLD’s Research, Integration & Assessment Division advances and integrates character and leadership development concepts and programs across the military, academic and athletic components of life at the United States Air Force Academy. It also works to strengthen strategic partnerships with external agencies and academic institutions.

Professional Development


By coordinating and facilitating research related to character and leadership development and the Profession of Arms, we strive to serve as a catalyst for cutting-edge, innovative thinking in these areas. The division supports resident and visiting scholars who focus their research on these topics, and publishes the “Journal of Character and Leadership Development”(JCLD)– a primary means of disseminating research and sparking dialogue within our field.

JCLD and other publications 


In addition to synchronizing character and leadership development efforts across cadet programs, the division creates and executes a voluntary curriculum to enhance the culture of leadership and accountability for Academy staff and faculty. Seminars are held on a periodic basis and we seek to accommodate unit requests for professional development training.


Collaborating with the key functions at the Academy—including the Dean of Faculty, the Athletic Department, and the Commandant of Cadets—Research, Integration & Assessment personnel work to develop a holistic picture of the effectiveness of the Academy’s character and leadership efforts, and to aid in the continual refinement of programs and assessment methodology.


The essential and enduring mission of the United States Air Force Academy 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 Officer Development System (ODS) provides all members of the Academy enterprise a framework and set of strategies to accomplish our mission. ODS is designed to organize cadet experiences so that USAFA achieves its institutional goals, accomplishes its assigned mission and realizes it strategic vision. In other words, the daily education, training and experiences of cadet life must be aligned and connected with the framework of the ODS. The three main components of the ODS are: a set of Guiding Principles; the PITO (Personal, Interpersonal, Team and Organization level of leadership) Model; and the Leadership Growth Model. Deliberate and consistent application of these components provide the integrated and synergistic way to guide cadets through the process of becoming officers of character. More information