The basis of true strength
is Character.

Character is "the sum of those qualities of moral excellence which compel a person to do the right thing despite pressure or temptations to the contrary." At the United States Air Force Academy, we'll teach you to evince character in everything you do.

CCLD Outreach

The Center for Character & Leadership Development (CCLD) organizes character and leadership development courses, workshops, lectures and cadet service learning opportunities for the United States Air Force Academy through the Integration & Outreach Directorate. 

Cadet Service Learning

Community service activities help cadets while providing assistance to the community.  These service opportunities develop cadet leadership and organization skills.  During the 2009-2010 academic year the cadet wing volunteered over 40,000 service man-hours to local area charitable outfits and public service organizations.  In 2009, the Academy was recognized for our cadet community service efforts by selection to the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll.

Alternate Spring Break

Another aspect of Service Learning is the Alternate Spring Break program. In the Alternate Spring Break Program, nearly 100 cadets give up their vacation time to help build homes in Texas, Arizona, Colorado and New Mexico for Habitat for Humanity.  Cadets from all 4 year groups travel and work together in teams with leadership opportunities for upper class cadets.


The Academy is part of a nine-university Colorado consortium that supports character and leadership education and experiences at the undergraduate level called the Colorado Leadership Alliance.  Audeamus (Latin for “let us dare”) is the name of the CLA chapter at USAFA.  The purpose of Audeamus is to provide transformative leadership education, experiences and opportunities for “on-the-court” leadership.  The Cadet-in-Charge of Audeamus works with CCLD staff to empower cadets to move their ideas from dreaming to achieving.


Cadets participate in a variety of character and leadership conferences and seminars with institution such as our sister service academies, Texas A&M, College of the Ozarks, The Citadel, Virginia Tech and other universities.

Cadet Wing Character Officer (WCO) and Non-commissioned Officer (WCNCO)

The I&O Directorate mentors the WCO and WCNCO.  The WCO is a year-long position for a first class cadet of impeccable character who serves on the Cadet Wing Staff as the liaison between the Center and the Cadet Wing.  The WCNCO, a semester-long position, on the Cadet Wing Staff for two second-class cadets with impeccable character, is also mentored by the I&O Directorate and is responsible for executing the Cadet Service Learning Program and Alternate Spring Break. 

Annual Character Award Recognition

The Center administers an annual character award recognition program.  Awards are:  Outstanding Cadet in Citizenship Award, Outstanding Cadet in Character Award, the Malham M. Wakin Character and Leadership Development Award, the 1Lt Roslyn L. Schulte Cadet Award and the Core Values Trophy.  These awards are given at the annual 1Lt Roslyn L. Schulte Recognition Ceremony during Graduation week each year.

Creating Leaders Series

The I&O Directorate oversees the new “Creating Leaders Series.”  This is an umbrella program the houses the Platinum Lecture Series, the Transformative Leadership Course, and various workshops and seminars that teach cutting-edge character and leadership material.