Academy to transform character development program

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Academy Superintendent Lt. Gen. Mike Gould unveiled plans today for a major transformation and expansion of the Academy's character development efforts. 

Plans include re-designating the Center for Character Development to the Center for Character and Leadership Development, and relocating it into a new $29-million facility scheduled to open in late summer 2012. Construction for the new building is anticipated to begin in March 2011. 

The transformation will add research, assessment, and curriculum enhancement capabilities to advance the overall effectiveness of the Academy's ability to shape cadets' character, place an increased emphasis on leadership development, and more deliberately integrate the entire faculty and staff in cadets' character and leadership growth experiences. 

Furthermore, a new position, the Permanent Professor of Character & Leadership Development, has been created and will be filled later this year to head up the center. 

"This transformation will mark a significant first step in our journey to take officer development at USAFA to the next level," said Col. John B. Norton, Director of the Academy's Center for Character Development . "This will truly strengthen the Academy's ability to provide the nation with professional officers ready to make the tough calls when we give them the tremendous responsibilities of winning our nation's wars and leading our sons and daughters. 

"In a phrase, it will greatly advance the Academy's impact on our primary mission of graduating Air Force officers of character," he said 

As the centerpiece for the Academy's mission of developing officers of character ready to lead, the expanded CCLD will ensure Academy programs support the imperatives of a dynamic profession of arms and effectively instill them in graduating cadets. 

The new center will be housed in a single facility compatible with the existing architecture of the Academy. The building is designed by Skidmore, Owings and Merrill, the same firm that originally planned and designed the Academy campus and Cadet Chapel. Up to now, the character development staff and associated cadet offices have been spread among three separate buildings and even off base.
Current plans call for the facility to be located at the north end of the Academy's Honor Court adjacent to Arnold Hall. This location will provide convenient access for cadets. 

"The CCLD will represent a physical and symbolic statement of carrying out the mission of character and leadership development by fitting contextually within the architectural style of the Academy," said Duane Boyle, the Academy's architect. 

He added that the facility will be environmentally friendly, being a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, or LEED Platinum level certified building. Platinum is the highest level "green" designation by the Green Building Certification Institute of the U.S. Green Building Council, with only 17 other buildings in the nation having reached that level. 

The U.S. Air Force Academy is a four-year bachelor of science degree university. USAFA's mission is to educate, train and inspire men and women to become officers of character motivated to lead the U.S. Air Force in service to our nation. All graduates are commissioned as second lieutenants in the U.S. Air Force. For more information on the Academy, visit .