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Take the LEAD in your Air Force career

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt Jamie Lessard
  • 36th Wing Public Affairs
Enlisted Airmen interested in career advancement through the officer corps can do so through the Leaders Encouraging Airmen Development program.

The United States Air Force Academy and its Preparatory School offer opportunities for enlisted Airmen who meet criteria to enter the commissioned ranks. The program was initiated in 1995 by Gen. Ronald R. Fogleman, the former Chief of Staff of the Air Force.

Eighty-five slots are available for active-duty Airmen who qualify for direct entry into the Academy. An additional 85 slots are available for enlisted members from Air Force Reserve and Guard components. Fifty slots are also reserved at the Preparatory School for Airmen who do not meet direct entry criteria, with the intention of an Academy appointment to follow upon successful completion of the Prep School.

"If you have young, hard chargers in your command who demonstrate outstanding character and values coupled with leadership potential, please urge them to consider a commissioning path through our Academy," said General Norton A. Schwartz, Chief of Staff of the Air Force.

An Airman must be a U.S. citizen or be able to attain citizenship before entry into the Academy the following year, be unmarried, have no dependents and be of high moral character.

Applicants must complete Air Force Form 1786: Application for Appointment to the U.S. Air Force Academy Under Quota Allotted to Enlisted Members of the Regular and Reserve Components of the Air Force. The form requires personal information, immediate commander's endorsement (no lower than squadron commander or equivalent) and Military Personnel Flight coordination.

After the application is processed by the Academy admissions office, applicants will be notified concerning additional requirements such as the candidate fitness assessment, an extensive medical evaluation, and completion of an interview with an admissions liaison officer, completion of the writing sample and attainment of qualifying scores on the Scholastic Aptitude Test or the American College Test.

The POC for the LEAD program is the Director of Admissions, Col Chevalier Cleaves. Additional information is available on the U.S. Air Force Academy Admissions website ( or at the base education office. On Andersen AFB, Joseph Foster at the Education Center is the POC for LEAD. For more information call Mr. Foster at 366-3170.