Leader Development Course for Squadron Command


  • 2018 Squadron Revitalization Implementation Plan requirement is to train officers with a “high potential for squadron command”
  • CSAF directed LDC attendance be opened to senior enlisted leaders in Mar ’20 and command spouses in Aug ‘20
  • LDC consists of a highly successful team of officer, enlisted, civilian, and Administratively Determined (AD) faculty
    • 12 graduated squadron commanders (approved by AU/CC) on a 2-yr SDE program (Instruct and then go on to Air War College)
    • 7 enlisted positions on 3-yr assignments
      • AD’s are ADCON to the Leader Innovation Institute (LII) and are required to teach, provide research, and service at a 40/30/30 ratio.


  • LDC is an intensive 8-day in-residence unit-funded course focused on developing the human domain of leadership to:
    • Increase self-awareness and emotional intelligence to provide purposeful leadership
      • Develop interpersonal skills to foster esprit de corps
      • Build a unit culture conducive to achieving verifiable mission success
  • Course breakout (weekend – no instruction):

Day 1: Culture, Climate & Self Awareness

Day 5: Command Decisions: Discipline & Justice

Day 2: Building Teams & Values Alignment

Day 6: Deliberate Development, Leading in Crisis

Day 3: Mission Alignment & Communication

Day 7: Squadron Environment, Coaching

Day 4: Human Performance, Case Studies

Day 8: Course Recap, Capstone, Graduation


  • Demand for LDC is increasing
  • CSAF directed student production target increase to train 1,800 students per year by FY25. Focus is to provide sufficient student throughput to meet first time squadron commander annual turnover (~1,200 per year) plus an additional 600 students to provide an inclusive command team student experience (1,200+600=1,800 required)
    • Current production limited to ~900 students/year (manpower/infrastructure limitations)
    • FY22 production: 894 students (highest since existence)
    • FY23 projection: 1,150 students (pending new building completion)
  • Renovated Gunter facility will provide space for 120 students (8 seminars) per offering
  • LDC highly successful
    • Entering 5th year - highest student feedback rating at AU @ 4.81/5.0 scale avg over 5 years
    • 32.8% of 2,000 officer graduates in command and numbers are climbing
  • LDC also provides support to MAJCOM Squadron Leader Conference on an as-available basis (not resourced)
    • Primarily provide content and review assistance when requested. LDC is not resourced to provide in-person facilitation.
  • LDC provides outreach support to AU programs on an as-available basis. AU provides external support on a personal volunteer and availability basis.
    • LII is the office of primary responsibility on outreach. LII provides outreach to AU priority entities which provide service to LDC (JAG, Chaplain, FSA, CMSgt, schools).
  • CSAF approved the new curriculum on 26 September 2022.


The mission of the Leader Development Course for Squadron Command is to inspire and equip future leaders to thrive in command. It prepares and empowers command teams to effectively employ human domain skills. It cultivates a growth mindset, creating a climate of trust designed to improve human/unit performance, foster resiliency, and increase retention.