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DOD Executive Leadership Development Program (502421)

About the Program


The Executive Leadership Development Program (ELDP) provides participants with an extensive exposure to the roles and mission of the entire Department.

Participants of ELDP graduate from the program with an increased understanding and appreciation for today’s warfighters. Warfighters speak of being at the “tip of the spear" - ELDP provides those experiences. The program was established in 1985 with the approval of the Secretary of Defense and has continued over the years to train the Department’s future leaders to recognize and respond to the issues facing DoD. During the course of the ten months of training, participants will travel to a variety of locations both in the United States and overseas, to train with the warfighter. Through intense, hands-on field experience, participants experience first hand the many challenges that our Components face in carrying out the mission of the Department.

ELDP is not for everyone. It is both mentally and physically challenging. It is designed for high potential individuals who have the desire to progress into senior leadership roles in the Department.

The training requires participants to be away from their position for one week deployments each month from December-June over a 10-month period. The program components include:

  1. Two-days of orientation in the Washington, DC area
  2. Two weeks of Core-Curriculum training covering areas such as team building, problem solving, decision making, and communication skills
  3. One week deployments each month from December-June to military facilities including Joint Command (PACOM), Navy/Marine Corps, Air Force, Army, the National Guard and the U.S. Coast Guard.  Deployments are also scheduled to forward deployed locations, such as Korea and Europe
  4. Briefings on defense and international issues at Georgetown University
  5. Briefings from the Joint Staff and Interagency Organizations
  6. Preparation of Staff Studies
  7. Presentation of a formal Information Briefing at the Pentagon
  8. Graduation in Washington, DC; attended by high-level military and civilian leaders


  1. Full-time permanent employees at the GS 12-14, O3 (promotable), O4 levels.
  2. All candidates must have a secret security clearance and possess a     Baccalaureate Degree or comparable experience and training.



11 Aug 2012-15 Jun 2013                              Application Deadline: Closed

Note:  This course will not be offered during FY13 due to funding constraints. Please come back for more updates for the FY14 session.

Application Procedures

To apply: 

  1. Complete an ELDP Application Form, which includes statements from the applicant and their supervisor.
  2. A student biography, resume, or OF-612 to include education, career history and potential for continued advancement.
  3. Copy of a Final SECRET SECURITY CLEARANCE that includes adjudication date.
  4. Supervisors statement of NO MORE THAN TWO PAGES on the applicants past performance and potential for continued advancement.
  5. A letter of nomination in CG memo format from the first flag officer or SES in the applicant's chain of command.
  6. Scan the documents (listed above in steps 1-5) into a pdf file and send as an e-mail attachment to Include the course title within the subject line of the e-mail.

All costs (tuition and travel) are CGHQ funded.

Selection Procedures

  1. A selection panel will review the documents of all eligible applicants. 
  2. Selected individuals will be notified by record message traffic of their selection. 
  3. Alternates will be selected and will attend the program in the event a primary candidate cannot attend.
  4. Selected individuals will be directed to submit a completed SF 182, including the signed Continued Service Agreement (pages 4-5 of the SF 182).


More Information

Tuition: $6,000 (for civilian participants only; military participants do not pay tuition)

Travel Costs: $25K-$27K

The ELDP Web site:

Return to Leadership and Professional Development Opportunities

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Last Modified 4/7/2014