Executive Leadership Development Program (ELDP) backBack Executive Leadership Development Program (ELDP)
CTLD Programs

Executive Leadership Development Program (ELDP)

The Executive Leadership Development Program (ELDP) provides Department of Defense (DOD) and interagency personnel the opportunity to participate in an exceptional joint and enterprise-wide Civilian leadership training and development experience. The objective is to promote greater understanding of the overall Department of Defense mission and culture, provide hands-on leadership training that parallels selected military training and ensure cross-Component exposure. The program is offered annually, and provides a series of learning and training experiences that blend experiential and academic learning, with hands-on exercises focused on the role of the war fighter. Program activities are conducted both in the United States and overseas.

Program Details

ELDP is intended to stretch participants' experiences and comfort zones and to help them develop the knowledge, skills and behaviors expected of future Enterprise leaders. Given the rigor of these requirements, the ELDP program demands a significant commitment by participants and their commands.

    Key program features include:
  • Orientation and Core-Curriculum (DoD Executive Management Training Center, Southbridge, MA - 2 weeks). Topics include team building, problem solving, decision-making, and communication skills.
  • Deployments each month from December to June to military installations (CONUS and OCONUS):
  • Seminars and briefs on defense and international issues and international perspectives.
  • Preparation of Staff Studies
  • Graduation Week Activities (DC Area)
  • ELDP Program Overview

See ELDP Overview for additional details. During the course of a typical 10-month training cycle an ELDP participant can expect to travel and participate in training deployments for at least a week to 12 days out of each month.

Applying for a physically demanding leadership development program, such as ELDP, is an important step. It is not intended for everyone. Events during the program require participants to work long hours when deployed, travel on weekends, adjust to rapidly changing conditions and situations, climb three-story nautical ladders, jump from airborne training towers, fly in tactically configured military aircraft, and participate in rigorous physical fitness activities that include but are not limited to running or walking a mile in 12 minutes or less, doing push-ups, sit-ups, pull-ups and participating in an organized physical fitness regimen. Extraordinary dietary requirements or unique/specialized medical care may not be available while traveling overseas or working at training sites. These conditions should be considered when applying for ELDP.

Applicant Eligibility

  • Army Civilians, grades GS-12 to GS-14 or equivalent, in permanent appointments with a minimum of three (3) years of full-time Army Civilian service; to include non-appropriated funded (NAF) employees. (Employees in other pay banding systems or on grade retention should seek assistance from their personnel adviser).


  • GS 12 or equivalent pay bands: CES Intermediate Course or equivalent course.
  • GS-13 to GS-14 or equivalent pay bands: CES Advanced Course or equivalent course
  • Bachelor's Degree from an accredited college or university, or demonstrate equivalent experience and training.
  • Secret security clearance at the time of nomination.
  • A valid Passport and Government Travel Card.
  • All eligibility criteria must be met at time of nomination.

    Ideal Candidates

    ELDP is not for everyone. It is both mentally and physically challenging. All applicants must submit a medical release form/letter from a licensed physician. The ideal ELDP candidate:

    • Is flexible, adaptable and willing to be a member of a cohesive team.
    • Has an outstanding performance record and has progressed through positions of increasing responsibility at a faster pace than his/her peers.
    • Has experience that has demonstrated strong potential for higher level leadership positions, which includes the competence, confidence, and motivation to be a bold and innovative leader in the public sector. This includes showing initiative, professional excellence, community involvement, commitment to public service, and integrity.
    • Sees value in lifelong learning.
    • Has succeeded in rigorous programs of formal training and self-development, and assumes responsibility for this learning.
    • Has successfully completed leadership programs and other developmental activities toward attaining career goals.
    • Is highly motivated to succeed and is willing to challenge himself/herself to do so.
    • Is committed to continued service in DOD and can articulate the anticipated return on investment.

    Nomination/Application Process

    Applicants must apply through and be nominated by their respective commands. HQDA will not accept applications directly from candidates. Applications must be submitted to HQDA by command training points of contact.

    The nomination suspense date above is the HQDA suspense date. Please check with your local training coordinator for local command suspense date. Application packets received from individuals who do not meet ALL eligibility requirements at the time of nomination will not be processed and will be returned through command channels.

    Training points of contact must scan applications in a PDF format and send in an encrypted e-mail to:


    NOTE: Incomplete nomination packets, packets received after the suspense date or without command endorsement will not be considered. No extensions will be granted.

The application checklist is here.


Applicants are selected through a competitive process. Nomination packages will be vetted by a selection panel. Applicants will be evaluated on experience and readiness for the program as evidenced by the documentation provided in the application package. Alternates will be selected in the event primary candidates are unable to attend or additional class seats become available.

Sponsoring organizations and those selected for the Executive Leadership Development Program will be notified via email.


ELDP is centrally funded. All costs (travel, per diem & tuition) associated with this program will be funded by the Civilian Leader & Training Development Division (CTLD) for all Civilian applicants.

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Important Date(s)

Course Date(s)
Aug 21, 2015 - Jun 11, 2016

Application Deadline(s)
16 March 2015

Target Audience
GS-12 to GS-14
10 months

Passport and Government Travel Card
CES Intermediate Course
CES Advanced Course
Bachelor's Degree
Secret Clearance

  • DoD (Army) Corporate Perspective
  • Oral Communication Skills
  • Problem Solving
  • Team Building
Varies Orientation Core study Deployments Seminars