Aligning, Integrating, and Synthesizing Leadership Development Education at the U.S. Air Force Academy: A Small Success Story


  • Matthew M. Orlowsky United States Air Force Academy
  • Courtney E. Day Aviano Air Base, Italy
  • Christopher P. Kelley United States Air Force Academy
  • David E. Levy United States Air Force Academy
  • Amanda Metcalfe United States Air Force Academy
  • Trevor Rosenberg Center for Creative Leadership



Leadership Development, Curriculum Integration, Systems Thinking, Strategic Alignment


This article responds to internal calls for leadership curriculum integration at the US Air Force Academy as well the Air and Space Force strategic system alignment of performance expectations to develop leaders capable of adapting to leadership’s complexity within people and organizations. This summary provides an update on our progress and continued efforts at integration and alignment across multiple fronts. It shows initial efforts at integration between academic departments and mission elements (academic, military, and athletic areas) in response to the demand for excellence in leadership to meet Air and Space Force requirements. We rely upon systems thinking, boundary spanning relationships, and persistence for our pursuit. We explain what we have learned while laying the groundwork for our systems-based approach to leadership and how boundary spanning relationships and partnerships have enriched the cadet leadership curriculum. We conclude by laying out the next steps for our integration as dogged persistence would prescribe in an organization that demands continuous improvement and strategic relevance.


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How to Cite

Orlowsky, M. M., Day, C. E., Kelley, C. P., Levy, D. E., Metcalfe, A., & Rosenberg, T. (2023). Aligning, Integrating, and Synthesizing Leadership Development Education at the U.S. Air Force Academy: A Small Success Story. Journal of Character and Leadership Development, 10(2), 42–48.