Eisenhower Leader Development Program

What is the Eisenhower Leader Development Program?  

The US Military Academy Brigade Tactical Department, in conjunction with the Department of Behavioral Sciences and Leadership, is currently seeking branch qualified (or soon-to-be branch qualified) captains for assignments as Company Tactical Officers, regardless of commissioning source. Annual selection boards convene each November and make selections for the academic year beginning 1.5 years ahead. (In other words, the November 2021 selection board will choose officers for a class start date of May 2023, and so forth.) Selection as a "TAC" begins with your enrollment in the full-time, 12-month Masters of Arts Program where you complete an M.A. in Social-Organizational Psychology (Leader Development) from Teachers College, Columbia University.  

USMA Broadening: Tactical Officer - from the Green Notebook

Additionally, officers seeking graduate school training through the Enhanced Graduate  School Program (EGSP) are encouraged to contact their respective branch to explore this opportunity. EGSP officers generally return to the larger Army for a follow-on assignment upon completion of their degree and do not serve as TACs. 
All officers are assigned to West Point, New York with academic instruction divided between West Point and the Teacher's College in New York City. Officers are afforded priority housing placement (future TACs only), individual study areas, government transportation to Teacher's College, full duty exemption and abide by the Advanced Civil School SOP. An Active Duty Service Obligation (ADSO) of 3 years is incurred upon completion of the M.A.
You are strongly encouraged to begin an online application and populate it as much as you can even if it is not possible to complete it by 1 November. While incomplete packets will go before the board, it is in your interest to best represent your skills. Click here for the online application.
Be sure to make clear your desire to serve as a tactical officer when you open your file and be clear about when you will be available to PCS following Captain (O3) KD time. 
Complete files will include the following: AIM Resume, all OERs, all AERs, Undergraduate Transcript, GRE Scores, 2 x Letters of Recommendation, Statement of Intent, and most recent APFT/ACFT Scorecard.
A Tactical Officer (TAC) is the legal Company Commander of a Cadet Company and the primary developer of cadets at the United States Military Academy (USMA), West Point, New York. He or she assists each cadet in balancing and integrating the requirements of the physical, military, academic, and moral-ethical programs. A "TAC" trains and coaches the cadet chain of command to establish and sustain high unit standards and behavior essential to a cohesive company environment. TACs have a senior NCO (SFC or MSG) assigned as their NCO partner (1SG equivalent) - together they form and model a professional command team for the cadets. TACs inspire cadets to develop effective leadership styles through role-modeling, counseling, teaching, and training. A Tactical Officer also presents formal and informal instruction to the company, implements special development programs for individual cadets as needed, and is responsible for all company administration. 
BS&L and USCC (Tactical Officers) requires and wants diversity among the officer role models we place before cadets, and we are aggressively committed to a diverse faculty. It is very important that cadets are coached, taught, mentored, and led by both genders, and all ethnic groups. Women and minority officers are strongly encouraged to apply to work our programs.   

ELDP Educational Goals  

The Advanced Civil Schooling (ACS) portion of the Eisenhower Program takes 12-months to complete. Officers are stationed at West Point during this period and are assigned to the Department of Behavioral Sciences and Leadership. (They are inter-post transferred to the Brigade Tactical Department after graduation for the remainder of their tour as a TAC.) Classes are coordinated between USMA and Columbia University, with some held on post but all others held on the Teachers College, Columbia University campus in New York City. A sample of the classes in the program include:   

  • Behavioral Research
  • Executive Coaching
  • Leadership
  • Group Dynamics
  • Adult Learning
  • Organizational Dynamics
  • Organizational Change
  • Preparation for Individual Counseling
  • Conflict Resolution
  • Organizational Psychology
  • Organizational Culture and Socialization
  • Quantitative Research Methods
  • Military History/Profession
  • Cross Cultural Leadership
  • Leadership Development

The academic program is rigorous but highly rewarding. It requires completion of 45 credit-hours of graduate study. Past participants confirm that it was challenging, both in terms of its workload and intellectual rigor. But historically, most have done very well. There are a number of reasons why it is difficult for an officer to complete a degree in this program. With that in mind, applicants should honestly self-assess their academic skills and personal situations before committing to this program. 

Tactical Officer Timeline

First Year at USMA (ELDP)   

  • May - PCS to USMA, assigned to the Department of Behavioral Sciences & Leadership
  • June - begin ELDP / Masters of Arts Degree work 
  • Graduate from ELDP with M.A. from Columbia after 12 months (late May) 

Second Year at USMA (first year as a TAC)   

  • Inter-post transfer / assigned to the Brigade Tactical Department, United States Corps of Cadets 
  • Serve as Associate TAC for cadet summer training (late May – mid August) 
  • Primary TAC of a cadet company for academic year (mid-August – May) 

Third Year at USMA (second year as a TAC)  

  • Serve as Primary TAC for cadet summer training (mentoring recent ELDP graduates)
  • Primary TAC of cadet company for entire academic year

Fourth Year at USMA (third year as a TAC)   

  • Primary TAC of cadet company for entire academic year  
  • Possibility of serving as an XO to a Regimental Tactical Officer or as the XO to the Brigade Tactical Department 

For more information, please contact:

Tac Recruiting Team, at comstafftacrecruitingteam@westpoint.edu