Character Program

"We want leaders that are tough, resilient, that can think, and out-fight and out-smart the enemy. We want them to be adaptive and agile and flexible. And, we want them not only competent, but we want leaders of character."

General Mark A. Milley, Chief of Staff of the Army


The West Point Leader Development System (WPLDS) is the 47-month purposeful integration of individual leader development and leadership development experiences within a culture of character growth. The goal of the WPLDS is to accomplish USMA's mission by developing leaders of character.  

The WPLDS describes how, at all levels and across programs, the United States Military Academy develops leaders of character who internalize the ideals of "Duty, Honor,Country" and the Army Ethic.

The academics, military, physical and character uniquely contribute to the moral, civic, social performance and leadership facts of character for each cadet.

Facets of the West Point Leader Development System

  1. Moral: Internalization of the Army Values that results in the knowledge, integrity, and awareness to assess the moral-ethical aspects of every situation and the personal courage to take appropriate action regardless of consequences.
  2. Civic: Demonstrates the empathy, loyalty, respect, and humility that enable an individual to treat others with dignity and to display selflessness.
  3. Social: Acts with proper decorum in all professional, social, and online environments.
  4. Performance: Possesses the sense of duty, resilience, and grit necessary to accomplish the mission and get results.
  5. Leadership: Establishes a safe, positive command climate where everyone thrives while achieving results.