Defense Civilian Emerging Leader Program (DCELP)

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

The application period for DCELP YG 2021 is tentatively scheduled to open in January 2020.

The U.S. Army Acquisition Support Center (USAASC) Director, Acquisition Career Management (DACM) Office is pleased to announce the YG 2020, Cohort 11 offering of DCELP.

All Army Acquisition submissions for DCELP will be collected by the USAASC DACM Office.

DCELP is the premier DOD leader development program for GS-07 through GS-12 (or equivalent payband) Civilian personnel.  DCELP develops entry- to mid-career level Civilians in a full range of competencies needed to lead self and to lead teams and projects.  The goal of DCELP is to serve as the foundation for further development as leadership responsibilities increase. Additional information can be found at

Announcement Opening:  31 January 2019
Announcement Closing:  28 March 2019
Board Review Complete:  April 2019
DOD Notification of Selectees (tentative):  September 2019
Course Dates (tentative):  March through June 2020


DCELP is a residency program with classes taking place at the DOD Executive Management Training Center in Southbridge, Massachusetts.  All DCELP participants, including any who might be local to Southbridge, must stay at the hotel.

For Army Acquisition participants, Acquisition organizations do not have any funding obligations.
  • DCELP Tuition and Lodging – funded by DOD
  • DCELP Travel and Per Diem – funded by Army DACM Office


 DCELP consists of four one-week in-resident sessions, assessment tools, knowledge transfer activities, participant writing and briefing projects, and individual coaching.  The program concentrates on the five terminal learning objectives of Know Self, Express Self, Build Teams, Manage Organizations, and Understand the DOD.

Selectees should anticipate spending approximately 21 days in resident courses throughout the program, which is tentatively scheduled to start in March 2020 and conclude in June 2020.

Continuous Learning Points (CLPs)

Participants completing DCELP will receive 128 CLPs.  You may add DCELP to your Individual Development Plan; you will find it in CAPPMIS ( under IDP / Planning / Other Training Plan / Add Non-DAU Training.

Start Early!

You are encouraged to start early on the application process.  Supervisors and other organizational leaders are required to prepare portions of the application and you are strongly advised to engage with these individuals early in the process so that you will have a complete application submitted by the closing date of 28 March 2019.


  • Must be a permanent (non-temporary/non-term) civilian member of the Army Acquisition Workforce
  • Must be a GS-07 through GS-12 (or equivalent payband)
  • GS-11’s and below must be at least level I certified in current acquisition position and within the 24 month grace period (if Level II is not yet achieved). GS-12’s must meet certification requirement for their current acquisition position by the date of application submission. Certification status must be reflected on the individual’s Acquisition Career Record Brief (ACRB).  NOTE: If you had met your original certification requirement and were recently promoted so that you now require the next level, you may still be eligible for DCELP.  The Army DACM Office DCELP PM will review this on a case-to-case basis.  If this situation defines where you are with your certification, please contact the DCELP Program Manager, listed at the bottom of this page.
  • Served 3 years, or any combination thereof, in a Department of the Army Civilian Permanent Position(s). This requirement must be met at time of application date.
  • Completed Civilian Education System (CES) (both distance learning (DL) and resident phases):
    • GS-07 through 09 or equivalent payband: CES Basic
    • GS-10 through 12 or equivalent payband: CES Intermediate.


  • Login at the Career Acquisition Management Portal (CAMP) using the following link:
  • Click on Career Acquisition Personnel and Position Management Information System (CAPPMIS);
  • Once in CAPPMIS, select the “AAPDS” tab;
  • Click on “Apply”
  • Click on the “Apply” link associated with the event entitled “2020 Defense Civilian Emerging Leader Program (DCELP)”;
  • Follow the instructions within each section and click the “Submit Application” button to submit your application.  If you would like to save your work and return to the application later, click the “Save” button;
  • You must submit your application in AAPDS by 11:59 pm, 28 March 2019.


The following documents must be submitted and information must be accurate in AAPDS.

Do not submit the documents below directly to DOD; Army Acquisition participants must go through the process stated in this document.

When a form is provided for you to fill out, you must use the form provided.  Applications using the wrong form will be returned to the applicant for correction.

Do not attempt to upload a document that is password-protected or that contains macros as this will cause the process to fail.

  • Nominee Information Sheet:  Please download the Nominee Information Sheet at  Fill out the form, ensuring that you provide accurate phone numbers and email addresses.  Upload the completed form into your application.
  • Acquisition Career Record Brief (ACRB): Ensure your ACRB is accurate prior to submitting your application.  Your assignment history, training, education, and certification must match the information on your resume.  Your ACRB must reflect any degrees you have obtained and the name of the school and year your degrees were completed.  Applicants may update and correct specific fields of their ACRB using the edit ACRB functions within CAPPMIS.  For those areas that cannot be changed by the applicant, the applicant may request assistance in updating their ACRB using the online help request at: . Please check the small box next to the ACRB verification link in the application to verify your ACRB is correct. If this block is not checked, you will receive an error message when you attempt to submit your application.
  • Statement of Interest: Please download the Statement of Interest at  Fill in the information and upload your completed Statement of Interest into your application.  The Statement of Interest should not repeat information in the resume, information sheet or biography. Rather, it should focus on why you should be selected as a participant in DCELP.  Address, in 500 words or less, the following:
    • What you consider to be your major strengths and qualifications for DCELP
    • The contributions you will add/bring to the program
    • How will attending DCELP fits into your professional career development plan
    • The return on investment to your Component/organization and to DOD
  • Supervisor Assessment: Please download the DCELP Supervisor Assessment at  Your immediate supervisor will need to fill in the appropriate information on pages 1-2 and in one location on page 3.  Your second level supervisor will need to sign on page 2.  NOTE: This is one of the most important documents during the board review process, therefore it is imperative that the Supervisor section on page 2 provide a detailed, well-written narrative addressing the competencies on page 1. You (the applicant) will also have to sign on page 3 noting you understand the program requirements. After you have received digital and/or hand signatures on all sections, upload the assessment into your application in AAPDS.  If the form is not editable, please write/type in the information, scan the form, and upload it into your application.
  • DCELP Resume: Please download the resume sample at  Create your Resume using 12 point New Times Roman font with 1 inch margins and a maximum of 3 pages. Upload your Resume (PDF format) into your application.
  • Biography : Please download the Biography sample at  Create a Biography of no more than one page that provides a short summary of your career. Do NOT include a photo.  The one-paragraph narrative portion of the Biography should focus on a short summary of your career.  Your Biography should not repeat information provided in your Resume or Statement of Interest.  Upload your completed Biography (PDF format) into your application.
  • Current SF-50, Notification of Personnel Action: Upload your current SF-50 (PDF format) into your application in AAPDS.
  • CES Course Certificate of Completion or copy of CHRTAS Course Credit Documentation: You must upload into your application the appropriate CES documentation.  For GS-07 through GS-09 (or equivalent payband): CES Basic Course Certificate of Completion or CHRTAS equivalency credit documentation for the CES Basic Course.  For GS-10 through GS-12 (or equivalent payband): CES Intermediate Course Certificate of Completion or CHRTAS equivalency credit documentation for the CES Intermediate Course.  Both DL and resident phases of the course must be completed. Uploaded document must be PDF. If you have obtained equivalency credit for the respective CES course, you may find your CHRTAS equivalency credit documentation at  You will have to log into the website and click the “CES Eligibility and Completion Status” link.
  • Command Endorsement Memorandum (CEM): Please review the CEM sample at  Your CEM is limited to one page and must include all of the following:
    • Be signed by and from the applicant’s first GS-15 (or equivalent payband) or Colonel in their chain of command
    • Be on organizational letterhead
    • Be addressed to the following (but DO NOT MAIL): Director Acquisition Career Management, 9900 Belvoir Road, Fort Belvoir, VA  22060
    • Be unique to the specific applicant
    • List top 3 qualities of the applicant
    • Directly comment on the applicant’s leadership ability and potential
    • Include language that the command is committed to identifying a command project for the participant to complete while in the program.
    • Be digitally or physically signed and dated by the required completing official
    • When complete, upload your CEM (PDF) into your application in AAPDS
  • Continued Service Agreement (CSA): Please download the CSA at  You must physically or digitally sign and date the CSA.   Enter 1 June 2020 to 30 May 2021 as the period of obligated service (the start date reflects the tentative time you will graduate from the program).  Upload the completed CSA into your application in AAPDS.  Incorrectly completed CSAs will be returned to the applicant for correction.
    • Army Acquisition Civilians selected to participate in DCELP must complete an Agreement to Continue in Service before assignment to the training. Employee will be denied training if he/she fails to sign a CSA and include it in this application.  A signed copy of the agreement must be maintained in the organization’s case file.
    • The period of continued service obligation is equal to three times the length of the training period. For example, if the training period is one year, the obligated continued service would be three years (one year times three.)
    • An employee is required to continue in service for three times the amount of time the employee participated in the program even if the employee voluntarily drops out of the program. The determination on whether or not an employee is involuntarily removed from the program (e.g. for performance related issues) to continue service will be decided on a case-to-case basis.
    • Supervisors at all levels are charged to protect the Governments interests should an employee fail to successfully fulfill his/her signed training agreement by not completing the continued service obligation. Supervisors, or a designated official, will review the status and circumstances of each unexpired agreement to decide whether to transfer, waive or require repayment of expenses incurred other than salary costs.
    • Reimbursement is required upon departure from the Federal Government prior to completion of the service agreement. Training costs include course tuition, per diem (meals), and travel (TDY funds).  Salary and benefits are not included in the cost of training.  If the employee fails to complete the obligated service period, action can be taken to recover training costs.  The USAASC DACM Office has the option of recovering the cost of training by setoff against accrued pay, compensation, retirement credit, or other monies due the employee if the employee fails to serve in the Federal Government for the agreed amount of time.
    • In accordance with the USAASC DCELP Policy and Procedures, students will be required to reimburse the government for session travel costs if the student does not successfully graduate from DCELP. Students will be required to reimburse the government within 30 day of notification.  If payment is not received within the specified time, the participant’s supervisor will be informed of the debt their employee owes to the government.


The Army DACM Office will administer a Board to review and rate applications.  Applicants will be notified by email of the status of their application after final results have been approved by DOD in the September 2019 timeframe.


The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) is authorized to rate applicants for Federal jobs under Sections 1302, 3301, and 3304 of Title 5, US Code.  Section 1104, Title 5, allow OPM to authorize other Federal agencies to rate applicants for Federal jobs.  Information you put on your resume and other forms is needed to see how well your education and work experience qualifies you for Federal jobs.  We may also need information such as citizenship and military service to see what laws we must follow in deciding whom the Federal Government may employ.  Your social security number (SSN) is required to keep your records separate from other applicants who may have the same name and date of birth.  We may also use your SSN to request information about you from schools, employers, banks, and others who know you but only as allowed by law or Presidential directives.  Information you provide may also be given to Federal, State, and local agencies checking for violations of the law or other lawful purposes.  Providing this information is voluntary. However, your application cannot be processed if you do not provide this information.


THE DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY IS AN EQUAL OPPORTUNITY EMPLOYER.  Applicants will receive appropriate consideration without regard to non-merit factors such as race, color, religion, sex, national origin, marital status, and sexual orientation except where specifically authorized by law, age, politics or disability which do not relate to successful performance of the duties of this position.  Otherwise qualified applicants with disabilities who need reasonable accommodation may notify the agency Point of Contact on this announcement of their need.

(for Army Acquisition only)
Ms. Kristine Faria
Army DACM Office
Comm: (703) 664-5743
DSN: 654-5743
If you are not a member of the Army Acquisition Workforce, please visit for more information.

"I have gained a great deal of knowledge from DCELP. DCELP has taught me what it means to focus on identifying leaders, how to engage them in the broader progressive movement, and how to empower them with the knowledge, strategies, and skills we can put to work to promote positive sustainable change in our professional communities. I have learned as a leader that we must always make a serious, long-term investment in our next generation of progressive leaders - now. For we're building for the I am honored and grateful for the opportunity to have attended DCELP."

- Danarius M. Hemphill, Executive Officer/Project Officer, Office of the Chief Counsel/AMSTA-L

"DCELP is a truly exceptional opportunity to meet and befriend a lot of great people and improve who you are as a person, a professional, a leader and a follower. The knowledge, skills and tools learned at DCELP are invaluable. Thank you again for giving me the opportunity."

- Kevin Graves, Contract Administrator, Mission & Installation Contracting Command, MICC - Fort Knox

"The Defense Civilian Emerging Leader Program has provided me with the ability to provide sound and effective leadership now and in the future. As an employee in a demanding and sometimes unpredictable environment, I am using the newly-acquired skills to positively affect my organization."

- Jill Salgado, Technical Writer-Editor, Intelligence, Electronic Warfare and Sensors Directorate

"DCELP was a life changer! You were given the once-in-a-lifetime chance to solely focus on your inner self in order to understand YOU so that you could better understand other people around you. Many "ah-ha" moments were experienced throughout this program and if I had to sum DCELP up in one word, it would be "AMEN"!"

- Tanya Karasavvas, Contract Specialist, Army Contracting Command - Warren