Leadership Excellence and Acquisition Development (LEAD) 

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The Leadership Excellence and Acquisition Development (LEAD) program is the premier 24 month leadership development program offering expanded training through a series of education, leader development and broadening assignments to build skills required for positions of greater responsibility.


Key Dates

Announcement Opening Date: October 17, 2022
Announcement Closing Date: December 2, 2022
Board Review Date: December 12-21, 2022
Board Results: February 2023
Orientation Commences: March/April 2023
First developmental assignment begins: April 2023


The focus of the LEAD program is to develop high performing and high leadership potential acquisition personnel toward a future goal of obtaining an Acquisition Key Leadership Position

  • Mentors: LEAD participants, along with their parent Command and with assistance from the LEAD Program Manager (LPM), are responsible for finding mentors to assist in career development and provide guidance throughout the assignment period. A senior (GS-15 or SES) mentor is required. A roster of eligible mentors will be provided prior to Orientation.
  • TDA: LEAD participants will be assigned to a centrally-funded position on the U. S. Army Acquisition Support Center (USAASC) Table of Distribution and Allowances (TDA). LEAD program graduates will secure post utilization assignments and/or invoke organizational retreat rights to original parent organization.
  • Developmental Assignments: Lead participants shall conduct their developmental assignments in the geographic location where they are permanently stationed. One extended TDY (Not to Exceed 179 days), will be required and centrally-funded by USAASC.
  • Graduation: Graduation from the LEAD program requires successful completion of all mandatory program training requirements and developmental assignments, submission of an article for publication consideration in the Army AL&T magazine and application for consideration by the Army’s LTC/GS-14 Acquisition Key Billet Product Manager/Acquisition Director/Product Director board.


Applicants must meet ALL of the following requirements, at time of application:

  • Be a current Department of the Army Acquisition Workforce (AAW) member serving in a Career or Career Conditional appointment, as documented on ACRB, Section III.
  • Be a GS-13 (or high performing GS-12) or broadband equivalent.
  • DAWIA certified IAW their current acquisition career field requirements, AND DAWIA certified Practitioner in Program Management. Certifications must be documented on ACRB, Section X.
  • Applicants must have completed Civilian Education System (CES) Advanced – Distance Learning Module. Completion must be documented on ACRB, Section VI.

How to Apply

The application process is located online in the Army Acquisition Professional Development System (AAPDS). To access AAPDS, please login to the Career Acquisition Management Portal (CAMP) and click on Career Acquisition Personnel and Position Management Information System (CAPPMIS). Once in CAPPMIS, click the “AAPDS” tab, then select the “Application Module” link.

The documents identified below in the Required Application Documents paragraph must be submitted in full in order to receive consideration. All required documents must be contained in the online application tool, AAPDS, as discussed above. Incomplete applications will be ineligible.

  • Complete online applications must be finalized and submitted by established dates. Late applications will not be accepted.
  • Applications are subject to verification.

Required Documents

AAPDS pulls in the latest version of your ACRB automatically into your application. Ensure your ACRB is updated and correct prior to submission of application. Applicants may update and correct specific fields of their ACRB using the edit functions within  CAPPMIS. For the areas in the ACRB that cannot be changed by the Applicant, please request assistance using our Army DACM Office online help desk at Workforce Management Inquiring (WMI) System. Applicants will want to pay particular attention to the training, education, and assignment history sections of the ACRB, ensuring that the information is accurate. The training section should only reflect top level relevant training completed; recommend not including any DAU continuous learning modules or annual Army required training. Note: Please ensure CES Advanced – Phase I (Distance Learning) is properly reflected in your assignment history.

The SRPE is a critical piece of the application. In accordance with Director, Acquisition Career Management (DACM) SRPE Policy and SRPE Guidance, dated July 1,  2020, the applicant’s Senior Rater (SR) is the rater of the employee’s rater. The SR must be a supervisor and senior in grade/organizational position to the rated employee.

The Command Endorsement must be prepared and signed by a General Officer or Senior Executive Service member within your command. The original Organizational Return Rights document (DA Form 5414) must be signed by the applicant and the General Officer or Senior Executive Service member of your command. Once signed, the documents must be scanned and uploaded into the online application system (AAPDS).

The forms are available to download: 

  • In 4000 characters or less, please describe your reasons for applying to the LEAD program and the benefits the Army will gain by your acceptance.
  • Clearly articulate your goals, desired career path, and how the LEAD program will help you achieve those goals.
  • Upload your resume using this format.
  • RESUMES MAY NOT EXCEED 3 PAGES and must be submitted in a .pdf format.
  • This is the applicant’s opportunity to highlight educational achievements, work experiences, skills, and accomplishments, which are key indicators to the preparation for and success as an acquisition professional.
  • Applicants should also highlight their qualities and strengths instead of listing responsibilities. Ensure experience descriptions and dates match those in the ACRB.

Selection Process

All eligible applicants are reviewed by a Best Qualified Selection Board, will will determine the suggested Order of Merit List (OML), on behalf of the Army Director Acquisition Career Management (DACM).

Cancellation Policy

In accordance with Assistant Secretary of the Army (Acquisition, Logistics and Technology) memorandum, subject: Consequences for Academic Failures and No- Shows in Defense Acquisition University (DAU) Resident Courses, dated March 30, 2012 , the following applies:

  1. Acquisition workforce members who academically fail a resident DAU course required for their acquisition certification will not be eligible to participate in any of the Army DACM Office offered training programs. These acquisition members will remain ineligible for these programs until they successfully meet their certification requirements. Additionally, the acquisition workforce members who academically fail a resident DAU course required for their certification will not be eligible to participate in any incentive programs.
  2. The program restrictions listed in the above paragraph will also apply to any acquisition workforce members who are enrolled in any resident DAU course (regardless if the course is required for certification) and fail to show up for the class. The Army DACM and the DAU consider these students “no-shows”. This status can negatively impact the Army’s future seat allocations for these courses. “No-show” workforce members will remain ineligible to apply for Acquisition Education and Training (AET) and incentive programs for a period of one year starting on the last day of the scheduled resident course for which they failed to appear.


The LEAD Program Manager is:

Ms. Kelly Terry