Training & Leader Development

Chapter 4
Government/Non-Government Training
Section I - Government Programs

What is the Defense Civilian Emerging Leader Program (DCELP)?

The Defense Civilian Merging Leader Program (DCELP) is the premier Department of Defense (DOD) leader development program for civilians. The program consists of a series of 4 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.

Who should be nominated for DCELP?

It is intended for entry and emerging DoD civilians in the grades of GS-7 - GS-12 (or equivalent) in DoD and other Federal Agencies. The program is currently open to the Acquisition, Financial Management and Human Resources career fields during the first half of the training period and all occupational series during the second half of the training period.

What does it entail?

DCELP institutes a competency-based approach for the deliberate development of individuals selected to the program with the emphasis on Leading Self and Leading Teams/Projects as depicted on the DoD Civilian Leader Development Continuum.  In DCELP, leadership is developed both inside and outside of the classroom. The program combines community-based learning, guest speakers, group projects, mentoring and simulations.  In a classroom environment, participants spend approximately 21 days of instruction of seminars over a four-month period of time at the DoD Executive Management Training Center (EMTC) located in Southbridge, Massachusetts.  Each course of instruction begins on a Monday and ends at noon on Friday.

More information can be found on the DCPAS website at:

What are the eligibility Requirements for DCELP?

An individual must:

  • Be a permanent, full time civilian employee
  • Served Three (3) years, or any combination thereof, in a Department of the Army Civilian Permanent Position at time of application
  • Provide copy of CES Certificate of Completion level or equivalency credit documentation at time of application

Funding Costs

Tuition is centrally funded by DoD. Please refer to the announcement on funding for travel and per diem. There is no cost for lodging at EMTC.

What are the application requirements?

All applications must be reviewed and vetted through the Career Program Managers, the Command/Agencies or designated Command Point of Contact (POC), as applicable, then individually electronically forwarded as one application to HQDA G-3/5/7, Civilian Training and Leader Development Division. Complete applications include the following items:

  • Nominee Information Sheet for DoD Leader Development Programs (form)
  • Statement of Interest for DoD Leader Development Programs (form)
  • Defense Civilian Emerging Leader Program (DCELP) Supervisor Assessment (3 page form)
  • Biography (two-page limit and no picture; sample template listed in Appendix D)
  • Current SF-50, Notification of Personnel Action
  • Order of Merit listing from Command/Agency
  • Resume (three page limit, no picture)
  • Special Accommodations Memorandum from command/agency including description and requirements, if applicable

Incomplete applications and altered forms will not be considered.

The DCELP application forms can be found in Appendix D - here - pkt_dcelp.html


Selectees will be notified via Career Program Manager/Command POC channels.


Deferments for compassionate, medical and operational reasons will be submitted in writing with the reason and supporting documentation through the Career Program Managers, the Command/Agency or designated Command Point of Contact, as applicable, then electronically forwarded to HQDA G-3/5/7, Civilian Training and Leader Development Division.

Suspense Dates for Applications: To Be Published upon receipt

Training Schedule: Two courses are offered per year; dates to be published upon availability.

Additional DCELP inquiries may be forwarded to
Please select the DCELP drop down.