Research: Project CADET (Character Assessment within Development and Ethics Training): A Study of the Development of Leaders of Character at the United States Military Academy

The mission of the United States Military Academy (USMA) at West Point is to ensure that its graduates are officers of character. West Point promotes the development of character attributes through a variety of academic and experiential channels across diverse programs and initiatives, representing academics, military training, athletics, and morality/ethics. The diversity of character promotion strategies across the institution has yet to be fully integrated, however. In this five-year study, funded by the Templeton Religion Trust, we will examine the character and leadership development of cadets across the four-year training program to better understand which experiences at USMA are most salient for promoting character and leadership. In turn, we will examine whether attributes of character and leadership predict performance outcomes among current USMA cadets, as well as in their roles as U.S. Army officers. We will use this information to help USMA maximize its efforts to promote character and leadership, as well as to inform other service academies, universities, and other institutions about best practices in developing leaders of character.