First Leadership Experience Attendees Standing by Aircraft
U.S. Air Force

First Leadership Experience


The U.S. Air Force and U.S. Space Force develops leaders of remarkable character and vision. For the 12th year, the U.S. Air Force is offering a unique three-day, four-night leadership program providing FIRST mentors with hands-on leadership training taught by Air Force personnel. New for 2024, the U.S. Space Force will also host mentors at a Space Force Base.

Throughout the three-day experience, mentors will attend lectures, participate in team-building exercises, and tour a local Air Force or Space Force Base. A group of 24 teachers and mentors from FIRST Tech Challenge and FIRST Robotics Competition teams will be selected who are helping inspire today’s youth to become the technical leaders of tomorrow.

When & Where: 

For the first time, there will be two FIRST Leadership Experiences, details below.

Patrick Space Force Base, Florida: June 23-27, 2024

Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio; July 21-25, 2024

Note: Dates and locations may be subject to change based on the Air Force and Space Force operational missions/priorities.

The U.S. Air Force/FIRST Leadership and U.S. Space Force/FIRST Leadership Experience is at no cost to the 24 selected teachers/mentors. All travel costs within the continental United States (airfare, lodging, meals) are paid for by the U.S. Air Force and U.S. Space Force.

*Please note the workshop dates will most likely have one travel day before and one travel day after the 3-day seminar*

Participation Agenda:

Patrick Space Force Base; June 23-27, 2024

Sunday, June 23             Travel to Location for all Mentors

Monday, June 24            Leadership Experience

Tuesday, June 25           Leadership Experience

Wednesday, June 26       Leadership Experience

Thursday, June 27          Travel Home for all Mentors


Wright-Patterson Air Force Base; July 21-25, 2024

Sunday, July 21              Travel to Location for all Mentors

Monday, July 22             Leadership Experience

Tuesday, July 23             Leadership Experience

Wednesday, July 24        Leadership Experience

Thursday, July 25           Travel Home for all Mentors


Who is Eligible:

FIRST Tech Challenge and FIRST Robotics Competition mentors who are K-12 teachers and live within the continental United States.

Additional Requirements:

  • Must be willing to commit to the full workshop
  • Must be able to travel to the event from within the U.S.
  • Must be a K-12 teacher
  • Must be a U.S. Citizen
  • Must not have participated in this leadership experience in previous years
  • Must not be involved or affiliated with other military branches

How to Apply:

  • Complete the online application. REGISTER HERE
  • Applications must be submitted by Friday, May 17th, 2024
  • As part of your application, you will have the opportunity to describe in 300 words or less how you have found a better way to get students excited about science and technology, and what innovative techniques you use to help kids learn and stay motivated. 

Selection Process:

  • A selection committee will review all applications and select the mentors who will receive an invitation to attend the USAF/FIRST or USSF/FIRST Leadership Experience
  • Chosen applicants will be named by Friday, May 24th, 2024.
  • A GSD&M representative will contact chosen applicants on behalf of the U.S. Air Force and U.S. Space Force

For questions, please contact Brittany Keegan at