Character Does Matter



Our future leaders need heroes.



The Character Does Matter Program (CDM), presented by Johnson & Johnson, INSPIRES young adults to live with character, DEVELOPS their values-based leadership skills, and ACTIVATES them to serve their communities in honor of our nation’s fallen heroes. There are three components of the Character Does Matter program which include:

CDM Presentations
CDM Leadership Courses
CDM Service Projects

For CDM related videos, visit our Character Does Matter YouTube Playlist

CDM Presentations INSPIRE young adults to live with character and adopt the”If Not Me, Then Who…” ethos into their daily lives. Veterans and families of the fallen deliver presentations that share a message of courage, integrity, leadership and service with young adults. CDM Presenters share their personal stories of character with more than 30,000 students per year.

For more information about CDM Presentations e-mail us at

Please click here for information about 2016 Character Does Matter presentations at USNA Summer Seminar.

CDM Leadership Courses DEVELOP young adults as values-based leaders. Post 9/11 Veterans serve as CDM Mentors, guiding high school students to exercise character skills and to practically apply their leadership. These courses empower students to develop their own character strengths and to hone their leadership skills in order to better serve others. CDM Mentors educate young adults through discussion, team-building activities, problem-solving challenges, work-outs, personal reflections and service projects.Click here to see these leadership courses in action.

CDM Leadership Courses have piloted in Fall 2014 in Philadelphia and New York City. In June 2015, we kicked off an exciting partnership in San Diego with the start of a one day Leadership Academy aboard the USS Midway Museum. We look forward to continuing these strong partnerships this semester and we are thrilled to announce new Leadership Course initiatives for Spring 2016 in the D.C. and Baltimore areas as well.

Interested in becoming a CDM Mentor? We are currently accepting inquiries from veterans in Philadelphia, D.C., San Diego, Los Angeles, and Baltimore.


CDM Service Projects

CDM Service Projects ACTIVATE veterans, families of the fallen and young adults to serve their local communities in honor of fallen heroes. TMF coordinates large-scale service projects throughout the Mid-Atlantic and Southern California regions during TMF National Service Weeks, which are held bi-annually in November and April.

The next TMF National Service Week will be held: April 23rd – May 7th 2016

Please check our National Service Week Page for upcoming TMF National Service Week information. Click here for a recap of previous service projects.

Our Impact

Students all over the country have been inspired by the “If Not Me, Then Who…” motto to live lives of character, leadership and service. We are proud to recognize the 2015 Travis Manion Foundation Scholarship recipients who exemplify character and leadership everyday:

Dominic Colon (Hainesport, NJ)
Kyle Crawford (Churchville, PA)
Bryanna Santiago (Bronx, NY)

We encourage all students who are inspired by this message to keep in touch with the Foundation and talk about how they have adopted the motto of “If Not Me, Then Who…” into their daily lives.

CLICK HERE TO Share your “IF NOT ME, THEN WHO…” stories & service projects.

Have questions? Read these FAQ’s:

Student FAQ’s          Parents/Administrators FAQ’s            Still have questions? Feel free to e-mail us at

J&J Transparent

Johnson & Johnson is proud to be the Presenting Partner of the Character Does Matter Program, helping to inspire the next generation of leaders to put character in action throughout their own community.

Additional Supporters


USS Midway high res logo - black– The USS Midway Museum supports the Character Does Matter program by hosting the Leadership Academy, which connects veterans and families of the fallen with San Diego high school students aboard the historic ship.


BWF_horizontal_lockup_outlines– The Bob Woodruff Foundation is committed to “Helping heroes on the home front.” Funds from Bob Woodruff Foundation directly support CDM’s Leadership courses, which develops the next generation of values-based leaders.


RumsfeldFdn logo- Trademarked– The Rumsfeld Foundation rewards leadership and public service at home. Through their work in four focus areas, they are committed to promoting self-sufficiency and dignity, liberty and leadership.


Points of Light_Vertical_color– Points of Light Military Initiatives partners with the Character Does Matter program during our National Service Weeks in November and April. During these months, we work to provide a platform for Veterans, Families of the Fallen, and young adults to give back to their local communities in honor our nation’s heroes.



To receive updates on the Character Does Matter Program and the Travis Manion Foundation, please submit your contact info below!

  • 159 Character Does Matter Presenters

    Comprised of Veterans and Survivors

  • 122,536 Young Adults

    in 24 states inspired to lead lives of character

  • $24,000 in Scholarships

    given annually to high school students

  • 2,000+ Volunteers

    participate in CDM projects per year