Spartan Leadership Program



Building Leaders of Character

Travis Manion Foundation’s premiere Spartan Leadership Program connects purpose with passion to hone and leverage the leadership of our nation’s heroes. The 7-month program offers an innovative way for veterans and families of fallen heroes to learn and embrace the framework of Spartan Leadership, which begins with self-development and culminates in building a lasting legacy of service.

Through intentional practice and learning that blends virtual and in-person experiences, the Spartan Leadership Program is aimed at developing personal growth and leadership among veterans and survivors, who we believe are uniquely positioned to motivate communities toward meaningful change. Rooted in the principles of character-based education and positive psychology, the program's curriculum is delivered by best-in-class, like-minded professionals who share our passion for empowering veterans and families of the fallen.

Applications for the 2022 Cohort are now closed.


Spartan Leadership Framework

Defining Spartan Leadership

Being a Spartan Leader means placing the mission to serve above our own self-interest. We work aggressively to develop and prepare ourselves so we stay in the fight. We live the "If Not Me, Then Who..." ethos at all times, acting with integrity. Our program works to develop this unique mindset by focusing on our four-part framework of Spartan Leadership:



Participants will develop a deeper understanding of self in order to employ a growth mindset that ensures they always act with intention.


Connect + Challenge

Participants will learn how connecting within a group setting can facilitate self-improvement, and they are challenged to empower others to do the same.



A desire to serve is at the core of every Spartan Leader. Participants will leave the program with a heightened desire to lead by example, from the front.


Build a Legacy

We want our graduates to cultivate a lasting legacy of service - one that begins with themselves, but also continues on in their communities for many generations to come.

Leader Spotlights

Check out a few reflections from select 2021 Cohort participants on what makes the Spartan Leadership Program special.

Chris Randall

Marine Veteran

“Life is hard. There are a lot of things that interfere with my success. What I’ve gained through [Spartan Leadership Program] that has helped to improve my mental well-being is to know that, one, I'm not alone. That I have a cohort, I have a community of people who care, who love, who appreciate what I do, who I am, and that just … nothing beats that. It’s like having a whole new family.” 

Ashley Whitlock

Surviving Spouse

“Being part of the community of Spartan Leaders inspires me to find the time and the energy and to show up. And while they continue to challenge me, they are also supporting and encouraging me along the way. They are making space and time to get to know me and understand my goals and aspirations. They aren’t letting me give up, or make excuses because they care. And they believe in me.”

Santiago Leon

Army Veteran

“What I hope to gain, I think I’ve already achieved: being included in an amazing community, being able to contribute to the Spartan Leadership Program, and TMF community. I want to add to that. I want to be able to be an advocate, I want others to see me rocking my TMF logo, [and see] what a true Spartan is. To be able to impact the youth to live the TMF way, to perpetuate that lifestyle of Character Does Matter.”

Additional Information

  • Program Details

    How is this program different from other leadership programs?

    The Spartan Leadership Program is unique not only because we’re bringing together veterans and families of fallen heroes who are already uniquely positioned to lead but also because our curriculum is enriched with character-based learning, self-discovery, and experiential leadership development. Participants are challenged to reflect on and develop a deeper understanding and clarity of personal values, passions, purpose, and leadership. We believe personal purpose is what leads to passion and thriving; our curriculum is built around that idea.

    What are the program commitments?

    All curriculum meetings will be hosted online. If selected for the Spartan Leadership Program, participants are expected to be committed to the process. Participants should be prepared to spend an average of 3-4 hours weekly on program elements to include online instruction, group discussion, practical exercises, and reflection.

    There are three mandatory in-person meetings -- a Program Kick-off in April 2022; location TBD, TMF Leadership Expedition in Colorado, July 2022 as well as a capstone project presentation and graduation ceremony in November 2022; location TBD.

    Is this an accredited program? Can I receive college credit hours?

    When candidates complete the program, they will receive a certificate from the Spartan Leadership Program.

    What topics will the program curriculum cover?

    The Spartan Leadership Program consists of a 4-part framework: Develop, Connect & Challenge, Serve, and Build a Legacy. The curriculum moves each participant through the framework by way of an in-person Program Kick-off, experiential Leadership Expedition, readings, group discussions, reflection activities/assignments, guest speakers, and a cumulative capstone project.

  • Candidate Selection Process

    What are the application requirements? How will participants be selected?

    The Spartan Leadership Program is designed exclusively for veterans and families of fallen heroes. Candidates are asked to participate in a detailed application process. 

    Due to limited space, the program selection process is divided into two phases, an online application phase, and a person-by-person committee review phase. Select applicants then move forward to a series of phone and/or video interviews by members of the Selection Committee.

    Is this program open to people who are not veterans?

    This program is designed specifically for veterans and families of fallen heroes.

    Can I apply if I haven’t participated in other TMF programs?

    The Spartan Leadership Program is open to previously engaged Spartans as well as veterans and family members of fallen heroes who are new to TMF.

    When are participants chosen and notified?

    The application program is currently closed for the 2022 cohort. Applications for the next cohort will open in Fall 2022.


Please direct any additional application or program questions to

Our Duty Is Never Done

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Join our Mission
TMF Stats:
001 65,000+ Veterans + Survivors Empowered
002 130,000+ Spartan Members
003 400,000+ Youth Living "If Not Me, Then Who..." Movement