DHS Leader Development Program - Keystone

(Second-Line Manager)

About the Program

Keystone leaders are non-military, supervisory personnel who manage other supervisory employees. These managers are part of a central, more complex form of leadership that requires strong business, interpersonal and strategic skills needed to distribute resources, prioritize projects and programs, and ensure that the work being performed is in line with the strategic direction of the Coast Guard. ​

 ​The Keystone program is directed at bolstering current high-level skills and capabilities in both personal career development and supervisory leadership. Desired outcomes for Keystone managers are assisting in understanding roles and expectations to increase the likelihood of success and efficacy, an increased understanding of how to apply strengths and skills to effectively manage both subordinate performance and complex situations, and to help those individual Managers who want to increase their impact in the Coast Guard with a wider, more diverse portfolio of work—to include moving into leadership at the Senior Executive Service (SES) level-- map the best path forward.​


Keystone Managers are REQUIRED to do the following:


Keystone Requirements At-A -Glance

Managing Onboarding

M90X – First 90 Days​


Individuals new to manager-level Supervision at DHS (whether a seasoned transfer or a first-time appointment) will complete an onboarding program within the first 90 days of appointment. It includes:

  • A Welcome Kit and Checklist
  • Interactive Orientation
  • 8 hours of mentoring
  • Leadership Assessment 
  • Manager Development Plan ​


Fundamentals of DHS Leadership​

First Year​


Newly-appointed manager-level Supervisors MUST complete a minimum of 40 hours of development (of which at least 24 must be interactive, instructor-led delivery), covering requirements for development in eighteen (18) knowledge areas essential for effective federal supervision.

This is achieved by taking both the Supervisor of Civilians Tier I self-paced eLearning course and the Supervisor of Civilians Tier II instructor-led course.​


Continuous Supervisory Leader Development (12/12)​



ALL second-line Supervisors past probationary period: 12 hours Annual Competency Development in targeted competencies, and 12 hours Leader-as-Teacher "Give Back“. ​

See below on the 12/12 and for resources on how to fulfill these requirements.​




Annual Keystone Requirements (12/12)​

12 Hours Competency Development 


The LDP requires that all supervisory leaders past their first year, complete a minimum of 12 hours of annual development within a set of 12 “Essential" competencies.

To meet this requirement all first-line Supervisors, Managers and Executives must complete at least one hour of annual development in the “Common Competency" of Performance Management. 

Managers must additionally complete annual development that builds capability in the following targeted “Critical Competencies“. 

If a Manager subsequently requires additional hours to meet the annual requirement, they may complete any remainder of their required 12 hours in development that builds capability in any of the remaining “Essential Competencies“ ​


12 Hours Give-Back ​


Managers must also complete 12 hours of Leader-as-Teacher “Give Back" annually, serving as an instructor, coach, mentor, author, speaker, or in some way contributing their expertise to developing others' leadership, aside from their supervisory responsibilities. ​


Resources for fulfilling

12/12 Requirement


DHS Leadership Resource Center-- From articles, to podcasts, research, and tools on a wide variety of leadership competencies, this Leadership Resource Center offers you great opportunities to invest in your leadership success! ​

Learning Without Limits– This site provides a variety of different learning tools and options for continual and leadership development.  Development options include book lists, blogs, videos and so much more!  ​

Supervisory Leadership Bridges Self-Development Program-- This is a flexible, multi-modal path that can be completed at the individual's own pace.  By completing online coursework, reading, shadowing, mentoring and informational interviews, learners gain insight into the skills and competencies required for successful first-line supervisory leadership. ​

DHS Leadership Library– This offers emerging and relevant peer-recommended resources (from thought-provoking and highly rated authors of various backgrounds) for development through reading, whether print or digital through Skillsoft’s Books24/7. Filter by leader level, competency, resource type, etc. ​

Leadership Matters-- Monthly communications that focus on a different DHS leader competency in each issue.  Leadership Matters also provides development tips along with Skillsoft resources, such as books and videos that develop and support DHS leader competencies. ​

DHS Coaching Talent Bank-- Coaching is an important development tool in the success of leaders at all levels and provides a sustained return on investment that elevates leader performance by optimizing leadership perspectives and actions. This page provides information and resources for those who want to become a certified coach and/or want to seek resources in helping a coaching practice. ​

Leader Development Learning Cafés-- The monthly Learning Cafés feature leaders and subject matter experts from across DHS to help leaders at all levels enhance leadership competencies.  These sessions are delivered as a presentation, interview-style, or panel discussion, with opportunities for participants to engage in Q&A.​

Coast Guard Mentoring Program– choose from several different tracks, including 1:1, Communities and Fresh Perspectives.​

Skillsoft-- Whether you're trying to answer a question, learn a new skill, or develop professionally, USCG Skillsoft lets you quickly locate learning content aligned to your needs. Includes books, videos, courses and so much more!​



Certifying your 12/12 Requirement

Log into the Coast Guard Learning Management System (LMS) and search the following course by name or course number


DHS Continuous Supervisory Leadership Self-Certification in LMS (Course 502801)​




Program Manager

Alyssa Lombardi, COMDT (CG-128), phone 202-795-6099, email Alyssa.J.Lombardi@uscg.mil