- After attending the Executive Leadership course at the National Fire Academy, the value of the course and the Executive Fire Officers' four-year program is apparent. What may not be quite as apparent, however, is the value of the program in aiding an individual who is faced with the prospect of competing for the position of fire chief at the national level. When faced with this challenge, the strengths of the program, e.g., encouraging the development of strong leadership qualities, proactive planning skills, and assessment of organization strengths, is truly invaluable. With the above in mind, this paper will review the road traveled during my nine-month quest for a fire chief's position. As is often the case when unfamiliar territory is traveled, many new and different experiences await the traveler. This trip was no different. These new experiences included participation in various types of assessment centers and interviewing processes which were geared to assess the capabilities of candidates from across the nation. In-as-much as this paper is written from the perspective of an applicant, comparisons will be made as to the different techniques which were encountered during the search process. And, although, some of the techniques which I employed may not be endorsed by national experts, they were found to be successful and, as such, are also included in this paper. Furthermore, this paper will review the recruitment process employed by six Western states, e.g. Oregon, Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada, Utah, and Wyoming. Over the referenced nine-month period, a total of ten applications, five applications resulted in follow-up interviews and/or an invitation to compete in the final selection process. Finally, this paper will outline the various aspects of the Executive Fire Officers' Program which proved to be invaluable throughout the competition and final selection process for the position of Fire Chief. The paper will conclude by outlining the roll the Leadership Course played in enhancing this applicant's role as a new fire chief once a position was offered and accepted.