Col. Nicholas Gist

Special guest

Colonel Nick Gist is a native of Alpine, Calif. He was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant of Aviation upon his graduation from the United States Military Academy in 1994 where he earned a Bachelor of Science in Life Sciences. Since that time, he has been privileged to serve in command and staff assignments around the world, including Korea, Iraq and Afghanistan.

As a company grade officer and following completion of flight school at Fort Rucker, Ala., Col. Gist served as Assistant Airfield Operations Officer, Platoon Leader, and Airfield/Detachment Operations Officer at Polk Army Airfield, Fort Polk, La. He then served as Assistant Battalion Operations Officer for the 2nd Battalion, 52nd Aviation Regiment, 17th Aviation Brigade, forward deployed in the Republic of Korea. While in Korea, he commanded Headquarters & Headquarters Company, 2-52nd Aviation Regiment. Upon returning to CONUS, he served as Recruiting Programs Officer for the U.S. Army Cadet Command at Fort Monroe, Va.

After earning a M.Ed. in Exercise Science from the University of Georgia, Col. Gist was assigned to the faculty at the U.S. Military Academy, West Point, N.Y., where he served as an Instructor in the Department of Physical Education. He taught courses in applied gymnastics, boxing, strength development, personal/organizational fitness, golf, and alpine skiing.

Following completion of Intermediate Level Education at the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, Fort Leavenworth, Kan., Col. Gist was again forward deployed to the Republic of Korea. He served in consecutive assignments as Executive Officer for the 602nd Aviation Support Battalion and 3-2nd Aviation Regiment (General Support Aviation Battalion), 2nd Combat Aviation Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division. His next assignment was as Deputy Chief, Stability Support Transition Team, in support of Operations Iraqi Freedom and New Dawn in Ninewa Province, Iraq, as a member of the 2nd Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division. Upon his return from Iraq, Col. Gist completed graduate studies and earned a Ph.D. in Exercise Physiology at the University of Georgia.

In his second tour in the Department of Physical Education, he served as Director of Program Support before being selected as an Academy Professor and serving as the department’s Deputy Director. In the summer of 2014, he completed a short combat tour in Regional Command-South as part of Operation Enduring Freedom in Kandahar, Afghanistan.

On April 17th, 2015, he assumed his current responsibilities as Professor, USMA, and Head, Department of Physical Education. From May 2016 to May 2017, Col. Gist deployed to Afghanistan with 1st Cavalry Division as the Commanding General’s Chief of the Commander’s Action Group. He continues to serve as the Master of the Sword at West Point. His military education includes the Aviation Officer Basic and Advanced Courses, Initial Entry Rotary Wing Flight School, Combined Arms Services Staff School, Master Fitness Trainer Course, CH-47 Aircraft Qualification Course, and Intermediate Level Education (Command and General Staff College).

Col. Gist’s awards and decorations include the Bronze Star Medal, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal (with 3 Oak Leaf Clusters), Army Commendation Medal (with Oak Leaf Cluster), Army Achievement Medal (with Oak Leaf Cluster), NATO Medal (ISAF clasp) and the Army Aviation Association of America Order of Saint Michael (Bronze). He is a Senior Army Aviator and has earned the Parachutist Badge and Air Assault Badge. He is married to the former Dea Marie Newman and has two children, Maddie and Graham.

Col. Nicholas Gist has been a guest on 1 episode.