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Sunday, May 28, 2023

Dr. Col. Nick Gist Helps West Level Cadets Change into Match to Serve

Most Individuals who take note of the US Armed Forces has heard of West Level. The four-year academic establishment was based in 1802 and is the place many future members of the Armed Forces go to start their journeys in service. West Level’s mission is “to teach, practice, and encourage the Corps of Cadets so that every graduate is a commissioned chief of character dedicated to the values of Obligation, Honor, Nation and ready for a profession {of professional} excellence and repair to the nation as an officer within the U. S. Military.”

One of many folks that performs an essential function in that mission is Dr. Col. Nicholas Gist, who works because the Head of the Bodily Training Division at West Level. One title he holds with honor is “Grasp of the Sword.” He might not have predicted what he was going to be doing sooner or later when he was rising up in Alpine, CA, however he does credit score how he was raised as an enormous purpose why he’s the place he’s right now.

Nick Gist in uniform with his family
Nick Gist

“I believe a whole lot of the journey I’ve been on, if not all of it, was a product of how I grew up,” Gist stated. “From my earliest recollections, my dad and mom had been all the time folks that loved being outdoor.”

His father was a farrier, and he served in the US Navy for seven years, however Gist didn’t see a lot of that a part of his father’s life. His mom got here from a farming household as effectively. Mix these two backgrounds, and you’ve got a baby that was accustomed to being exterior early and infrequently.

“I grew up enjoying exterior and I imply that within the biggest sense of ‘go exterior, discover your atmosphere, play video games, throw rocks, sword battle with sticks, and that undoubtedly concerned into enjoying sports activities.’”

Gist performed baseball, soccer, and acquired into newbie wrestling as his sports activities of alternative. These would grow to be the first focus of his childhood. His youthful brother, Eric, grew up the identical method. He credited coaches similar to Bruce Wiseman had been the fathers of different youngsters on his groups, and he thought of them prolonged household.

“Within the Military, we name them our tribes. These had been our tribes.”

Quick ahead to highschool commencement and Gist discovered himself at West Level as a cadet himself. As quickly as he stepped foot on campus, he might inform that extra could be anticipated of him, however he felt assured that he might stay as much as the lofty requirements.

“West Level had very excessive expectations by way of creating leaders of character,” he defined. He additionally noticed that changing into that chief was as a lot a bodily requirement as it’s a psychological one.

“You notice very early on the significance of being bodily match, the physicality of the career you’re in as a future soldier.”

One take a look at Gist’s accomplishments within the Military, and you’ll inform he developed into such a frontrunner. After graduating in 1994, he traveled the world to steer and serve amongst fellow members of the navy in Korea, Iraq, and Afghanistan. He was concerned with missions similar to Operations Iraqi Freedom and New Daybreak, and Enduring Freedom. He accomplished his most up-to-date mission in Might 2017.

Among the many honors he acquired in his profession are the Bronze Star Medal, Protection Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal (with 3 Oak Leaf Clusters), Military Commendation Medal (with Oak Leaf Cluster), Military Achievement Medal (with Oak Leaf Cluster), NATO Medal (ISAF clasp) and the Military Aviation Affiliation of America Order of Saint Michael (Bronze).

The department of physical education
Nick Gist

On April 17, 2015, Gist assumed the place he holds now, and he’s performed an essential function in creating the cadets he labored with into the troopers and leaders that our nation wants. West Level’s total purpose is to teach their college students by way of the three pillars – Educational, Navy, and Bodily. The truth that he has grow to be a purpose why the folks that stroll the halls of West Level really feel the best way that he did when he was a scholar isn’t misplaced on him.

“It’s an amazing privilege to serve right here. We now have a tremendously essential mission, and its significance can’t ever be overstated.”

Gist described the Division of Bodily Training at West Level as a various and efficient mixture of navy expertise and civilian disciplinary experience. The group is made up of navy members, non-military school, and help employees. As with all sports activities group or main enterprise, all of the elements should complement one another and work collectively to finish the target.

“All of those folks come from quite a lot of backgrounds of training, kinesiology, and naturally their navy expertise,” he shared. “We’re dedicated to the mission, and finally, we’re very profitable in creating leaders of character.”

As is the case with different United States Navy Academy establishments, it’s important to be snug getting uncomfortable in the event you’re going to succeed at a spot like West Level. Gist shared that they very deliberately take them exterior their consolation zone early and infrequently, however Gist explains that it’s essential to realize greatness, whether or not it’s within the navy or with health.

“That’s the place adaptation happens. Identical to if had been to take a look at skeletal muscle. Skeletal muscle adapts after we apply progressive overload,” he defined. “If we’re prepared to problem ourselves and others, adaptation happens, and folks develop.”

Gist hasn’t simply seen this course of play out in his 29-year profession. He witnessed it as a mum or dad. His daughter, Maddie, is about to finish flight college as an Apache pilot at West Level. His son, Graham, is a junior at West Level as effectively. He urged that many different younger folks will make the selection to hitch the navy and obtain excessive ranges of success for his or her nation and themselves.

Gist stated, “I’d advocate as I’ve with my very own youngsters to serve as a result of I believe it’s essential to the present and future state of our nation. It truly is about citizenship.” He additionally hopes that individuals who stay civilians can discover methods to help those who do put on the uniform.

“Whether or not anybody serves or not, help to our servicemen and girls is extremely essential.”

For extra details about West Level, go to You’ll be able to observe the US Navy Academy on Instagram @westpoint_usma and the USMA Division of Bodily Training @westpoint_dpe.

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