Podcast: Physically Fit and Mentally Tough with COL Nicholas Gist ‘94 and Dr. Jesse Germain ‘87

Category: Grad News
Class Years: ,

This episode features an interview with COL Nick Gist, Head of the Department of Physical Education at West Point, class of 1994, and Dr. Jesse Germain, Director of Kinesiology at West Point, class of 1987.

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COL Nick Gist is a bronze star recipient, serves as the Master of the Sword at West Point, and holds a PhD in Exercise Physiology.

Dr. Jesse Germain is a retired Colonel. He holds a PhD in Health and Human Performance and is an Academy Professor.

In this episode, COL Gist and COL(R) Dr. Germain talk about changes in the culture of physical education over time, the importance of the Physical Program Assessment Plan, and how cadets can manage dealing with mental toughness in servitude.

“We have five domains under the H2F concept that the Army’s provided us now. And I’ll leave physical readiness off to the side for a second. The other four non-physical domains are mental, nutritional, sleep, and spiritual. And so I think those form the foundation of our readiness. If that foundation is strong, then the physical readiness will follow. I hope that can make sense for folk, but if we can define our purpose through spiritual readiness and commit to our values, if we can commit to a strong nutritional plan that fuels us for what our requirements are, both cognitively and physically, if we can engage in activities in connectedness through relationships that enhance our mental readiness, that foundation. And of course now I’ve left out maybe the most important, sleep readiness. If we can commit to the discipline and the sleep hygiene that leads us to a proper recovery, then we can place on top of that a pretty intense physicality that leads us to a readiness and lethality across our force where we can achieve greater things across any formation of any size.”

—COL Nicholas Gist ‘94

Episode Timestamps

(01:19) USMA DPE’s mission, vision, and core values
(06:42) About the kinesiology major at the academy
(10:51) Changes in the culture of physical education
(13:11) West Point H2F program
(17:59) Dealing with mental toughness
(21:00) Army Physical Program Assessment Plan
(28:07) Fitness education culture at USMA
(30:04) The future of the physical education at West Point
(33:58) Reach out to the DPE!


COL Nicholas Gist
West Point DPE

Dr. Jesse Germain

Kinesiology Draft

“West Point remains a very, very special place with very, very special people. Like any organization or institution, we have our challenges, but I think your listeners can rest assured that their military academy continues to produce really, really strong, young leaders who are gonna go out to our army and do really special things.”

—Dr. Jesse Germain ‘87

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The WPAOG Podcast is a strategic initiative focused on tailored audible communications to further inform Graduates on current AOG projects, events, and USMA updates. This customized content is mainly for USMA Alumni and the West Point Community solely produced by the West Point Association of Graduates. The Podcast is available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Amazon Audible, YouTube Music, and iHeartRadio.

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