Master of the Sword

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The Master of the Sword, or MOSH, is the title of the head of the Department of Physical Education and the director of the program of physical instruction at the United States Military Academy at West Point. This position is unique in that the physical program at the academy is both academic and non-academic. Some of the courses are taught in a classroom or laboratory environment and some elements of the physical program are stand-alone testing and non-tested events that must be completed by all cadets during their time at the academy. The first Swordmaster was Pierre Thomas, appointed by Congress in 1814. There have been 27 Masters of the Sword since 1814. Despite its position as a department head since 1948, the Master of the Sword was not made a member of the Academic Board at West Point until 1974, with the appointment of Colonel James L. Anderson. The only woman to serve as MOS was COL Maureen LeBoeuf, serving 1997–2004. The current master of the sword, serving since 2015, is Colonel Nicholas Gist.[1]

Masters of the Sword[edit]

Name Rank Years
Pierre Thomas Civilian 1814–1825
Pierre Tranque Civilian 1825–1827
Louis S. Simon Civilian 1827–1832
N. Albert Jumel Civilian 1832–1837
Ferdinand Dupare Civilian 1837–1840
H.G. Boulet Civilian 1840–1843
Henry C. Wayne 1st Lieutenant 1843–1846
Patrice de Janon Civilian 1846–1857
Antone Lorentz Civilian 1858–1882
Edward S. Farrow 1st Lieutenant 1882–1884
Herman Koehler Lieutenant Colonel 1885–1923
Benjamin F. Hoge Major Jan–Jul 1924
Cuthbert P. Stearns Major 1924–1927
Edward L. Kelly Major 1927–1930
Clovis E. Byers 1st Lieutenant Mar–Jun 1930
Harold M. Rayner Major 1930–1934
William M. Miley Captain Apr–Jun 1934
William A. Holbrook, Jr. Captain 1934–1938
George W. Smythe Captain 1938–1940
John W. Harmony Colonel 1940–1943
Carl F. Fritzsche Lieutenant Colonel 1943–1944
Francis M. Greene Colonel 1944–1953
Edwin A. Machen Lieutenant Colonel 1952–1953
Frank J. Kobes, Jr. Colonel 1953–1974
James L. Anderson Colonel 1974–1997
Maureen LeBoeuf Colonel 1997–2004
Gregory L. Daniels Colonel 2004–2015[1]
Nicholas Gist[2] Colonel 2015–


  1. ^ a b Eric S. Bartelt (2015-04-30). "Master of the Sword: "Living the Dream for 31 years"". Archived from the original on 2016-03-04. Retrieved 2015-08-14.
  2. ^ "COL Nicholas Gist". Retrieved 2015-08-14.