Department of Physical Education (DPE)

Prospective Faculty

Why Join DPE?

In the Department of Physical Education (DPE), we have an outstanding mix of rotating military officers and permanent civilian faculty with a variety of backgrounds and are proven leaders of operational units who are dedicated to careers in the U.S. Army. It's a great job in an exceptional work environment. 

Current and incoming instructors represent all the commissioning sources (OCS, ROTC, USMA) and most branches. DPE instructors have a variety of undergraduate degrees and come from diverse ethnic backgrounds. Current and incoming DPE instructors have combat/operational-deployment leadership experience. DPE officers maintain a lifestyle focused on physical fitness and wellness.

We are looking for instructors to develop warrior leaders of character who are physically fit and mentally tough by engaging cadets in activities that promote and enhance physical excellence. 

  Apply to Join the DPE Now.

Frequently Asked Questions

Each December, we conduct a selection board that chooses officers to join the DPE faculty. Your packet is due 01 November of the applicable year. You may begin your file online utilizing the T.E.A.C.H. system. 

Eligible Graduation YearsBoard DeadlineBegin Grad SchoolReport to USMADepart from USMA
YG16-18DEC 2022MAY/JUN 202401 JUN 2025JUN 2028
YG17-19DEC 2023MAY/JUN 202501 JUN 2026JUN 2029
YG18-20DEC 2024MAY/JUN 202601 JUN 2027JUN 2030
YG19-21DEC 2025MAY/JUN 202701 JUN 2028JUN 2031

Final selection is competitive based on academic and military qualifications. We typically select six Captains and receive 20-30 applications per year.

Officers selected as an instructor in DPE will serve in this capacity for three years. On rare occasions, an officer may be eligible for a two-year utilization tour based on several factors (year group, available key development time as a major, and ILE selection).

Most incoming instructors have a 01 June report date to West Point. After in-processing, officers serve in some capacity as physical readiness training monitors for the Cadet Summer Training Program. During this time, officers also undergo cross-training with their course directors.

If requested in writing (a brief memo is fine), we will consider incomplete applications of deployed personnel. We understand that deploying and preparing to deploy should be your priority, but we still encourage you to quickly complete as much of the application as you can. Though we will consider files with missing items from our deployed candidates, past applicants have, through prior planning, found a way to submit needed items from their combat postings. The recruiting officer is poised to help you complete your packet and have it in prime condition for the board.

Once selected, officers apply to graduate school (Texas A&M, University of Indiana, or UNC Greensboro) where they earn a master's degree in kinesiology. The degree programs are all one year in length and immediately precede your 3-year utilization tour here at USMA. The degree programs are set up to prepare the officer for their duties at USMA. Generally, the program of study includes pedagogy, curriculum development, motor learning/control, and exercise physiology courses while also allowing you the opportunity to assist in teaching some basic physical education activity classes.

To complete your application, you must upload the following information into your T.E.A.C.H. account (Recommend you using the Google Chrome Browser)

  1. Soldier Talent Profile (STP – New ORB)
  2. All Officer Evaluation Reports (to include AERs)
  3. Letters of Recommendation: at least 3 
  • T.E.A.C.H. will require you to input the title, name, job title and email of recommender and it will send a link to them. They can fill out the survey using the link or they can submit a typed letter of recommendation to the DPE S1 group inbox. If they choose to write a letter, address it to COL NICHOLAS H. GIST, Director, Department of Physical Education, USMA, West Point, NY 10996.
  1. All University Transcripts
  2. Copy of ACFT Scores (as many as possible)
  3. Resume: focus on background in physical education and athletics/fitness (Civilian or Military in Bullet Format)
  4. Short Essay Questions: Answering the following questions:
    1. Why do you want to be a DPE instructor at USMA?
    2. What unique strengths would you contribute to enhance the Department, specifically what committees do you think you are best suited to enhance and why (military movement (gymnastics), boxing, aquatics, and/or combatives)? 
    3. As a DPE Sport Educator, for which types of intramural programs do you think you are best suited to enhance our competitive sports program?
    4. What are your long-term goals, and how does a teaching assignment in DPE contribute to those goals?
  5. Video depicting the most effective way to teach one of the following exercises: Deadlift, Hand Release Push Up, or Squat (No longer than 3 minutes)
  6. **GRE Scores are not a requirement for the DPE application. However, it is possible that one of the three graduate school programs require them. Be prepared to take it if you have not already done so.

Civilian Teaching Opportunities

Are you a civilian interested in working in DPE? All current civilian job postings can be found at USAJOBS. You can also email to be advised of potential future job postings.


Get Started!


Initiate your application and begin the process of joining our team!

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For any other questions about joining the DPE faculty, please email us.