“West Point Is Hard, But It’s Supposed To Be”: An Army Aviator Reflects on a 24-Year Career

Hise Gibson


A native of Lufkin, Texas, COL Hise Gibson started at the prep school, came to West Point, played on the Army Football team, and graduated in 1997 into the Aviation branch. He spent almost three years in Korea as a junior officer, followed by a tour in Germany, including service in the initial phases of Operation Iraqi Freedom. After attending the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California, he returned to West Point to teach in the Math Department. COL Gibson returned to Germany for his field grade assignment, including a deployment to Afghanistan. He then completed a Doctor of Business Administration degree in Technology and Operations Management at the Harvard Business School. He returned to the operational Army to command an aviation battalion at Fort Bragg before returning to West Point, where he served as an Academy Professor in the Department of Systems Engineering. In this interview, COL Gibson talks about what brought him to West Point, his career in Army Aviation, and educating our Army’s future leaders as a USMA faculty member over two tours in two different departments. Throughout the interview, he shares a number of insights gleaned from his long and distinguished career, and then concludes with his thoughts about what West Point means to him.


name Hise Gibson
institution USMA
graduation year 1997
service Aviation
unit A CO, 2-501st Aviation, 4th BCT, 1AD; 5-158th AVN (GSAB), 12th CAB; 3rd GSAB (General Support Aviation Battalion), 82nd CAV, 82nd Airborne Division
specialty Prep School
service dates 1997