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CORPS VALUES Exploring Texas A&M’s oldest tradition

Jhane Price and Jesus Perez, Class of 2018, stand at attention and salute during the national anthem prior to a Texas A&M football game at Kyle Field. Cassie Stricker — THE BATTALION



ast semester, The Battalion was one of nine college papers in the nation selected to participate in the Poynter Institute’s 2018-2019 College Media Project. The program gives extra funds and advising resources to student newspapers interested in pursuing in-depth journalism in their communities. When asked which subject we wanted to delve into, the answer was simple — Texas A&M University’s Corps of Cadets. The Corps is a unique part of Aggieland and has completely shaped the student body in ways no other institution has seen on their own campus. Even so, the nearly 2,600 Aggies that make up the Corps are not fully understood by the rest of the almost 70,000 students due to the differences in lifestyle, rumors on campus and a general lack of communication between the two groups. We wanted to become a resource to anyone

in the Corps who wants people to understand what it means to be a cadet and answer the questions of any non-Corps members who have ever wondered about this influential group. Since the Corps is deeply rooted in A&M’s 143-year history, we knew there was a lot of ground to cover, so we have planned a series of special editions to address all necessary areas. The edition you are reading explores the history of the Corps and gives basic introductory material about terminology, important campus monuments and student uniforms. The second round of stories will feature Corps leaders and delve into what inspires people to join the organization as well as what causes people to leave. The final round, which will be released at the end of the semester, will explore ongoing issues in the Corps including instances of hazing. I know The Battalion staff — made up of non-regs and students who spent four years

in the Corps — is more than equipped for this endeavor. While most of us don’t have a personal experience in the organization, we are fascinated with how it has influenced campus life and want to learn more about how it functions. We have a desire to highlight the exemplary qualities of the Corps that have made the university exceptional while also shining a light on lesser-known — and often unsatisfactory — elements that people may have a desire to overlook. Our intention is never to create controversy for controversy’s sake, but rather to start conversations and take a hard look at what is often passed off as perfection. Additionally, we want to dispel any negative rumors that may be inaccurate representations of cadets on campus and break down the barriers that seem to exist between Corps members and non-regs. Essentially, we want to tell the whole story.

We want to address issues that often go undiscussed. We want to find perspectives that are usually overlooked and explore them more fully. We want to be a resource to this university, the Bryan-College Station community and beyond. The Battalion’s job is to be the voice of the student body, so we encourage anyone who has stories they want to share — whether they’re positive, negative or somewhere in-between — to come to us for this series. You can email me at or come to our newsroom in the Memorial Student Center room L400. We hope this first edition will answer questions you may have had and provide a firm foundation for the rest of our series. Thank you for reading Respectfully, Megan Rodriguez Editor-in-chief


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The Battalion | 3.6.19

Graphics by Nic Tan — THE BATTALION

Texas A&M Corps of Cadets: Keepers of the Spirit & Guardians of Tradition Thank you for cultivating the Spirit of Aggieland for more than 140 years



The Battalion | 3.6.19

Milestones: Tracing the Corps of Cadets’ history 1866 - Having rejoined the Union the year before, the State of Texas approves plans to establish its own college under the Morrill Act’s terms. June 26, 1886 - Muster originated on this day when alumni gathered to “live over again their college days, the victories and defeats won and lost upon the drill field and in the classroom.” The tradition was held on various dates until it merged with San Jacinto Day celebrations on April 21, 1903.

1862 - During the Civil War, President Lincoln signed the Morrill Act, laying the groundwork for states to establish land-grant colleges using funding from federal land sales. 1876 - The Agricultural and Mechanical College of Texas officially opened with 40 students and six faculty members. The all-white, all-male student body was required to participate in military training. Maj. Robert P.W. Morris, a professor of applied mathematics, was in charge of military discipline and has since been credited as the Corps of Cadets’ first commandant. 1887 - The Scott Volunteers were created this year. They became the Ross Volunteers in 1898 in honor of former Texas Governor and A&M President Lawrence Sullivan Ross. The special unit is the second oldest student organization in Texas, only after the Corps itself.

1887 - The first Corps Trip took place, with the cadets traveling to Dallas for the Texas State Fair. 1894 - The Fightin’ Texas Aggie Band was founded and led by A&M’s first bandmaster, Joseph Holick. 1898 - The first Silver Taps was held in honor of Lawrence Sullivan Ross in front of Old Main, the predecessor to A&M’s Academic Building.

1898 - The Spanish-American War occurred. At least 89 Aggies fought in the war, 63 of whom served as officers.

1907 - Yell Leaders were introduced when upperclassmen ordered freshmen to entertain their dates during a football game. Freshmen wore white janitor coveralls and coordinated yells. After being well-received, the role of Yell Leader was given to upperclassmen. 1914 - Seniors began wearing tall, brown boots to differentiate themselves from underclassmen. The boots became an official part of a senior cadet’s uniform by 1925. Joseph Holick, A&M’s first Aggie bandmaster, was also known for making senior boots locally at his shop — Holick Manufacturing Company — which continues to serve members of the Corps today. Jan. 22, 1922 - The tradition of the 12th Man originated when E. King Gill was called down from the stands to serve as a substitute on the A&M football team.

1903 - The annual March to the Brazos was started to celebrate San Jacinto Day, April 21. Abandoned after 1912, the tradition was restarted in 1977 as a spring fundraiser for the March of Dimes. 1913 - Yell Practice became an after-dinner ritual. However, the first Midnight Yell didn’t occur until 1931. 1916 - The National Defense Act of 1916 created Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) in universities and colleges, although implementation of the program was delayed by World War I.

Jan. 1931 - Reveille I became the college mascot.

1942 - More than 20,229 former cadets from A&M fought in World War II. There were 14,123 commissioned Aggies in the war — more than the number of commissioned officers from United States Naval Academy and the United States Military Academy combined.

Dec. 7, 1941 - The U.S. entered WWII. 1943 - The Corps of Cadets was featured in “We’ve Never Been Licked,” a World War II propaganda film that was partially shot on location at A&M. Jun 25, 1950 - The Korean War begins. In the conflict, 1,900 Aggies served, 58 of whom lost their lives. 1960 - The Army insignia on cadet uniforms was traded in for Corps Brass. Designed by cadets, it includes the Latin phrase “Per Unitatem Vis,” which translates to “Through Unity, Strength.” 1964 - Five black freshmen join the Corps, becoming A&M’s first African-American cadets. The year before, three students became the first African-Americans to enroll at the school, and the Board of Directors had started permitting women to enroll on a limited basis. 1969 - William J. Mahomes became the first African-American senior cadet to complete four years and graduate in the Corps. 1971 - Edward W. Williams and Derron J. Patterson became first African-American members of the Ross Volunteers. 1974 - Women were allowed into the Corps. Fifty-one women joined the all-female outfit W-1. 1978 - Women in the Corps expanded to a second outfit, Squadron 14.

1989 - Andrea Abat became the first female senior in Aggie Band to complete four years. Aug 2, 1990 - The First Gulf War began. Over 300 Aggies served, and three Aggies died. 2012 - The first African-American Commander, Marquis Alexander, was selected. Nov 13, 2018 - The Army announced plans to adopt the “Army Greens” uniform, which resembles the kind worn by World War II-era officers and is similar to the Corps’ Class A uniform. The mandatory wear date for all soldiers is 2028.

1917 - The U.S. joined WWI. Almost 50 percent of all Aggies that graduated during the war participated as soldiers, a larger percent of serving graduates than any other university in the country.

Nov 1, 1955 - The Vietnam War begins. During this conflict, over 3,985 Aggies served and 161 died.

1947 - The Fish Drill Team was created. According to Lisa Kalmus, museum curator at the Sam Houston Sanders Corps of Cadets Center, freshmen were moved off-campus in efforts to minimize hazing. To avoid placing freshmen with upperclassmen, many of whom were World War II veterans, freshmen lived at the retired Bryan Air Force base 12 miles from campus, Kalmus said. In their boredom, freshmen began the Fish Drill Team. 1965 - The Corps of Cadets was officially made voluntary for students.

1968 - Hector Gutierrez Jr. became the first hispanic Corps Commander. 1970 - Edward A. Taylor became the first African-American chief officer in the Corps as Commanding Officer of First Battalion Staff.

1975 - The Women’s Drill Team was created as an alternate for participation in other cadet organizations.

1990 - W-1 and Squadron 14 were disbanded and women were put into co-ed units G-1 and Squadron 9.

1973 - Parsons Mounted Cavalry was created by the Class of 1974, reviving the tradition of A&M’s cavalry from the 1920s and 1930s. The unit was named after Col. Thomas R. Parsons, the commandant at the 1985 - Three female fish — Jennifer Peeler, Carol Rockwell and Andrea Abat — became the first female Aggie Band members after a court order required A&M to admit women into previously all-male Corps organizations. Only Abat made it through the year.

1992 - The Fish Drill Team portrayed the U.S. Marine Corps Silent Drill Platoon in the opening scene of “A Few Good Men.”

2015 - The first female Corps Commander, Alyssa Marie Michalke, was selected. Information compiled by Henry Mureithi, Meredith Seaver, Meagan Sheffield and Jane Turchi.



The Battalion | 3.6.19

A tradition of service

Aggies answer the call to action throughout history

Cassie Stricker — THE BATTALION

The Memorial Student Center’s Hall of Honor highlights the achievements of Texas A&M’s eight recipients of the Congressional Medal of Honor.

By Jane Turchi and Henry Mureithi @JaneTurchi and @HenryMureithi5 During the Civil War, President Lincoln signed the Morrill Act, opening the door for states to establish land-grant colleges using funding from federal land sales.

This laid the groundwork for Texas A&M to be established as the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Texas in 1876. The Corps of Cadets was initiated as the all-male mandatory military training program for the students. Since then, former Corps members have served in every conflict that the U.S. has engaged in from the Spanish American War to

the 21st century wars on terror. Today, the Corps commissions more officers into the United States Armed Forces than any other college outside the service academies. Since its founding, at least 264 former cadets have served as general flag officers — nine of whom have attained four-star rank. Additionally, seven former cadets have been

awarded the Medal of Honor, the nation’s highest military award for valor. Lisa Kalmus, museum curator at the Sam Houston Sanders Corps of Cadets Center said that as a land grant school, Texas AMC was founded with intentions to be one of the county’s leading military colleges.

Pg. 19, Texas Aggies Go To War

The first Texas volunteers of Company A were stationed at Camp Cuba Libre in Jacksonville and included Aggies such as Commander Capt. George McCormick (center left).

Pg. 216, Texas Aggies Go To War

In 1946, Aggies held Muster at the mouth of the Malinta Tunnel on the island of Corregidor to honor those who lost their lives defending the island in 1942.

Spanish-American War April 21, 1898 – Aug. 13, 1898: One month after the U.S. battleship Maine exploded in Feb. 1898 on its way to Spanish-controlled Havana, cadets requested that then-college president Lafayette Foster give permission to organize a regiment to fight the Spanish colonists in Cuba. The Corps at the time was less than 500 cadets. In 1898, there were 89 Aggies serving in the U.S. Army — 63 as commissioned or non-commissioned officers. After Congress declared war on Spain in April, several Aggies would go on to volunteer for the military campaign. This marked the first time Aggies would be called upon in service to their country.

Facts to Know •

38 Aggies are known to have served in the war.

World War II Sept. 1, 1939 – Sept. 2, 1945: The need for military officers during the conflict led to another major expansion of the Corps to over 6,500 cadets. In 1942, the Corps consisted of an all-time high of seven regiments of 17 battalions with 60 companies in all, including the Aggie Band. Over this time, A&M produced 20,229 service members, of which 14,123 served as officers. This was more than any other university, including the combined sum of the U.S. Military Academy and the U.S. Naval Academy. To accommodate this demand, the school year was reorganized into three semesters instead of two, reducing the expected graduation time to about two and a half years. By 1943, the number of cadets leaving school to join the military increased and enrollment dropped to less than 4,000 cadets. In 1944, enrollment dropped as low as 1,600. The Corps had to restructure back down to only two regiments consisting of 17 companies in total. “[In] World War II...everything starts ramping up much quicker,” Kalmus said. “But students and faculty were all being called up. It was so tremendous. It was on a scale that we can’t comprehend the numbers that were being called up all the time.” The end of the Second World War brought the college replenished enrollment levels with 1,500 freshmen in 1947. Some veterans of the war, who were former cadets, returned to complete or advance their education further. There were numerous hazing incidents involving the freshmen and some of these older students. These developments, combined with overcrowding issues, compelled the university to move all the freshman cadets to the reconverted Bryan Air Force Base Riverside Campus Annex, which is now the Texas A&M University RELLIS Campus. Since the freshmen were bussed to class each day, they trained themselves in precision rifle drill in order to pass the time. They formed the Freshman Drill Team — which later became the nationally-renowned Fish Drill Team. With a growing population of returning veterans at the college, additional Corps units were instituted, further separating the veterans from younger cadets. The Corps today still retains veteran companies.

Facts to Know • • • • • • • • Pg. 61, Texas Aggies Go To War

Korean War June 25, 1950 – July 27, 1953:

On Nov. 11, 1919 Aggies marched to Bryan in celebration of Armistice Day.

World War I July 28, 1914 – Nov. 11, 1918: Since the beginning, the Corps of Cadets consisted of a single battalion or regiment, comprised of two to eight companies. With enrollment climbing to about 900 cadets during the war, the Corps was subdivided into two regiments for the first time in 1916. In 1917, professors excused students from classes to enter officer training courses and graduation was held at the training camp. While regular soldiers were off to training camps, the university also trained students in military skills like auto mechanics, radio signaling, surveying and horseshoeing. According to the Texas Historical Association, 49 percent of former students in 1918 were serving in the military with 2,000 Aggies commissioned as officers during the war — more than any other college or service academy.

Facts to Know • • • • • •

U.S. joins WWI in 1917. AMC gets the nickname “West Point of the Southwest.” 2,217 Aggies served in the war. 984 served as enlisted personnel in the war. 1,233 served as officers in the war. 62 Aggies died in the course of the war.

U.S. enters WWII in 1941. 20,229 Aggies served. 6,106 served as enlisted personnel. 14,123 served as commissioned officers. 29 Aggies attained the rank of general. Gen. James Earl Rudder, Class of 1932, led the Ranger platoons that stormed the beaches of Normandy on D-Day. 953 Aggies died. 7 Aggies were awarded the Medal of Honor (5 posthumously).

The Korean War served as further evidence of the rise of air power in warfare. With the dissolution of the U.S. Army Air Forces into the U.S. Air Force, Corps units previously associated with the Army Air Corps transformed into Air Force flights and subsequently into squadrons. Later on in 1954, the Corps began to abandon the Army Branch designations of Infantry, Field Artillery, Cavalry, Engineers, Coast Artillery, Quartermaster, Ordnance, Signal Corps, Armor, Chemical Corps, Transportation and Army Security. They adopted the Army, Air Force and Band regiment/wing structure, which was the predecessor to the current Service Branch and Band organization. Kalmus quoted her father-in-law, Robert Lee Smith, industrial engineering major from the Class of 1951, who served as a cartographer in Alaska during the Korean War: “[Soldiers from Westpoint] got the press, but senior officers knew that Aggies were the ones to get the job done.” Many Aggies ended up serving in Korea and elsewhere afterward as America’s Cold War with Soviet Russia continued to ratchet up.

Facts to Know • • • •

1,900 Aggies served. 58 Aggies died. 6 Aggies still missing in action from the conflict. 7 Aggies were awarded the Silver Star — third-highest military award for valor.



The Battalion | 3.6.19

Pg. 327, Texas Aggies Go To War

First Cavalry cover from Feb.14, 1991.

Gulf War Aug. 2, 1990 – Feb. 28, 1991: In the fall of 1990, there was an integration of outfits and female-only outfits went away to allow the Corps to be more reflective of the workplace. The Corps Center opened in 1992 to display the history of the Corps through artifacts and exhibits.

Facts to Know • •

Over 300 Aggies served. Three Aggies died.

Pg. 293, Texas Aggies Go To War

Members of the Aggie Muster flight stand in front of the F-4D Phantom 11 jet fighters before the mission launch.

Vietnam War November 1, 1955 – April 30, 1975: As the Vietnam War raged on, the Corps was again organized into several new Army brigades (previously regiments), Air Force wings and the Aggie Band. The war would take a toll on the nation and A&M especially with Aggies having more second lieutenants as casualties than any other university. The Vietnam era brought several other changes. From 1963 to 1965, A&M began admitting women and African-Americans, and participation in the Corps became voluntary. Women gained admission into the Corps in 1974 but were segregated into a special unit called W-1. “For the most part the campus was insulated from any anti-military feeling during Vietnam just because of the size,” Kalmus said. “The change in non-compulsory corps came from basically the academic outlook and maintaining the school, not as a response to the environment.”

Facts to Know • •

Over 3,985 Aggies served. 161 Aggies died.


Passing It Back The legacy of William “Bill” C. Lonquist Jr. ’48, Texas A&M’s oldest living Yell Leader. Tyson Voelkel


@Tyson Voelkel

owdy Ags, I want you to briefly reflect on the meaning of Texas A&M’s Yell Leaders. Since 1907—more than 100 years—the Yell Leaders have embodied the unique Aggie Spirit for which Texas A&M is so well known. Today’s Yell Leaders represent the 12th Man at athletic events, serve as campus ambassadors and regularly make appearances at events for current and prospective students, former students, campus administrators, visitors and dignitaries. On gamedays, they add to the electric atmosphere in Kyle Field and represent a defining symbol of our university. Today, I want to share the story of Texas A&M’s oldest living Yell Leader, William “Bill” C. Lonquist Jr. ’48. Lonquist grew up in an oilfield camp in Cayuga, Texas, where his friendship with one of his father’s colleagues sparked his interest in petroleum engineering. He became the first Aggie in his family at a time when the freshman class at Texas A&M was 1,500-strong and students hitchhiked home at the end of each semester. His studies were interrupted, however, when duty called him to serve in the U.S. Navy near the end of World War II. Once he returned to Aggieland, Lonquist found a deeper appreciation for the discipline and cohesiveness of the Corps of Cadets. In 1948, he was among the first group of World War II servicemen to be elected Yell Leaders. Sadly, the Aggies struggled on the field that year, losing all but one of their games. To make the best of the situ-

ation, the Yell Leaders started a new tradition in which cadets kissed their dates—or “mugged down”—when the offense made a first down. After graduation, Lonquist enjoyed a successful career in the oil industry. He married his wife, Paula, and raised five sons (of which four graduated from Texas A&M). Today, Lonquist still roots on his beloved Aggies, but this time from the stands. He watches current Yell Leaders direct a student section more than 20 times the size of the one he led in 1948. But the passion of the 12th Man, he’s noticed, remains unmatched. His lifelong loyalty to Texas A&M has led him to generously give four scholarships for students in the Corps, Mays Business School and the College of Engineering. He also donates to the Yell Leaders scholarship fund and supports Aggie athletics through the 12th Man Foundation. What I appreciate most about Mr. Lonquist’s story is that tradition is at the heart of it. Our university has for decades distinguished itself due to longstanding and unique traditions that are woven into our identities and unite us as Aggies. While not everyone can carry on the traditions of Texas A&M in the most public ways possible, I hope that his story makes you appreciate the deep-rooted history of our university. I hope that it makes you consider what you can do to ensure our traditions—Muster, Midnight Yell, Silver Taps, Fish Camp, The Big Event, and all the rest—remain a uniting force at Texas A&M. And I hope that you, too, will be as proud of the mark you make in Aggieland as Mr. Lonquist is now. Tyson Voelkel ’96 President, Texas A&M Foundation

Global War on Terror Sept. 11, 2001 – present: Currently, the Corps is composed of 38 companies and squadrons — typically referred to as outfits — in addition to the Fightin’ Texas Aggie Band. Thirty-six outfits are divided according to military branch among nine major units — three Army brigades, three Navy and Marine Corps regiments and three Air Force wings — with two special Corps outfits: a combat veterans company and one for off-campus cadets. Aggies continue to fight in the global war on terrorism as the conflict continues into its 18th year. Facts to Know • As of Feb. 2019, 30 Aggies have died in service since the Sept. 11 attacks. Editor’s Note: Information for this article was gathered primarily from “Texas Aggies Go to War: In Service of Their Country” by Henry Dethloff and John A. Adams, Jr. and “Keepers of the Spirit: The Corps of Cadets at Texas A&M University, 1876-2001” by John A. Adams, Jr. Additional information came from and Photos in this article are from “Texas Aggies go to War: In Service of their Country” by Henry C. Dethloff. Used with permission from the Texas A&M University Press. All service member, missing and death totals in this article reflect the best available information at time of writing. They are subject to future revision.

CORPS The Battalion | 3.6.19


Marching through history Now the largest military band in the nation, the Aggie Band started with just 13 volunteers By Samantha Mahler @ mahlersamantha One iconic phrase has long been associated with the precision-style marching that can only be found in Aggieland: “Ladies and gentlemen, now forming at the north end of Kyle Field, the nationally famous Fightin’ Texas Aggie Band.” With around 400 band members, the Aggie Band is the largest military band in the nation. As a distinct part of the Corps of Cadets, the band members live in close community with one another, making it a marching band unlike any other. Around 1894, Joseph Holick travelled by train to College Station looking for work. A skilled leatherworker, Holick wound up repairing and making boots for cadets, eventually creating Holick Manufacturing Company, which makes boots for senior members of the Corps. As the story goes, Holick also shared his musical talents with the Cadets. Word of this eventually got to thenA&M president Lawrence Sullivan Ross, who asked Holick if he would be interested in forming a band. Holick found 13 volunteers, borrowed militia uniforms and spent $100 on instruments, thus creating the Aggie Band. The other collegiate marching bands went away from military marching style which ultimately made the Aggie Band unique. Col. Jay Brewer, senior associate director of the Aggie Band, said this style and the fact that the band lives together as a unit, is what makes the Aggie Band exceptional. Brewer serves as the familiar voice of the band during its performances. “I think it’s popularity is pretty evident if you’ve ever been to Kyle Field and you hear the student crowd and others echo my introduction to the band,” Brewer said. “They stand the whole time these young people are on the field. It’s a testament that this is something special; this is something unique. And wherever we go, we get that and then some.” Within the Corps, there are six band-specific units to which members can be assigned. These cadets have similar schedules to non-band Corps members but with the added obligation of band practice five days a week, Aggie Band members have a different level of responsibility. “They’re very good and very dedicated at what they do, and it takes a great deal of time and energy and sweat and some tears along the way,” Brewer said. “There’s a lot more to it to be in the Texas Aggie Band than preparing halftime drills and preparing march music.” The Aggie Band resides in two halls at the Corps Quad. There are three floors to each building, and each of the six units is assigned its own floor.

Civil engineering junior and 2019 Band Commander Nick Rossi said although everyone in the band may look uniform on the field, it really is a melting pot of cadets from a wide variety of backgrounds. Still, one thing is the same for each member: the band spends the majority of its time in close proximity with one another. “It’s really neat because at the end of the day, we’re all going to come back here to these two dorms, and we’re all going to lay down in the same relative vicinity, and we’re all going to get up and go do the same thing the next morning,” Rossi said. “That’s really special — something bringing us into some kind of common ground to do something that’s not just for us.” Ross Beazley, industrial distribution sophomore and current alto saxophone, said the relationships within the Corps are unparalleled but a little more so within the Aggie Band. “Not every major unit outside the band gets the opportunity to intermingle nearly as often as we do,” Beazley said. “I think that’s super, super cool because I get to go see other people from five other outfits that I don’t get to see on a regular basis and make connections and make relationships with them.” Rossi said he is confident the friendships he’s made within the Aggie Band will be relationships he’ll have for life. He credits these connections to living together and being able to see his buddies at their best and worst. “We all see each other at the 5 a.m. wakeup call whenever your hair is a mess, all half an inch of it,” Rossi said. “Whenever you’ve got bags under your eyes and whenever you’ve got that exam the next morning.” In 2001, the Aggie Band received the Sudler Trophy which is awarded to a collegiate-level marching band that demonstrates the highest level of excellence. However, for many members of the band, the honor of playing as George H.W. Bush’s casket was carried off the Union Pacific train before his burial in College Station is the highest award they will ever receive. “The fact that he wanted specifically us to be there — that I think trumps any award that we could possibly be a part of,” Beazley said. “Just being part of something so special and characteristic and important to our country.” Cadets in the Aggie Band earn a one-hour kinesiology credit each semester they are active. Brewer, who has been announcing the band at halftime since 1981, said he believes members should earn at least a six-hour credit because of their dedication to both each other and the band itself. “It’s about who you are and what you’re made of, but more importantly, what you’re passionate about,” Brewer said. “And more importantly than that, this is about not so much what we do, but whom we do it with.”

Photos by Meredith Seaver — THE BATTALION

During the fall semester, the Aggie Band wakes up around 5 a.m. each morning to practice halftime marching drills.



The Battalion | 3.6.19

Beyond the brick arches A look at on-campus life in the Corps of Cadets throughout its history and today By Meagan Sheffield @mshef350 Almost all of the roughly 2000 students in the Corps of Cadets are required to live on campus in the Corps dorms for the entire time they are in the organization. There are 12 dorms located in the Corps Quadrangle, otherwise known as the Quad. In addition to living space, the Quad provides dining services and study spaces. However, the members of the Corps have lived in a variety of other buildings since Texas A&M was first established in 1876. History Main Building, or Old Main, was built in 1875 and contained classrooms, offices, a library, an armory and dormitories until the structure burned down in 1912 and was replaced with the Academic Building. Gathright Hall was the mess hall from 1876 to 1933 and also had rooms for cadets. The first building completely dedicated to housing students was Pfeuffer Hall, built in 1887. Pfeuffer Hall housed 75 cadets and was located in front of where the West Biological Sciences Building would be now. Other dormitories built in the 19th century include Austin Hall (1888-1955), Ross Hall (1892-1955) and Foster Hall (1899-1951). From 1906 to 1918, there were several hundred canvas tents that housed cadets close to where the Interdisciplinary Life Sciences Building stands today, as the construction of dorms could not keep up with the rapid campus growth rate. The tents were replaced with frame buildings called ‘Hollywood shacks’ until 1931. Goodwin Hall (1908-1989), Mitchell Hall (1912-1972), Puryear Hall (1928-1997) and Law Hall (1928-1997) were built to help fix the housing problem. Walton Hall and Hart Hall were built in 1931 before the 12 dorms and dining hall that currently make up the Corps Quad were built in 1939. Crocker Hall, Davis-Gary Hall and Moses Hall were built in the same style as the Corps Quad dorms in 1942. Since 1939, the Quad has been renovated several times — throughout the late 1960s, early 1980s and early 1990s. The biggest renovation to the Quad occurred from 2015 to 2017 and added four study spaces called Leadership Learning Centers (LLCs), a Starbucks and improved landscaping and lighting. The interiors of all 12 dorms were completely renovated. According to Housing Assignments Office Associate Director Jeff Wilson, the cost to renovate each dorm was around $9 million. Regulations The dorms can house a total of 2,600 cadets. The cadets are housed two per room and there are two community restrooms per floor. The Corps dorms are named after people who have

made contributions to the university, but they are typically referred to by their assigned numbers, one through 12. Assistant Commandant of Operations and Training Col. Glenn Starnes is in charge of working with Resident Life in cadet room assignments, summer housing and future housing plans. Usually, each brigade, regiment and wing receives their own dorm, and each unit or outfit has their own floor. However, because not all units are integrated and the size of the Corps fluctuates every year, there are sometimes vacant rooms that can be used by non-Corps members. However, the entire floor has to be empty for non-Corps students to live there. According to Starnes, this year is the first time in a while that there were enough vacancies on the Quad for non-Corps members to move in. This year, there are two floors of one dorm reserved for non-Corps students. Each floor gets a resident advisor as if they lived in the other resident halls. All students participating in the Corps are required to live on campus unless they qualify for day student status. Starnes said cadets can qualify for day student status if they are married, have previous experience in the military, live with their family in the Bryan-College Station area or are varsity athletes. Combat Veterans are placed in Delta Company, or D Company, because they will most likely not need to stay for a full four years. These cadets have the option to live on or off campus. Non-traditional students like married cadets, veterans, cadets who want to save money by living with their parents in Bryan-College Station and varsity athletes are placed in V-1. Outside of living off campus, these cadets still participate in other mandatory Corps activities. Cadets are required to attend five morning formations and three evening formations per week. Following these formations, they eat at Duncan Dining Hall. Starnes said cadets have meal plans to pay for these eight “march-in meals” per week. The Corps dorms have their own separate handbook with the Department of Residence Life. A lot of the handbook matches the regulations given to other on-campus residents. However, instead of resident advisors, the Corps has Housing Officers that enforce dorm policies. Even if cadets are 21 or older, they are still not allowed to have alcohol in the dorms. Additionally, no more than four cadets are permitted in one room at a time. Routine room or “hole” inspections are performed for all Corps dorms. Inspectors look at the cleanliness of floors, mirrors and storage ar-

Graphic by Nic Tan — THE BATTALION

The Quad, short for Quadrangle, includes 12 dorms and Duncan Dining Center — a dining location for both Corps and non-reg students.

eas. Each shirt, jacket, pair of trousers and piece of headgear must be organized in a particular order and in a certain way in the closet, and beds must be made in a certain way every morning. Additionally, the furniture cannot be rearranged. Room decorations are restricted based on a cadet’s classification. According to Starnes, freshmen are not allowed to put up posters, curtains, use rugs, fitted sheets, or mattress pads. They are also limited to three items or less on their desks. As their classification increases, cadets can decorate their hole more. Sophomores are allowed one poster or flag, a small bath mat, a small rug, a coffee maker and no more than five items on their desk. Juniors and seniors are allowed curtains, more wall decorations, one microwave and refrigerator, a video game system and a television smaller than 40 inches. “It’s just an austere life for them,” Starnes said. “You have to be willing to live that Corps lifestyle.” Features As part of the 2017 renovations, four LLCs were added to the Quad. The first floors contain offices for Corps Staff, while the other three floors have meeting rooms,

group and individual study rooms and computer labs. The academic resources available in the LLCs are available to all students, not just cadets. Starnes participated in the Corps from 1977 to 1981 before serving in the United States Marine Corps. Starnes was in C-2, moved dorms every year and said that living with the Corps has changed since his time at A&M. “The dorms are much nicer, a little bigger and the furniture is better,” Starnes said. “Everything’s much more climate-controlled. The dining hall has more opportunities for you to eat different things. When I was here, we ate family-style.” Starnes said living with the Corps dorms is like living in a Living Learning Community because they have upperclassmen that act as mentors. According to Starnes, living on campus also makes university traditions more accessible. “We have 44 individual living learning communities here on the Quad, each of them helping sophomores and freshmen with their academics,” Starnes said. “You’re part of the traditions that you’re also building.”


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The Battalion | 3.6.19

Making their mark:

Corps and military monuments on campus As the oldest organization on campus, the Corps of Cadets is interwoven into the traditions and history of Texas A&M. This history can be seen through the many statues and pillars around campus that are dedicated to the Corps and the military. Here are some of the Corps-related landmarks that can be seen around the A&M campus.

The Core Values of Texas A&M Monument Location: West side of Kyle Field Installed: 2015 History: The 24-foot monument represents the core values of A&M — respect, leadership, integrity, loyalty, excellence and selfless service. All six core values and pieces from the Aggie Ring are depicted on the monument, along with a sabre-weilding Ross Volunteer placed on the third tier. The back of the monument starts with rough limestone and then smooths out as it goes to the floor. This is meant to represent the journey that an A&M student will go through during their time at the university.

Spanish-American War Memorial Corps Arches • • •

Location: Entry to Corps Quadrangle Installed: 1975 History: The Corps Arches serve as the entry to the quad — the center of Corps housing — and are held up by 12 pillars, meant to represent the 12th Man spirit of A&M. The arches were built to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the university. They feature the Corps’ emblem with “Texas A&M Corps of Cadets” spelled across the top.

Pinky Wilson

Location: In front of the Corps Arches Installed: 1953 History: Given to A&M by the American Memorial Association, the Spanish-American War Memorial is dedicated to the student officers, faculty and alumni who fought in the Spanish-American War and related conflicts.

Reveille Cemetery

Fightin’ Texas Aggie Band Pillar and Corps of Cadets Pillar Location: East side of Kyle Field Installed: 2014 History: These two monuments stand on the east side of Kyle Field and represent the storied history that both the Aggie Band and Corps of Cadets have with A&M football. Each one is topped with their respective symbols. They were two of five monuments to be unveiled during the first phase of the stadium’s reconstruction.

• • •

• • •

World War I Memorial • • •

Location: West side of Sam Houston Sanders Corps of Cadets Center Installed: 2008 History: At midnight yells, sporting events and graduation, the Aggie War Hymn can be heard from all generations of Aggies. James Vernon “Pinky” Wilson, Class of 1920, was the author of this A&M anthem, first writing the lyrics while fighting in World War I. The brass statue outside of the Corps of Cadets Center shows Wilson in his army uniform.

Location: In front of Corps Arches Installed: 1924 History: To honor the 60 Aggies who died in World War I, the World War I Memorial, also known as the West Gate Memorial, displays names of the fallen soldiers and an American Flag carved in the granite. The plaque on the monument reads, “In recognition of the splendid participation by the A&M College of Texas in the World War and of the heroic sacrifices made by her sons. This memorial is given by the class of 1923-24-25-26.”

Location: Richardson Zone Plaza Installed: 2000 History: Reveille I-IV were buried with her head and paws towards the scoreboard at the north entrance of Kyle Field. This tradition began in 1944 when Reveille I died, but changed in 1977 when Kyle Field expanded and the former first ladies were moved to Cain Park. After another Reveille was added to the cemetery, I-V were moved to the Richardson Zone Plaza in 2000. Since then, Reveille VI-VIII have been buried there as well. Despite the change, the tradition of having Reveille facing the scoreboard to watch the outcome of the games continued after a scoreboard was installed at the cemetery.

Danger 79er Location: Center of Corps Quadrangle Installed: 1999 History: Lieutenant General James F. Hollingsworth — known by his radio call sign Danger 79er — served 36 years in the military spanning from World War II to the Korean and Vietnam Wars. Hollingsworth was Class of 1940, and according to his obituary, is the most decorated officer from the university. He has received three Distinguished Service Crosses, four Distinguished Service Medals, four Silver Stars, three Legions of Merit, three Distinguished Flying Crosses, one Soldier’s Medal and six Purple Hearts for his service.

Corps Plaza Memorial • • •

Location: Entry of Corps Arches Installed: 1969, moved to the Quad in 1976 History: Paying tribute to the Aggies who were killed in action from 1945 to 2001, the Corps Plaza Memorial is a plaque located at the Corps Arches. The plaque also includes the verse John 15:13, which reads, “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”

Military Walk • • •

Location: Walkway between Sbisa Dining Hall and James Earl Rudder Statue Installed: First paved in the early 1900s History: Military Walk was originally a path traveled by cadets as they marched across campus in formation. In the early 1900s, Military Walk was a paved road before becoming a pedestrian pathway in the 1970s. In 2010, the walkway was refurbished, and several informative markers were added to document the university’s history.

Compiled by Abigail Ochoa, photos by Cassie Stricker



The Battalion | 3.6.19





Photos by Cassie Stricker — THE BATTALION

The Class A uniform, worn by freshman Mark Hill and referred to as A’s, is worn for special occasions such as Muster and Silver Taps. Class B’s, known as Bravos, are the everyday uniform of the cadet. Class C’s, worn by senior Matthew Hill and known as ACU’s, are worn for certain classes such as chemical labs or when it is raining. They are not permitted to be worn in the MSC. The Midnight uniform is worn often for occasions such as job interviews. It is a junior and senior privilege to wear Midnights.

The ABCs of cadet uniforms

While in the Corps, members follow strict clothing and grooming guidelines By Hannah Falcon and Kathryn Whitlock

@hannahfalcon_ and @Kathryn-whitloc8 The Texas A&M Corps of Cadets is the oldest student organization on campus, and as a military-style organization, numerous uniforms are issued to each cadet. Various versions of the daily, field and dress uniforms are tailored to suit summer and winter, and the uniforms consist of headgear, shirts, pants, jackets, footwear and belts. History Since its inception, the Corps of Cadets’ uniforms have changed with the style of the U.S. Army’s uniforms. The idea was that cadets would save money when they graduated by already owning the uniform they would need when enlisting. Around World War I, the “doughboy” uniforms — forest green pants and jackets with large round buttons down the chest — were worn both within the armed forces and at A&M. At the time of World War II, “pinks” and “greens” were the style in the armed forces. The Corps started wearing pinks and greens at this time and has continued ever since. “Pinks” refers to the khaki color of their pants, and “greens” refers to their olive colored jackets which are adorned with pins and ribbons. This uniform is coming back into style in the army as well. Senior Boots At the time of the World War I doughboy uniforms, cadets were required to wrap up the calves of their trousers everyday. This task was tedious and cumbersome, but some cadets noticed that officers in the armed forces would wear calf-high boots instead of wrapping them. Thus, senior boots were created as a privilege for senior cadets, who then got to skip the daily calf wrapping. While early senior boots were lace-up, today’s cadets wear a taller, laceless style. Senior boots are custom made to fit a cadet’s feet by Holick’s, a shop founded by original Fightin’ Texas Aggie Band leader Joseph Holick. Cadets order their boots during freshman year and wait four years to receive this rite of passage. Brass According to a Battalion article from 2015, earning the Corps Brass is highly significant for a freshman as it represents the Corps of Cadets’ goal of producing exceptional military officers and statesmen. The insignia is worn on a cadet’s left collar. According to uniform regulations, the Cadet’s brass and ranking should remain shined and free of polish buildup. Only Drum Majors have chromed brass. Dull or damaged brass is not allowed. All Corps brass is worn with the knight’s

head facing in on the Class A Blouse or forward on the uniform shirts. Worn brass will be replaced. Engraved brass is authorized for seniors, and the engraving must relate to the individual’s outfit and be free from offensive material. The engraved brass must be approved by the Major Unit Cadet Training Officer through the Major Unit Inspector General. Ribbons Cadets wear ribbons on their chests to signify their outfits and achievements. The ribbons are distinguished by color and the pattern of the stripes. Ribbons can also set apart members of special groups, such as the Parsons Mounted Cavalry’s plain orange, the Ross Volunteers’ yellow with one thick white stripe in the middle and the yell leaders’ white with three skinny maroon stripes. One notable group that can be distinguished by ribbons and belts is the Fish Drill Team. They are set aside by their ribbons’ maroon and white slanted stripes, their white belts and chrome brass in performance uniforms. While chrome brass is typically only worn by Drum Majors, the Fish Drill Team dons them for performances. Cadets’ ribbons also show off awards such as honor roll, distinguished humanitarian, life saving and best in major unit. Ribbons and medals are not worn together. Male Uniforms As an optional senior uniform for formal occasions that is the equivalent to a tuxedo, the male’s Class AA Uniform consists of a green dress blouse, pink trousers or boot pants, white dress shirt, a black bow tie, a service cap, senior belt/buckle and black low quarter shoes with black socks or senior boots. Only medals are worn with this uniform. Worn at formal Corps events and special occasions, the Class A Uniform consists of the green dress blouse, the poplin shirt, a black necktie, a service cap, class belt/buckle and black low quarter shoes with black socks or senior boots. Again, only medals are worn with this uniform. Currently prescribed as the Uniform of the Day, the Class B Winter uniform is worn at the direction of the Corps Commander. It consists of pink trousers or pink boot pants, a short sleeve gabardine shirt, a pink garrison cap, class belt/buckle, black low quarter shoes with black socks or senior boots, and all authorized ribbons. The Class B Summer Uniform consists of the gabardine trousers or boot pants, a short sleeve gabardine shirt, gabardine garrison cap, appropriate belt buckle, black low quarter shoes with black socks or senior boots and all authorized ribbons. Authorized to be worn by juniors and seniors at special occasions and civilian casual events, the Midnight uniform consists of pink trousers or boot pants, a long sleeve midnight

shirt, a khaki tie, a service or pink garrison cap, class belt/buckle, black low quarter shoes with black socks or senior boots and authorized ribbons. Medals, at the direction of the Corps commander, or ribbons can be worn with this uniform. Female Uniforms The most notable difference between male and female uniforms is that female cadets have the option of wearing a skirt with panty hose and pumps. Every variation of a cadet uniform has a skirt option for females. However, seniors must wear trousers with their boots. All Cadet Uniforms The Class C Uniform is worn for inclement weather, field training and to “wet” labs – where various chemicals and hazards may be encountered. It consists of the Army Combat Uniform (ACU) blouse, trousers, cap, utility belt and service-authorized boots with green or black socks. The Physical Training (PT) Uniform is worn while doing physical training exercises. It consists of the approved outfit PT shorts and top or issued Corps PT shirt and shorts, short white socks, short black socks, or long calf high white socks and appropriate athletic shoes. If sweat pants are worn, then the sweat top or unit must also be worn. Female cadets can wear their hair in a ponytail as part of the uniform but cannot wear earrings. Worn to Midnight Yell by the junior class and for other occasions or training, the Cs & Ts uniform consists of ACU trousers, approved outfit physical training t-shirt or Corps PT uniform t-shirt, ACU cap, class belt with buckle or utility belt and service-authorized boots with green or black socks. Civilian attire can be worn off campus at any time and on campus as prescribed. No cadet can be prohibited from wearing civilian attire of their choosing when authorized. Freshman may be required to tuck in their shirts while on the Quad or dorm. No class of cadet is required to wear civilian attire not of their choosing. According to regulations, if a cadet has to ask if an outfit is appropriate, then the cadet should assume it is not. Appropriate civilian attire is authorized for class on campus and other activities when a cadet has a documented medical chit that doesn’t allow the uniform to be worn. Male Grooming Men’s hair will be neat and closely trimmed with no eccentric wearing of body hair. The edges will be clipped at the side and back but has to be evenly graduated around the head from no length at the hairline on the lower portion of the head to the upper portion of the head. The hairline will be tapered from “0” regardless of class. As Cadets gain seniority, they are allowed to grow their hair progressively longer. First semester freshman have significantly shorter hair with a maximum length of 0.25 inches

in comparison to seniors who are allowed a maximum length of two inches. Shaved heads and other extreme hairstyles are prohibited unless approved by the Major Unit IG. The hair can not interfere with the proper wear of uniform and must conform to the natural shape of the head. Mohawks, unnatural balding, unnatural single patches of hair, asymmetrical styles, etchings, braids, locks and twists are not allowed. Dyes, bleaches, frostings and tints are allowed if they are natural colorings and they must compliment the cadets skin tone. Sideburns can not extend below the top orifice of the ear, cannot taper, flare or come to a point, and cannot exceed ⅛” when fully extended. The cadet must be clean-shaven at all times except for eyebrows and eyelashes unless a skin condition requires otherwise. Fingernails are to be clean and trimmed and cannot extend past the fingertips. Earrings are not allowed on campus while in uniform or attending a Corps-related function. One ring is allowed per hand but not during band or physical training activities. Necklaces are allowed but can not be visible. Wristwatches and fitness bands are allowed if they are consistent with military appearance. Female Grooming Women’s hair must be clean and neat and in the female military style while in uniform. The hair cannot fall below the bottom edge of the back of the collar or hang down below the front covering the neck. There must be at least one inch from the scalp on the top of the head and 0.25 inches from the base of the hairline. If the hair is pinned up, it must be styled to prevent loose ends and cannot contain excessive amounts of grooming aid. Hair nets are allowed but must be similar to the hair color. Bangs are allowed but must be neat and not touch the eyebrow. Conspicuous hair ornaments are not allowed. Women can wear cosmetics and jewelry in Class Bravos or higher, but the cosmetics must be applied conservatively and in good taste. Only black or brown mascara is allowed, and lip liner or lip frosts are prohibited. Fingernails can not extend more than ¼” past the fingertip, and the polish must compliment the cadets skin tone and be conservative. Natural-looking manicures are authorized. One set of gold, silver, pearl, or diamond earrings are allowed with Class AA, A, or B and only one per ear. The earring cannot exceed ¼” in diameter and cannot extend below the earlobe. Earrings are not authorized in Class C uniform, physical training gear, or Cs & Ts uniform. One ring or ring set is permitted per hand but cannot be worn during band or physical training activities. Wristwatches and fitness bands are allowed if they are consistent with military appearance.

When I first came to A&M, I actually wasn’t a member of the Corps of Cadets. I joined plenty of student organizations to get plugged in but wasn’t feeling fulfilled. I joined the Corps in the spring semester of my freshman year and I realize more and more each day why this organization means so much. We are an organization of individuals devoted to d e v e l o p i n g c h a r a c t e r, i n s t i l l i n g d i s c i p l i n e , facing challenges, and fostering love and that is what a foundation can be built on.

- Hannah Reckmeyer ‘19




the battalion

Megan Rodriguez, Editor-in-Chief



The Battalion | 3.6.19

Classified Advertising

THE BATTALION is published Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays during the 2018 spring semester and Tuesday and Thursday during the summer session (except University holidays and exam periods) at Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843. Offices are in Suite L400 of the Memorial Student Center. Newsroom phone: 979-845-3315; E-mail: editor@; website: http://www.thebatt. com. For campus, local, and national display advertising call 979-845-2687. For classified advertising, call 979-845-0569. Office hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Email:

• Easy • Affordable • Effective For information, call 845-0569

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Corps vocabulary: 27 terms to know Corps terminology can often be confusing for non-cadets. In order to clarify some of the inside slang, The Battalion has compiled some of the most-used Corps terms:

  SH   ERVICES     (Liturgy  of  the  Word  and   distribution  of  Ashes)     §      (Bldg  F,  Rm120)   §         §       §       §       §         SH   EDNESDAY   ASSES   (a  full  Mass,  including  A   shes  and  Communion)   §       §     (in  Spanish,  Act  Ctr)   §        


The Cadence, originally authored by Tom Gillis, Class of 1942, is one of the first items given to a fish at the beginning of their time in the Corps of Cadets. It contains information on cadet life, traditions and commonly-used terms.

• • •

A SH W EDNESDAY              

Meredith Seaver — THE BATTALION


• • •

7:00 am  at  St.  Mary's 9:00  am  at  Blinn  College 10:20  am  at  Rudder  Theater 12:00  pm  at  St.  Mary's 12:40  pm  at  Rudder  Theater 5:45  pm  at  Rudder  Theater





5:30 pm  at  St.  Mary's 7:30  pm  at  St.  Mary's 7:30  pm  at  St.  Mary's    


• • • • •

Bag-in - Privilege to sleep through morning formation. BQ - Member of the Aggie Band. Brass - Metal buttons, buckles and insignia worn on the uniform. Bulls - Military officers on the Commandant’s staff or assigned to ROTC duty. Chow - All meals. Cable - Thread sticking out of uniform. Campusology - A question about traditions, history, facts, etc. Also referred to as “Campos.” CO - Commanding Officer (is also a real military term). D&C - Drill and Ceremonies Cadets; also known as a cadet not pursuing a career in the military after college. CT - Member of the Corps of Cadets (who is not in the Aggie Band). Elephant - A senior (permitted for use only by other seniors); Freshman, sophomores and juniors are not allowed to say the word “elephant.” Good Bull - A phrase used to describe anything that embraces or promotes the Aggie Spirit or the traditions of Texas A&M; It is also used to signify approval of virtually anything. Groad - Oxidation build up on cadet brass; Also used as an adjective to characterize unacceptable appearance, activity or materials.

• • • • • • • • • • • •

• •

Hole - Cadet dormitory room. Non-Reg - A term used to describe a non-Corps student. Rack - Bunk or bed. Ol’ Lady - A cadet’s roommate. Pisshead - A sophomore cadet (permitted for use only by upperclassmen). Privilege - A prerogative merited by virtue of rank or class, used with discretion. PT - Physical Training; Cadets usually attend PT in the morning. Rams - Demerits. Re-bag - To go back to bed after formation. Rest! - Be Quiet! RV - Ross Volunteer. Sergebutt - A junior cadet, referring to the Ol’ Army NCO cadet privilege of wearing uniforms made from serge material (permitted for use only by other juniors and seniors); It is often shortened to “butt.” Trigon - The Military Science Building. Whip out - Standardized Corps procedure to introduce oneself.

Information is compiled from the Corps of Cadets’ Cadence.

pm at

5:45 pm at Rudder Theater 7:30 pm at St. Mary’s pm at


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The Battalion - March 6, 2019  

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