On the cover: Cadet Neal Spencer ’11 leads Company S-2 on their Bloody Cross run. Bloody Cross standings are listed on page 17. This page: The Corps of Cadets’ Color Guards march in succession to Simpson Drill Field for the SCONA Review.
Texas Aggie Corps of Cadets Association
Departments 4 27 28 30
Aggie News Aggies in Service Short Burst New Members
features 10 Corps Athletic Teams Update
Updates on several Corps Sports Teams - Marathon, Bataan, Triathlon, Baseball, and Basketball Teams.
13 The Bell Family
The unique story of the Bell Family. Although, Sam ’82 was not in the Corps, both of his sons were proud members of the Corps. Read all three of their different experiences at Texas A&M.
18 “Got a little story for ya, Ags”
A history of the selection of the Yell Leaders. Plus, an explaination of how the Corps selects its candidates and runs the on-campus campaign today.
24 Our Strength is Our Family
Ex-cadets of Company C-2 have joined together to create new initiatives to help the current cadets in different ways. One of the ways is through a program that instills leadership, corporate development, professionalism and team work. the Guidon
Managing Editor Bill Gutierrez ’91 Executive Editor Don Crawford ’64 Design & Layout Valerie Blakey ’07 Assistant Editor Julie Pontikes ’95 Contributing Writers Bruce Bockhorn ’74, PhD Alisha Lombardi ’05 Contributing Photographer Brenda Kapavik ’80
the Guidon is printed quarterly by Insite Publishing, Bryan, TX.
For questions and address changes, please contact our office at 877.892.4222 or mail requests to1134 Finfeather Rd, Bryan, TX 77803. Additional copies are $2.95 each, available online at www.corpsofcadets.org in the online store.
Additional photographs for many of these events and others may be found on the Texas Aggie Corps of Cadets Association photo store at www.backprint.com/cca.
Aggie News Michel T. Halbouty ’30 Michel Halbouty received a Bachelor of Science in Geology and a Master’s Degree in Geology and Petroleum Engineering from Texas A&M. He was also the first recipient of a Professional Geological Engineering Degree in 1956 from Texas A&M and a Doctor of Engineering (Honoris Causa) in 1966 from the Montana College of Mineral Science and Technology.
Recognized in the oil industry as one of the outstanding geologists and petroleum engineers in the United States, he was internationally renowned for his scientific ability in petroleum exploration. Mr. Halbouty was an outstanding authority on the geological and engineering problems of North America and one of the world’s top experts on the geology of Salt Domes. He began his career as a geologist and petroleum engineer with an independent oil company and later as a consultant before organizing his own company, Halbouty Alaska Oil Company.
Mr. Halbouty was appointed to the Texas A&M University System Board of Regents in 1983 He was awarded The Association of Former Students Distinguished Alumnus Award in 1968 and received the Distinguished Alumnus Award in Engineering in 1988. The Department of Geology and Geophysics is housed in the 76,000 square-foot Michel T. Halbouty ‘30 Geosciences Building complex named in his honor. An ardent supporter of Texas A&M, Halbouty endowed two chairs in the College of Geosciences and many endowed scholarships which provided funding for more than 120 graduate students in the fields of petroleum geology and petroleum engineering. the Guidon
Hall of Honor Inductees Charles A. Mattei, Jr ’49
Charles Mattei received a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Texas A&M. He began his career with Gulf Oil in 1949, becoming District Manager in 1958, retiring as Vice President for the Southeast Region in 1985. Mr. Mattei then became Vice President and Chairman/ CEO of Citcon Oil Company and Chairman/CEO of Cato Oil Company, both wholly owned subsidiaries of Citgo until his second retirement in 1996.
He has served as President of the Beaumont A&M Club, the Tulsa A&M Club, the 12th Man Foundation and the Sul Ross Group. Mr. Mattei also served on the Vision 2020 Task Force, and the Corps Development Council, the President’s Council of Advisors and the Texas A&M President’s Board of Visitors.
Mr. Mattei supports the Corps as a two-time Sul Ross Scholarship Donor, one jointly with his brother Joe ’53, Class of ’49. He and his wife, Bettie, permanently funded the installation of concrete plaques showing the intramural championship awards won by Corps outfits since the 1930s, located in front of Duncan Dining Center. Charles Mattei, Jr. is an active member of the Texas Aggie Corps of Cadets Association. Colonel Thomas R. Parsons ’49
Colonel Tom Parsons received a Bachelor of Science in Education from Texas A&M. He was also a graduate of the U.S. Army Command General Staff College in 1962 and the U.S. Army War College in 1968. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy during World War II and
Texas Aggie Corps of Cadets Association
saw combat duty in both Korea and Vietnam and also served 24 months on the Pacific Command Staff from 1968-70. COL Parsons was selected twice below the zone for promotion and commanded the 46th Field Artillery Group and 4th Infantry Division.
In 1971, COL Parsons assumed duties as Commandant of the Corps of Cadets and Professor of Military Science and served in that capacity until his retirement from the U.S. Army in 1977. He assisted the University in bringing Naval ROTC to the campus in 1972 and oversaw an extensive plan working with cadets, administration and former students to address the admission of women into the Corps. In 1974, he saw the integration of females into the Corps and served a key role in their involvement and success during his last three years as Commandant. He became the Director of Campus Security at Texas A&M in 1977. In 1972, three motivated cadets approached COL Parsons and asked for his help in reviving the fading memory of the horse cavalry. Originally founded in 1919 as part of the program to commission reserve officers into the Cavalry branch of the Army, the unit thrived until 1943 when the horse branches were disbanded and considered obsolete. Parsons gave his blessing to the enterprise and the unit has since been known as the Parsons Mounted Cavalry. Colonel James R. Woodall â€™50
Colonel Jim Woodall received a Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Administration from Texas A&M. He also received a Masters of Business Administration from Shippensburg University in 1972 and was a graduate of the Command and General Staff College in 1966 and the Army War College in 1972. COL Woodall began his military service in 1947 and was discharged in 1949 to accept an ROTC contract.
Commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in 1950, he was assigned to the 41st Armored Infantry Battalion, 2nd Armored Division at Fort Hood, Texas. Through the next few years of his military career, he served as Platoon Leader in Germany, Company Commander in the 512th Armored Infantry Battalion, 4th Armored Division at Fort Hood and resigned from the Regular Army in 1955 and went into the lumber business in Belton, Texas. In 1960, he was reinstated as a regular officer and assigned to the 2nd Infantry Division at Fort Benning, Georgia. In 1962, COL Woodall was assigned to the 1st Battle Group, 8th Cavalry, 1st Cavalry Division stationed on the DMZ in Korea until August 1963 when he returned to Fort Hood. In 1966, he reported to the U.S. Army Strategy and Tactics Analysis Group in Bethesda, Maryland where he was a military analyst. He was then assigned to Vietnam, first as an Executive Officer, and then as Battalion Commander until his return to Fort Hood in 1969 and also in Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania in 1972. He was the Deputy Commander of the U.S. Army Postal Group before being assigned as the Commandant of the Corps of Cadets and Professor of Military Science at Texas A&M. COL Woodall retired from active duty in 1982. He served 28 years in the Regular Army and two and four years in the Naval and Army Reserves, respectfully. He has served overseas in Germany, Korea and Vietnam. Colonel Woodallâ€™s military awards include the Silver Star, two Legions of Merit, three Bronze Stars, three Meritorious Service Medals, eight Air Medals, three Commendation Medals and two Vietnamese Gallantry Crosses.
He has served as a Class Agent and President of the Brazos County A&M Club. He is responsible for securing four of the seven Medals of Honor awarded to Aggies in World War II for display in the Sanders Corps Center. His book Texas Aggie Medals of Honor details the search for the medals and the story behind each. Colonel Woodall is an active member of the Texas Aggie Corps of Cadets Association.
Joseph B. Mattei ’53
Associates in Houston, and then fulfilled his military Joseph Mattei received commitment as a Project a Bachelor of Science in Officer in healthcare facility Mechanical Engineering design for the U.S. Army from Texas A&M. He began Surgeon General at the his career with Humble Oil Pentagon in Washington, & Refining Company, now D.C. Mr. Skaggs returned to Exxon, and then spent two CRS in 1970 and then joined years on active duty as a HKS, Inc., an architecture, commissioned officer in engineering and interior the Field Artillery. During design firm based in Dallas Mattei’s career with Exxon in 1972 becoming the Chairman/CEO in 1988 and he worked in production, eventually Chairman in 2002. coal, minerals and management with assignments He is a registered architect in 15 states and is in New York, Libya, Australia and Texas. He retired certified by the National Council of Architectural from Exxon in 1992 and then served as President Registration Boards. He is also a trustee of the of EEM Enterprises, a financial and estate planning Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children and served company, followed by a position as Vice President on the advisory board of the Construction Industry of Carter Financial Management. Mr. Mattei received Presidents Forum. his Certified Financial Planner (CFP) designation in 1989 and was certified as a Chartered Mutual Fund He was awarded The Association of Former Students Counselor in 1997. Distinguished Alumnus Award and also named an Outstanding Alumnus of the College of Architecture, He served on the Board of Directors for both The where he is an adjunct professor and serves on Association of Former Students and the 12th Man the advisory board of the Texas A&M Foundation Foundation and was a member of the Development as well as on the board of directors for the Texas Council for the Texas A&M College of Education A&M Association of Former Students. He is a past and Human Development. He also served as past Chairman of the Development Council of the College President of the Houston A&M Club and was a of Architecture, served on the Vision 2020 Task Force member of the Texas A&M President’s Board of and is a Past Chairman of the Texas A&M President’s Visitors. Board of Visitors. Ron Skaggs is an active member of the Texas Aggie Corps of Cadets Association. During his time at A&M, Mr. Mattei was Deputy Corps Commander and President of his senior class. He Dr. Eddie J Davis ’67 supported the Corps as a Rudder Scholarship Donor and a Sul Ross Scholarship Donor jointly with his Ed Davis received a brother Charles ’49.. Mr. Mattei and his wife, Eddie, Bachelor of Science in were early participants in the Endowed Diamond Agricultural Journalism, Century Club. He headed a drive for the Class of a Masters Degree in ’53 to fund a pillar at The Association of Former Educational Administration Students and a room in the Clayton W. Williams, Jr. and a Ph.D. in Higher Alumni Center is named for the Mattei family. Education Administration from Texas A&M. He has Ronald L. Skaggs ’65 served as president of the Texas A&M Foundation Ron Skaggs received a Bachelor of Architecture and since 1993 and served as a Masters of Architecture from Texas A&M. He also Interim President of Texas received a diploma in Health Care Administration A&M University from December, 2006 through from Fort Sam Houston. Commissioned as a January, 2008. First Lieutenant, he first worked for CRS Design the Guidon
Texas Aggie Corps of Cadets Association
Before joining the Foundation, Davis served in positions including Executive Deputy Chancellor for the Texas A&M University System, Vice President for Fiscal Affairs of Texas A&M University and Vice President for Fiscal Affairs and Treasurer at North Texas State University. He is a tenured professor of educational administration at Texas A&M and has also served on the faculty at North Texas. He retired as a colonel in the Army Reserve, having served four years on active duty including a tour with the 173rd Airborne Brigade in Vietnam and returned to work at Texas A&M in 1972. As a cadet, Davis served as Commander of the Corps. He has held offices in local A&M Clubs, The Association of Former Students, the 12th Man Foundation, the Corps Development Council, and the Aggie Band Association. Mr. Davis is a member of the Endowed Diamond Century Club, the 12th Man Foundation Advisory Board and the A&M Legacy Society. James R. Thompson ’68
Jim Thompson received a Bachelor Degree in Architectural Construction from Texas A&M. Following graduation, he joined the United States Air Force and served as an instructor pilot until 1973. After 10 years in the construction field, he founded James R. Thompson, Inc. (JRT), an architecture firm with offices in Dallas, Fort Worth and Houston. JRT is an awardwinning company, focused on the construction of low-rise buildings, interior finishing and renovation.
He served on the Kaufman ISD School Board for 15 years and helped found the Kaufman ISD Scholarship Foundation and is a former trustee of the Texas Association of School Boards as well as the Kaufman County Appraisal District. As a cadet, Mr. Thompson was a member of the Ross Volunteer Company. He is a member of Texas A&M’s Construction Industry Advisory Council, the A&M Legacy Society, the President’s Board of Visitors, and the 12th Man Foundation’s Advisory Board. In
2000, he received the Outstanding Alumnus Award from the College of Architecture. Mr. Thompson has funded a President’s Endowed Scholarship, two Sul Ross Endowed Scholarships for the Corps and a Construction Science Endowed Scholarship. Mr. Thompson is an active member of the Texas Aggie Corps of Cadets Association. Dr. John A. Adams ’73
John Adams received a Bachelor Degree, Master’s Degree and Ph.D. in History from Texas A&M. He also completed the Southwestern Graduate School of Banking at Southern Methodist University with honors and holds Certified Economic Developer (CED) credentials. Mr. Adams was a Captain in the United States Air Force and currently serves as President and CEO of Enterprise Florida Inc., which is the only public-private statewide economic development organization in the nation. He has provided leadership and expertise in economic development and international trade for several commercial banking and financial institutions. Mr. Adams served as a delegate to the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade negotiations in Geneva, an advisor to the World Trade organization, Chairman of the Industry Sector Advisory council for trade policy review at the U.S. Department of Commerce and has provided Congressional testimony on U.S.-Mexico border infrastructure issues. He is an adjunct professor of International Banking and Finance at Texas A&M International University in Laredo, Texas. John Adams is the author of several books on Texas A&M and the Corps of Cadets, Softly Call the Muster, Keepers of the Spirit and Texas Aggies Go To War as well as many other books on international trade, economic development and history. His senior year he was the Commander of Squadron One and a member of the Ross Volunteer Company. Mr. Adams is an active member of the Texas Aggie Corps of Cadets Association.
All information is courtesy of the Commandant’s Office.
Special Units Celebrate Mardi Gras The Ross Volunteer Company and Fish Drill Team traveled to New Orleans, Louisiana for the Mardi Gras weekend. The Fish Drill Team started their time in New Orleans at the Drill Competition hosted by Tulane University. The team placed first overall in the competition. The Fightinâ€™ Texas Aggie Band traveled to Galveston, Texas to march in the Knights of Momus Grand Night Parade on March 5, 2011. On Fat Tuesday, March 8, 2011 the Ross Volunteers led the King Rex Parade through the streets of New Orleans for the 59th time.
Texas Aggie Corps of Cadets Association
CORPS ATHLETIC TEAMS marathon team houston full marathon finishers
Clay Thompson ’11, K-2 – 3:50:33 Marshall Newsom ’11, P-2 – 3:57:23 Luke Donaldson ’12, B Company – 4:08:42 William Weiner ’11, A Battery – 4:09:24 Ryan Gunter ’11, SQ 20 – 4:19:24 Alexander Coleman ’11, A-2 – 4:29:31 Kyle Bolton ’11, SQ 20 – 4:46:41 Nathan Strickland ’11, B-2 – 4:58:53
houston half marathon finishers Kyle Whalen ’11, B-2 – 2:11:23 Preston George ’11, B-2 – 2:11:26 Karen Villanueva ’11, I-1 – 2:40:37
austin full marathon finishers
Ben Landon ’13, K-2 – 3:21:49 Charles Baumann ’11, E-1 – 3:24:20 Anthony Moltz ’13, SQ 8 – 3:45:48 Yidong Chen ’12, SQ 20 – 3:45:51 Dalton Fuss ’12, A Battery – 3:49:21 Kalan Scott ’12, P-2 – 4:01:07 William Weiner ’11, A Battery – 4:18:49 Robert McGowen ’11, B-1 – 4:22:59 Patrick Toon ’12, SQ 8 – 5:00:43 Madison Holder ’12, SQ 8 – 5:09:53 Tyler Lewis ’11, B Company – 5:11:04 David Campos ’11, B Company – 5:12:47
The Corps Marathon Team participated in three events this semester. The members from the team ran in the Houston Full and Half Marathons, the Austin Full Marathon, and in the Bryan/ College Station Armadillo Dash Half Marathon. These cadets trained over the fall semester for their events. Their registration fees and team uniforms were provided by the Texas Aggie Corps of Cadets Association.
Texas Aggie Corps of Cadets Association
The Corps Athletic Teams program is funded by the Texas Aggie Corps of Cadets Association. Cadets have the opportunity to compete across the city, state, and nation because of the generosity of the CCA members. To learn about CCA membership, go to www.corpsofcadets.org.
Bataan Team The Corps of Cadets entered three teams and one individual in the ROTC heavy division, military uniform and 35 lbs pack, in the 22nd Annual Bataan Memorial Death March Marathon. The Bataan Memorial Death March is a challenging march of 26.2 miles through the high desert terrain of White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico, conducted in honor of the heroic service members who defended the Philippine Islands during World War II, sacrificing their freedom, health and, in many cases, their very lives.
HEAVY TEAM A finished #9 with a time of 7:53:03 Mark Banigan ’13, K-2 Zack Leger ’13, C-2 Matthew Morris ’12, P-2 Hendrick Streuding ’13, N-1 Eric Williams ’13, N-1 HEAVY TEAM C finished #17 with a time of 8:56:40 Jacob Brannan ’12, SQ 12 William Brotherton ’13, SQ 23 Christian Cottey ’13, K-2 William Pike ’13, E-2 Steven Serrata ’11, SQ 3 HEAVY TEAM B finished #21 with a time of 9:47:10 Marshall Atwood ’12, P-2 Travis Lewin ’13, S-1 Alex Schirripa ’12, N-1 Kalan Scott ’12, P-2 Nicholas Wood ’12, P-2
Triathlon Team KEMAH TRIATHLON FINISHERS Brandt Rensmeyer ’12 - 2:24:15 Anthony Seitz ’13 - 2:43:22 Kyle Simon ’11 - 2:58:36 Ren Tsuruta ’12 - 3:04:17
The Corps Triathlon Team competed in the Kemah Triathlon on April 3, 2011. The triathlon consisted of a 1500 meter swim, 40K bike, and 10K run. Brandt Rensmeyer ’12 had a podium finish, 3rd, in the male 20-24 age group.
CORPS ATHLETIC TEAMS UPDATE
Baseball team VS San Antonio College VS Texas State VS LSC - Montgomery VS TAMU - Galveston VS Rice VS Frat
2 Wins 1 Loss 1 Win 2 Losses 1 Win 2 Losses 3 Wins 0 Losses 3 Wins 0 Losses Loss
Basketball team The Corps Men’s Basketball Team competed for the sixth time in the Flyin’ Irish ROTC Basketball Tournament at the University of Notre Dame. The team finished the tournament as the undefeated champions. The team competed against teams from the University of St. Thomas, Syracuse, Louisville, Wisconsin, Marquette, Notre Dame and Purdue.
Texas Aggie Corps of Cadets Association
Success Formula for the Bell Boys:
Athletics + Academics = Achievements
t is not unusual for Aggie families to have a tradition of seeing several members attend the university or to join the Corps of Cadets. It is also not unusual to see a father and his sons so dedicated to the benefits of being in the Corps as the Bell family of Brenham, Texas. This father and his sons have been enriched by their experiences in Aggieland, and specifically the benefits of being in the Corps of Cadets.
The father, Sam Bell ’82, was a star athlete participating in both basketball and track while attending Richardson High School. He posted a personal best in the high jump of 6-’8” (that is like jumping over the top of a From left to right: Justin Bell ’11, Sam Bell ’82, and Jeremy Bell ’06 door in your house!), ‘administration’ as he became involved in the athletic and a personal best in the long jump of 23’-6”. Upon graduating from high training department with Billy Pickard. For two school, he attended the University of Puget Sound years he worked for the football and track teams as a in Tacoma, Washington, to play college basketball. student athletic trainer and gained letterman status His plan for stardom in the Northwest lasted for for his service. While not a member of the Corps of 1½ years as Sam realized that being away from his Cadets, Sam had a number of friends in the Corps beloved Texas was not the right choice for him. Sam and greatly admired the support that they brought transferred to Texas A&M in January 1980 where he to all Aggie athletic contests. Upon graduation, Sam became a red shirt walk-on for the A&M basketball took graduate classes while looking for his first job team under legendary Coach Shelby Metcalf for in public education. That call came in August of a year. Sam’s interests then took a turn toward 1983 as he was hired as the Head Athletic Trainer for
the Copperas Cove ISD. He then went onto success as a coach in football, basketball and track, along with teaching classes in biology, at Georgetown HS, followed by stints at Rice Consolidated High School, West Mesquite High School, and Brownwood High School. His big break came in August 1996 when he was named as an Assistant Principal at Mineral Wells High School. Three years later he was selected as the Principal of Hamilton High School followed by being named the Superintendent of Schools for the Hamilton ISD in 2003. It was in Hamilton over a ten year period that his family was established and his sons, Jeremy and Justin, gained honors as outstanding students/athletes. With a reputation for being a ‘rising star’ in education, the summer of 2009 saw a major change for the family as Sam was selected to be the new Superintendent of Schools for the Brenham ISD, the oldest school district in the state. Despite eight career moves, Sam remained close to Texas A&M University. He and his wife Karen were regular fixtures at numerous Aggie football games and raised both their sons to be fans of the Maroon and White. Fast forward to the fall of 2002 when their oldest son Jeremy ’06 arrived at Texas A&M and joined the Aggie Band in the Corps of Cadets. Jeremy stated, “I wanted to be in the Aggie Band since I was really young. I loved their performances and knew it was the best fit for me as a student at Texas A&M.” Jeremy went on to great success in the Aggie Band and the Corps. His proudest accomplishments were being a member of the Ross Volunteers and being selected as the B-Company Commander. Upon graduation with his degree in Biology, Jeremy was commissioned as an officer in the United States Marine Corps. He
just returned stateside in October 2010 having completed his first tour in Afghanistan. Jeremy noted this past December that, “It was a tough tour of duty but after being in the Corps of Cadets, I knew that I had the discipline to meet the challenge”. Jeremy is now assigned as the Executive Officer for Marine Recruiting Station Orange on the West Coast that covers Southern California, American Samoa, Sipan, Guam and Hawaii. He is married to Katie ’06 and they have a daughter Avery. The Bells will soon have another Aggie in their California home as Jeremy and Katie recently announced that a second child is due in August 2011. Jeremy promises that “both children will wear the A&M colors with pride no matter where we are stationed.”
Not to be outdone by his older brother, Justin ’11 enrolled at Texas A&M University. He too found the Corps of Cadets to his liking and joined the newly formed unit A-2 that was activated to support those cadets in the architecture and construction science majors. As a freshman, Justin was a member of the Fish Drill Team and part of that year’s National Championship Team. As a senior, Justin has served as the Executive Officer for his outfit and was a featured guest on the Texas Aggie Band Show this past season. Justin was elected as a Student Senator representing the College of Architecture and is on the Aggie Recruitment Committee as he concentrates on recruiting high school students interested in attending A&M and Jeremy is pictured above with his wife, Katie, and joining the Corps of daughter, Avery. Cadets. He also has been
Texas Aggie Corps of Cadets Association
Justin and Sam pose for a picture during a football game weekend.
involved as a volunteer for the Big Event since his fish year and with Goodfellows. Justin has completed a majority of his coursework in Construction Science. He is on track to complete his final internship this fall and graduate next year. He recently interviewed for a potential position with the construction management firm that will be remodeling Olsen Field as it takes on the new moniker saluting the benefactors of Blue Bell
Creameries. Justin finds it ironic that his new hometown of Brenham, which is the location for his favorite brand of ice cream, will be the source of funds for the renovation. Regarding the opportunity Justin stated, “I think it would be an honor to be a part of the construction team and contribute to the renovations that Ed Kruse ’49 and Howard Kruse ’52 were so generous to support financially”. Justin also credits his success at A&M and in preparation for his career because of the time spent in the Corps. He noted, “I have received a great education at Texas A&M. More importantly, the time
in the Corps of Cadets has been invaluable to me as I prepare for my professional career. Being able to follow those before me and then to lead cadets has been a great asset. I know that success in the construction field will be based a lot on what I bring to the table. Besides my academics at A&M, the fact that I have experienced so much by being a cadet, will be a huge benefit to me. I am also pursuing a minor in business, plus a certificate in Leadership Study and Development.” As Sam is a certified official for the US Track & Field Association, Justin had the unique opportunity to work with his father at a recent indoor track event on campus in January as he volunteered to help the athletic department. Sam noted in a recent conversation that Jeremy and Justin both grew immensely through their experiences and involvement in the Corps of Cadets. “I would encourage every young man or women who desire something ‘extra’ out of their college experience to be a part of the Keepers of the Spirit that is the Corps.” The “Bell Boys” are all proud members of the Aggie family. Each of them has noted that the outstanding educational programs at the university, and the traditions of the Corps, have contributed to their success and love for Texas A&M.
Justin receives his Aggie Ring from his parents, Sam and Karen Bell.
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Texas Aggie Corps of Cadets Association
Bloody Cross Results The Corps of Cadets held their annual inter-outfit â€œBloody Crossâ€? run competition this spring. The run is six laps of the Quadrangle which equals 2.7 miles and outfits must have 75% of the outfit finish with the unit. Company H-1 has won the competition for the last 10 years.
Got a little story for ya, Ags... The Evolution of Yell Leader Selections
Texas Aggie Corps of Cadets Association
The story goes that when Texas A&M was an all-male military college in 1907, cadets often invited ladies from Texas Woman’s University to visit College Station to attend Aggie football games. According to legend, during one football game the Aggies were being outscored so badly the ladies threatened to leave the game. To prevent this, the upperclassmen ordered the freshmen, or “fish,” to find a way to entertain them. The freshmen raided a janitor’s closet and changed into the white coveralls they found there, and began leading the crowd in yells from the track in front of the stands. The freshmen got so much attention from the ladies that it was decided that only upperclassmen would be allowed to participate in this entertainment in the future, because fish shouldn’t be privileged for this. The history of the Aggie Yell Leaders is one that would take much longer to recollect than a simple article, but over the past century there have been significant changes to the Yell Leader selection process. At different times, to accommodate student body growth, returning veterans and other mandates all shaped the election process and team of five upperclassmen: three seniors and two juniors. Dating back since the late 60’s, student body elections are held annually to choose the Aggie Yell Leaders. This past election year more than 11,000 students casted votes for the 25+ candidates for Senior Yell Leader and 15+candidates for Junior Yell Leader.
version” of the slogan being used by Coca-Cola at the time -- “The Pause that Refreshes” --immediately his mind was churning thinking about when cadets have time to pause, and it clicked - the bathroom. Males have to pause several times a day at a urinal. 90% of the voters lived in the concentrated 12 dorm area known on campus as the Quad. Each dorm had 4 stories with 4 urinals on each floor: 12 dorms, 16 urinals per dorm --- 192 opportunities to display his name. Mr. Tyree found an office that had an mimeograph machine and printed 200 signs on 8 1/2 x 11 white typing paper with the following:
When you take a “Pee” Think of me
Jimmy Tyree Jr. Yell Leader
Using Scotch tape, he taped one of these signs on the Traditionally, the Yell Leaders are members of the Corps, wall in front of the 192 urinals. The signs got the voters in keeping with A&M’s military history, though officially attention while each paused momentarily to refresh in 1946 - the official number went from 4 leaders to 5, themselves --- and consequently, Mr. Jimmy Tyree creating a veteran Yell Leader position. In 1951, as the found himself elected as Junior Yell Leader for the number of veteran’s on-campus decreased, the position following school year. was then mandated as a “non-corps” position. Now with over 49,000 students on campus, campaigning In September 1952, Mr. Jimmy Tyree ran for Junior Yell isn’t what it use to be. Today, campaigning has evolved Leader, a decision he made his freshman year although so much so, an Election Commission was formed to he was a good year and a half away from the election, regulate campaigning methods (not just for Yell Leaders and he remembers it clearly: “...That was in the spring either). With budget limitations, fines for campaign of 1952 when I entered my name as a candidate. It violations, and countless forms and regulations, was a stark campus of 6500 students --- an all male, campaign groups have to be organized and are held to military school. Everybody wore a uniform. “Up and a high accountability. Signs, Facebook and internet at ‘em” at 6 AM when the bugler sounded “Reveille.” videos, campus rallies and many other ways are used We marched to chow three times a day and there to promote the different candidates--nothing like it wasn’t much time for extra curricular activities.” Mr. was in the 50’s or even as late as the 90’s and the past Tyree knew that getting elected would take work, he 10 years. Nowadays, the guidelines and regulations couldn’t just wait around and hope to become a Yell for campaigning are strict and numerous. While Leader --he needed to grab their attention. He says, “I running for Yell Leader could be as “simple” as filing put on my thinking cap and remembered the “cowboy the candidacy form and other required paperwork with www.corpsofcadets.org
hanging out and bonding, sometimes going to dinner, other times at someone’s house. For the juniors, “Butt block” lasts a couple of days, since 1) they only have to choose one additional Senior candidate and 2) they were able to get to know each other during the previous year’s Corps Block. The final night, both classes vote from all cadets interested in running, down to the top 10 then top 5, who then proceed to the review board of about 30 zips and bulls for interviews and the final selection of the two Junior candidates and one Senior (aka “the 3rd Wheel”). Normally, the current Junior Yell Leaders run as incumbents, so the five cadet nominees then register as co-candidates with the Election Commission to run as “5 for Yell”.
the Election Commission, the Corps takes a different approach. The Corps corporately nominates the candidates they wish to run for Yell, promoting unity and tradition. The Yell Leader candidate nomination process within the Corps has varied throughout the decades, be it “secret meetings”, being solely chosen by the current Yell Leaders, or nominated by peers; however it happens, one thing holds true for all--that the Corps wants the best candidates to represent them. Since the non-corps position mandate was passed and even further extended to the group of 5 positions, there have been about 30 non-corps candidates elected, most of whom were elected while the official veteran or non-corps position was mandated. More recently “5 for Yell” has been the campaign slogan to encourage Aggie student voters to vote for all 5 of the Corps nominated candidates--otherwise known as “the block”.
Campaign Week, now only 5 official days, is a grueling week of meetings, talks and promotion. The five candidates select a group of 5-7 ladies to run their campaigns. The ladies who are chosen as campaign managers are typically selected based on their experience, dedication and knowledge of campaigning. In Ryan Smith’s case, she says, “a series of ironic events led to my involvement in campaigning my freshman year--it was really a fluke”. In her experience, this was not typical, nor did she realize what she was
Formally called “Corps block” and “Butt block” --this is now an official pre-determined time held to give current sophomores and juniors the opportunity to get to know each other, specifically their classmates who are interested in running for Yell. During the week of “Corps block” sophomores spend the evenings 20 20
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are selected by the Corps officially and then can select managers to work on printing materials, preparing signs and banners over Christmas break. This year Corps Block wasn’t held until the spring semester, so they were rushed to get things in order as the Junior candidates weren’t selected prior to December. When asked about campaign design she said, “Tradition and simplicity.... the Corps is the foundation of campus, so we stick to maroon and white, focusing on unity and tradition--the values the Corps is built on--it makes sense.”
getting herself into almost four years ago. Prior to the start of her freshman year, Ryan attended a freshmen camp, IMPACT where Weston Wilcox, then current Junior Yell Leader class of ‘10, was her group leader. Additionally, she joined a Christian sorority and her small group leader was the current campaign manager-so consequently, Ryan was recruited to help. For the past two years, Ryan ’12, a Sociology major, has led the “5 for Yell” campaign. She says at this point “it’s a well oiled machine” especially with all the rules, policies and regulations to adhere to from the Election Commission. Each girl on staff has a specific job or task assigned. Campaign preparation typically begins in late November prior to the upcoming election in the Spring. The first meeting consists of “the boys “(Yell Leader candidates) and “the girls” (Campaign staff) discussing new regulations, changes to existing policies and strategy. This year was especially difficult. In years past, both Corps Block and Butt Block are held during the Fall so that prior to the end of the semester, the candidates
In her experience, Ryan has found that in person meetings are key to winning an election. While Facebook and videos are effective, it ultimately boils down to the voters knowing their candidates. “Students want to know the Yell Leaders. They want to feel a connection and be part of the experience, so that’s what “the boys” focus on--getting out there on campus to meet people and tell their story and communicating why they should be elected.” On a typical day during the five days of official campaigning, the morning will start at about 0720 hours and volunteers will disperse to
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their designated spots to hold sheet banners from 0800 to 1700 hours. Amidst going to class and other commitments, the boys spend their time talking and promoting. At 1730 hours is when the campaigning is put in full force and “the boys” are stretched to their limits--showing real dedication to each other. On a given night, “the boys” will visit 25-35 student group meetings to rally, promote and recruit additional support, endorsements, and volunteers. Once the meetings have finished, it’s then to a campaign staff meeting--to debrief from the day, put of any “fires” out so to speak, address the group and prepare for the next day, making sure that there are enough volunteers, typically ending around 0100 hours. Ryan commented, “it’s like a business operation, yet also a family. Everybody is there for “the boys” and is committed. They know their jobs and put in the work”, which shows, as the “5 for Yell” campaign has claimed victory for a majority of the past elections. Despite lots of changes and difficulties, “5 for Yell” won the victory. Cadets David Benac ’12, Head Yell Leader; Patrick Ivey ’12, a economics major from Richardson; Austin Walker ’12, an industrial distribution major from Houston; Nelson Ingram ’13, a business major from Tuscola; and Josh Light ’13, a chemical engineering major from Abilene will lead the 12th Man as the Fightin’ Texas Aggie Yell Leaders. While the campaign process and even the corporate Corps nomination process may change and has evolved from something as simple as 8.5 X 11 signs to online videos, web content, staffs of many volunteers, and perhaps a lot more hours. It still holds true that the cadet candidates are taking the position of Yell Leader seriously and are committed to the Corps, its student body and Texas A&M University - and ultimately they represent us well as we support our Aggies to achieve victory.
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2011-2012 Corps Leadership
Patrick Reeves ’12 Corps Commander
Shahrum Iqbal ’12 Deputy Corps Commander
Ileene Berrios ’12 1st Brigade Commander
Zachary Robinson ’12 2nd Brigade Commander
Aaron cichon ’12 3rd Brigade Commander
marshall Atwood ’12 1st Regiment Commander
Connor o’sullivan ’12 2nd Regiment Commander
dalton Fuss ’12 Aggie Band Commander
Paul Ferris ’12 1st Wing Commander
Andrew Petering ’12 2nd Wing Commander
Steven Brown ’12 3rd Wing Commander
detailed information about the reorganization of the Corps
www.corpsofcadets.org will be covered in the Summer 2011 issue of the guidon.
“Our Strength is Our Family”
ince 1876, it has been estimated that there have been over 700 different outfits in the Corps of Cadets. All outfits can trace their lineage to Company A, commanded by Cadet Captain Alva P. Smyth or Company B, commanded by Cadet Captain Charles Rogan. These were the first two outfits created in December, 1876 with the enrollment of 107 cadets at the Texas A. & M. College. For the next 83 years, there were hundreds of outfits created and many deactivated. During 1959-1960 academic year, the Corps went through a major restructuring. Texas A&M Vice President, Earl Rudder ’32 and the Office of the Commandant removed U.S. Army branch designations from use in the Corps of Cadets. It was then that members of “B” Anti-Aircraft Artillery, “C” Anti-Aircraft Artillery, and “A” Chemical founded Company C-2. Max Wilson Woodard ’60 served as the commanding officer and Jerry I. Gilliland ’61 served as the first sergeant. Today, C-2 is one of only a handful of Corps of Cadets outfits that has not been deactivated and has had a continuous run since the reorganization of the Corps over 50 years ago.
of recruiting and retention, the very lifeblood of any outfit. A vital component of these initiatives is that of mentorship. James Benham ’01, along with the help of C-2 cadet leadership, helped establish a fish mentor program that pairs C-2 freshmen with C-2 Ex-Cadets as well as upperclassmen within the outfit. James is founder and president of JB Knowledge and Technologies, Inc. and knows the importance of a strong support system in the Corps having started his business out of his dorm room. Although the amount of involvement may change from mentor to mentee, the mission is still the same. It is to provide C-2 fish with a support system inside and outside
With such a strong outfit legacy and rich traditions such as “Flight of the Great Pumpkin,” it is only fitting that former members of “Old Army Cock Company” would want to ensure that their beloved outfit stays alive and well. Over the past few years, former members of C-2 have participated in reunions to unify and reunite Ex-Cadets. During this time, former members decided to start their own association. With the help of the Texas Aggie Corps of Cadets Association, the C-2 Ex-Cadets Association was formed to help the current members of Company C-2. C-2 Ex-Cadets, Ken Fenoglio ’70 and James Benhem ’01, along with the generous support of numerous association members like Dennis Garbis ’70, have taken their passion for their former outfit to a new level. They have established new and important initiatives for Company C-2. These new initiatives provide mentorship, academic help, and valuable financial support. Another part of these new initiatives involves a program that instills leadership, integrity, interviewing skills, team building, corporate development, professionalism and team work. The multigenerational aspect of these two former C-2 Ex-Cadets makes this support all the more unique. Since both men have such a passion for their former outfit they came together but made a conscious decision to work independent of each other. Their main initiatives are that 24
ABOVE: Frank Cox ’65 is instructing the members of Company C-2 on an activity. The fish are on one side of the ropes and upperclassmen on the other side. With the “advice” and assistance of upperclassmen, freshmen are helped across to join the rest of the outfit. This resembles effective communication throughout the classes that is pertinent for outfit success and exemplifies our motto, “Our Strength is Our Family.”
the Corps. More important, it is to let them know there are former outfit members that have their best interest in hand. This helps with the vital aspect of outfit retention which in turns helps the outfit with recruiting.
Texas Aggie Corps of Cadets Association
The next component is academic tutoring and financial support. Through the generous donations of many C-2 Ex-Cadets, members of the outfit are provided financial help for any form of academic tutoring. To date, C-2 members of the Class of ’70 have funded four individual C-2 scholarships that include one for the commanding officer, one for a chosen sophomore and two for individual freshman cadets. The final component is leadership training. Through the generous financial support from outstanding C-2 ExCadets, Ken Fenoglio ’70 established the annual C-2 “Leading with Distinction” Conference at the AT&T University. Ken serves as a Vice President, Training and Development, AT&T Inc. The conference has rotated between the Mays Business College, Texas A&M Univeristy and this year it was held in Dallas at AT&T University. The second C-2 AT&T Leadership Conference took place Saturday, January 22, 2011 to benefit all current members of Company C-2. Now in its second year, the leadership course gives current C-2 cadets an opportunity to acquire new ideas on leadership and small business practice from p r o m i n e n t businessmen in their fields. The cadets were also privileged with the presence author and motivational speaker Frank Cox ’65 who offered words of encouragement to the freshmen and conducted communication exercises.
The day began early with breakfast provided by former C-2 members, and a presentation from James Benham ’01. He spoke concerning how he was able to start his business from a college dorm room during his senior year. This was an impressive feat considering the fact that he had to juggle his business with his leadership obligations as a senior Corps Staff member in the Corps of Cadets. After James’ seminar, lunch was sponsored by former C-2 members at a local sandwich shop. Then, current C-2 cadets had the privilege of working with Ken Fenoglio ’70 as he discussed how the cadets could tone their leadership skills by having them participate in diverse work exercises and mental adjustments. Established in 1988, the AT&T Leadership Development Program is AT&T’s flagship career development program and is considered to be one of the preeminent corporate leadership programs in the world. This supplementary leadership training program emphasizes the fact that leadership is not an entity granted by the grace of God, but rather a process that requires years of trial and failure. In a cadet’s case, it is a good teacher or instructor. Ken completed his seminar, and by the end of the day, C-2 cadets were put through a series of trust exercises. The upperclassmen and fish were perched on opposite sides of the room and were given the opportunity to express their own concerns on leadership in the outfit. The AT&T program helps bridge a gap that instills leadership, corporate development, professionalism and team work that makes the Company C-2 leadership experience truly unique within the Corps. The conference serves as a highlight of the spring semester and has been a great success. It is important to note that there are no out-of-pocket expenses for current cadets for any portion of the conference and it is fully sponsored by former members of C-2. Through the countless contributions of C-2 Ex-Cadets and the dedication of Ken and James, Old Army Cock Company will continue to produce leaders on and off the quad and prepare them for success in the military, business and life. Company C-2’s strength lies in its strong family of former cadets which exemplifies what financial support, personal time, and a little bit of hard work can achieve.
Use the QR Code to the left to be directed to the Company C-2 website to learn more about the outfit.
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Rewards points terminate if account is closed, delinquent or program ends. Earn 1 point for every $1 in credit card purchases. Other restrictions apply. USAA Rewards Program terms and conditions will be provided with your card. 2Oﬀer subject to approval. As of 2/1/2011, APRs are 9.90% to 25.90%, depending on your credit history and other factors. APRs will vary with the market based on the Prime Rate. There is a transaction fee of 3% on cash advances ($75 maximum on balance transfers and convenience checks) and 1% on foreign transactions. Rates and fees subject to change. Please contact us for the most current information. Use of the term “member” or “membership” does not convey any legal, eligibility or ownership rights. Availability restrictions apply. Purchase of a bank product does not establish eligibility for, or membership in, USAA property and casualty insurance companies. USAA Savings Bank, Member FDIC. CCA receives ﬁnancial support from USAA for this sponsorship. © 2011 USAA. 124954-0411
Texas Aggie Corps of Cadets Association
Aggies in Service
Above (L-R), Major Neil Craig ’96 (B Battery); Secretary of Defense and former Texas A&M President Robert M. Gates, Major Ian Townsend ’97 (Company E-1); and Lieutenant Colonel Pat Seiber ’93 (Company L-1) at Bagram Airfield.
Send your pictures of Aggies In Service to email@example.com
AMC GUARD DETAIL The AMC Guard performed a military funeral detail, acting as pallbearers and presented the flag to the family of George Staples ’39 at Staples’ funeral in Fort Worth, TX in July 2010. For more information about AMC Guard, email firstname.lastname@example.org www.corpsofcadets.org
2011 Spring Corps Recruiting Programs This spring the Corps hosted high school juniors and seniors from across the country to help them experience the Corps of Cadets. There are three different recruiting programs; Junior Cadets Accessions Program (JCAP), Aggie Eagle Program, and the 4H/FFA Program, and each held a spring program. The Aggie Eagle Program had to be rescheduled for later in the spring due to the bad weather in February. During the programs, attendees learned about admissions and financial aid, were awarded Corps of Cadets Scholarships, participated in the Navy/Marine ROTC Obstacle Course, the Army ROTC Stamina Course, and a Fish Drill Team practice. Each program included a recognition banquet sponsored by the Texas Aggie Corps of Cadets Association. During these banquets, the participants heard from current cadets and the Commandant. At the end of the banquet, the participants were awarded a Corps Scholarship to be used for tuition and fees if they enter the Corps. To the left: Commandant Brigader General Joseph Ramirez ’79 congratulates JCAP participant at the recognition banquet that was sponsored by the Texas Aggie Corps of Cadets Association.
Short Burst Colonel Jon Hall ’76 and Major Glenn Burnside ’73 both retired from the Commandant’s Staff this Spring. Colonel Hall was the Assistant Commandant for Recruiting and Major Burnside was the Assistant Commandant for Admissions Support. Colonel Sam Hawes ’81 will serve as the new Assistant Commandant for Recruiting. The CCA thanks Colonel Hall and Major Burnside for their hard work during their tenure with the Commandant’s Office. 28
Major Burnside ’73, Dr. Bowen Loftin ’71, and Senior Cadet Robert Stricklin ’11 pose for a picture during Major Burnside’s retirement cermony.
Texas Aggie Corps of Cadets Association
The Texas Aggie Corps of Cadets Association and Ol’ Army Spirit Company paired up to host the current Sophomore Class at the fourth annual Sophomore BBQ. The BBQ was held at the Texas A&M Student Recreational Center’s Archery Room on Wednesday, March 2, 2011. Cadets had the opportunity to enjoy some time without fish or upperclassmen. After the event the sophomores had a free night out. Events like these are made possible by the generous donations of CCA members.
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New Members of the CCA
Order of the Saber Mr. Samuel Laden Jr. ’55 Mr. Timothy Lyda MD ’81
Colonel at the Reveille Level
Mr. Randy Newcomer Jr. ’88
Mr. John Berryhill ’76 Mr. Robert Evans III ’76 Mr. Frank Gruen ’65 Mr. J. Mark Hoskyn ’91 Mr. Benton Kirk ’97 Mr. A. Don Lummus ’58 Mr. Kung Ng ’51 Mr. Charles Nutt ’78 Mr. William Oliver ’62 Mr. Michael Parrish ’06 Colonel James Ray ’63 Mr. David Stilson ’92
COL Tommy Baucum ’63 Mr. Roger Blackwelder ’70 Mr. Marshall Blalock Jr ’76 Mr. Paul Briggs ’60 Mr. Charley Camplen III ’89 Mr. Joseph Cronin ’83 Mr. Jerry Davis ’53 Mr. Joseph Dillard ’53 Mr. Ronald Donelson ’61 Mr. Delbert Donelson ’61 Dr. Louis Farr IV ’66 30
New Members as of Jan 31 - Mar 31, 2011
Mr. David Miller ’58 Mr. Delmar Fehrenkamp ’46 Mr. Albert Mullins ’60 Mr. Stephen Fitzsimon ’81 Mr. Ellis Murphy ’63 Mr. Charles Glisan ’64 Mr. Dennis Newton ’64 Mr. James Gras ’71 Mr. Craig Noonan ’66 Mr. Lester Gray ’46 Mr. John Oliver ’46 Mr. Oton Guerrero III ’51 Mr. Allen Owings ’60 Mr. Esau Halow ’53 Major Kevin Parker ’95 Mr. Austin Harper Mr. Joe Pate ’50 Mr. Robert Harris ’61 Mr. Richard Payton ’84 Mr. Arthur Hegi ’49 Mr. Jody Pollard ’99 Mr. Stephen Helbing ’48 CDR Edward Powell Mr. Robert Henry ’46 Mr. Poole Robertson Jr. ’45 Mr. Douglas Hodges ’81 Mr. Gordon Sommers ’68 Mr. Chester Howard ’69 Mr. James Springfield ’68 Mr. Stanley Hruska ’62 Dr. Earl Stenger ’63 LTC Sidney Hughes Jr ’72 Dr. Gregory Tate ’88 Mr. Gilbert Huston ’56 Lt Colonel John Vitacca ’89 Mr. Max Kirby ’41 Mr. John Wakefield ’51 Mr. Kyle Knox ’80 Mr. Ralph Weiser ’46 Capt Summer Kolcun ’06 Mrs. Cloice Whitley ’57 LT Colin Lackey ’01 Mr. Cesar Yarritu ’03 Mr. William Lain ’65 Lt Col Robert Yaskovic ’65 Mr. Bruce Lanz ’65 Mr. J. Loftis ’51 renew or upgrade your Mr. Malcolm Maedgen Jr ’58 CCA membership at Mr. William Maxwell Sr. ’46 www.corpsofcadets.org Colonel Gilbert Mayeux II ’67 or by calling 877.892.4222 Mr. Matthew McCarty ’02 Upcoming N-1 Mr. Gregory McCray ’77 Reunion Mr. Shelby McDougall ’61 All N-1 Neanderthals Mr. Shawn McLaughlin ’83 are invited to an outfit Mr. Frank Meyers ’64 reunion on September 17, 2011. For more information, go to: Dr. William Midgett ’57 www.corpsofcadets.org/n1reunion
Texas Aggie Corps of Cadets Association
Ross Volunteer Association
A Division of the Texas Aggie Corps of Cadets Association “They are the cream of the crop; they are the leaders of the past, today and tomorrow and are expected to live up to their code and ultimate of aspirations: soldier, statesman and knightly gentleman.” — TAMU Today, March-April, 1975
Statesman, and Knightly Gentleman’ – was our Lawrence Sullivan Ross —the fiber that made Texas and Texas A&M. Members of the special unit are expected to exemplify the traits of Sullivan Ross. Cadets are chosen on a basis of honor, humility and character.
Reverent words aspired to an honorary company of young men and women some might say. Reverent words, indeed. But any member of the Ross Volunteers, a special unit of the Texas A&M University Corps of Cadets both present and past, understands the meaning of the words, the history and required duty that is expected of them.
Today, the Ross Volunteer uniform is a distinctive white uniform, with yellow trim. Officers wear a silk red sash around the waist.
The Ross Volunteer Company is the official Honor Guard for the Governor of the state of Texas, and, aside from the Cadet Corps itself, is the oldest student organization in the State of Texas. Formed in 1887, the organization was named The Scott Volunteers or Scott Rifles in honor of the Business Manager of Texas A&M at that time, Captain T.M. Scott out of gratitude for his arranging the first Corps trip to the State Fair at Dallas. In 1891, the unit was renamed for the college’s new President, Lawrence Sullivan Ross, to honor him as they did Scott, as the original plan was to honor each succeeding President of the college. After Sullivan’s death in 1898 and the subsequent renaming of the unit to the Foster Guards and eventually the Houston Rifles after presidents’ L.L. Foster and David F. Houston, respectively, the name was permanently changed back to Ross Volunteers in 1905 as requested by President H. H. Harrington, who was the son-in-law of Ross. The original purpose of the unit was to band together the most proficient military men in the college into a precision drill company comprised of 40 cadets. In 1930, many felt the organization had become more of a social organization rather than a military one and developed a new constitution that read, in part: ‘The Ross Volunteer Company, as hereunder constituted, is a military organization of volunteers for the purpose of representing to the Administration, Faculty, and Student Body, and to the citizens of the State of Texas, and the Nation, an organization of military distinction and example, made up of a membership of cadets whose dress, general bearing, and conduct of membership and their activities, will reflect credit upon the school.’ In 1944, due to so few juniors and seniors left on campus during WWII, the unit was disbanded. It was reorganized in 1948 as an honor outfit of 125 men, 75 juniors and 50 seniors with outstanding academic and military proficiency. Since then, the unit has been loyal to and upheld its constitution. A statue of Ross stands near the Academic Building on the Texas A&M campus. ‘Sully,’ as he is affectionately known to all Aggies, was a member of the famed Texas Rangers, ascended from Private to Brigadier General in the Civil War, served as Sheriff of McLennan County and served a two-year term as a State Senator. An ethical and moral man with a strong interest in education, Ross took over the reins of the then-faltering Agricultural and Mechanical College of Texas and directed it upward to the level of honor, respect and academics that was originally envisioned for the young college. At the time of his death, these words were attributed to him, ‘Soldier,
The company performs a 3-rifle volley for two of the most honored traditions at Texas A&M. Silver Taps is held for a graduate or undergraduate student who passes away while enrolled at A&M. This final tribute is held at 10:00 p.m. the first Tuesday of the month when a student has passed away the previous month. Muster is celebrated each year on April 21 in more than four-hundred places worldwide, with the largest ceremony on the Texas A&M campus in College Station. It has a ‘Roll Call for the Absent’, where alumni answer for those former and current students, who died during the previous year. Some of their past responsibilities have been marching in parades for inaugural celebrations such as the ones for Gov. Rick Perry ’72 and President George W. Bush. They have served as honor guards and escorts for United States Presidents and First Ladies, foreign Prime Ministers and Heads of State from all over the world. The Ross Volunteers also lead the largest parade held during the twoweek Mardi Gras in New Orleans each February. Since 1952, the company has appeared in their white uniforms and rifles to lead the King Rex Parade. Cadets practice twice a week for months leading up to the performance. “We march the entire seven-mile parade performing precision rifle movements, spins and tosses,” said Sam Cox ’11, a senior finance major and past commander of the Ross Volunteer Company. “It’s quite an experience for us when we see so many people cheering us on and watching our every move down the parade route. It just reinforces our dedication to this organization we work so hard to maintain. It is an honor and a privilege to be a part of the Volunteers and participate in experiences like the King Rex.” Once again falling back on those reverent words, “Soldier, Statesman, and Knightly Gentleman,” modeled on the life of distinction that Ross led still stands to serve as a creed for which the Ross Volunteers hold themselves accountable. “All Volunteers strive for lives of excellence and example,” explains Cox. “Remembering that the Ross Volunteer Company is an organization that exists to uphold of the values upon which the Corps is founded: discipline, integrity, honor, and selfless service as well as the spirit, tradition and principles of Texas A&M University,” added Cox. In keeping the creed, former members of the Ross Volunteer Company came together last fall and established the Ross Volunteer Association. The purpose of the Association is to assist and support the current Ross Volunteers and their objectives, and help perpetuate the position and tradition of the Ross Volunteers at Texas A&M University. The RV Association is leading a fund raising campaign to assist the company in replacing its 40 year old drill and performance rifles. Contact Scott Eberhart ’74 at email@example.com or Ron Lueck ’64 at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions.
To join or donate to the RVA, go to www.corpsofcadets.org/rva
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