The Corps of Cadets has been developing leaders since Texas A&M opened in 1876. Part of this leadership development includes being part of the special units within the Corps who train for special functions and perform ceremonial duties for the university and the State of Texas. Here is just a brief description of these special units and what they do.
The Aggie Band is the most visible unit in the Corps of Cadets. They are one of the eight major units within the Corps, and they live and train together to be the finest military marching band in the world. They march in the front of every Corps of Cadets march in and Corps trip. They play loudly and proudly at each football game, and march in spectacular fashion during every halftime. A bugler from the band plays Taps, Reveille, and all other bugle calls on the Quad as well as Silver Taps.
Fish Drill Team
The Fish Drill team is an all freshman military drill team that is advised by four sophomores, two juniors, and one senior. Freshmen who join the team are subject to rigorous drill instruction and harsh punitive physical training. The result is they are consistently the best college drill team in the country.
Ross Volunteer Company
The Ross Volunteers are the official honor guard for the Governor of Texas and serve in many capacities throughout the campus. They regularly perform saber arches for dignitaries and perform 21 gun salutes for Muster and Silver Taps. The Ross Volunteers are comprised of only juniors and seniors, and the process to become a Ross Volunteer is incredibly rigorous and includes being approved by a selection committee. They train regularly in drill and often go on very long runs on campus with their rifles at “high port”, meaning the rifle is held over the member’s head with both hands during the run.
Parson’s Mounted Cavalry
The Parson’s Mounted Cavalry is the only mounted ROTC unit in the country. The are made up of sophomores through seniors, with the sophomores performing duties such as caring for the horses and shoveling manure. Junior and senior cadets ride in march ins, Corps trips, and other parades. The PMC has members who ride horses, drive a replica covered wagon, and some who operate the “Spirit of ’02”, the field gun that is fired at midnight yell, the opening kickoff, and when the football team scores.
Named after James Earl Rudder, the president of Texas A&M that transformed it into the school it is today and also commanded that Army rangers who silenced the German guns at Point to Hoc in Normandy, the Rudder’s Rangers are an Army ROTC volunteer unit that trains to prepare for Army Ranger School. They conduct physical training each morning, have one run a week with full combat gear, and study and practice infantry tactics on a regular basis. They are most visible when they conduct their annual mock combat demonstration on the Quad each year, complete with machine guns, pyrotechnics, and Apache gunships.
SEAL Platoon is a special unit whose mission is to prepare cadets for Navy BUDS training. They conduct morning PT every day that includes intense runs and tough swims.
Very similar to SEAL Platoon, Recon Company trains members with the mission of preparing them for Marine Force Recon units.
Corps Center Guard
The Corps Center Guard is dedicated to preserving the history of the Corps. They work and research in the Corps Center and wear replica uniforms from all periods of Texas A&M history.
O.R. Simpson Honor Society
This is a special unit devoted to promoting academics within the Corps of Cadets. A minimum 3.4 GPR is required to join. Cadets in the O.R. Simpson Honor Society tutor other cadets and operate the study lounge.
Darling Recruiting Company
The Darling Recruiting Company is a volunteer organization made up of cadets who wish to help with Corps recruiting efforts more than they already do within their units. They coordinate and develop new recruiting events and strategies.
Summer Recruiting Company
The Summer Recruiting Company is made up of cadets who choose to attend summer courses and help coordinate recruiting and accessions programs during the summer. They are key to helping many students make the final decision to join the Corps as well as what unit to join.
The Corps color guards serve as the flag bearers for all major units in the Corps of Cadets, as well as the Corps as a whole. Made up of sophomores led by juniors, the color guards can be seen during march ins carrying the American, Texas, and major unit flags accompanied by rifles on either side.
Corps Sports Teams
The Corps of Cadets has several athletic teams that compete against other similar programs. There are men’s baseball and basketball teams, women’s softball and basketball teams, and a Corps marathon team.
These are the special units within the Corps of Cadets. They offer a wide range of activities to help train to be leaders as well as furthering the Corps of Cadets. If you are still considering what school may be right for you and are looking for a challenge you should consider becoming a member of the Long Maroon Line and then join one of these units.