The Corps of Cadets is a student-led, military-style organization at Texas A&M. It is the oldest student organization on campus and was established with the university in 1876. While participation in the Corps of Cadets was at one time mandatory for all who attended Texas A&M, participation in the Corps became voluntary in 1965. However, the Corps of Cadets is a large, visible part of the university and continues to play an important part in Texas A&M’s traditions and history.

The men and women of the Corps of Cadets form the largest uniformed body of students outside of the United States service academies. While Texas A&M’s Corps of Cadets consistently commissions more officers into the country’s military than any other school in the nation except the three service academies, membership in the Corps carries no military obligation.

Cadets in the Corps live a disciplined lifestyle while gaining practical experience in leadership and organizational management. Participation in the Corps of Cadets helps prepare cadets for the global leadership challenges of the 21st century. The Corps of Cadets has many programs that are specifically designed to prepare cadets for leadership roles in the U.S. military, corporate America, government service, and the private sector.

The unique spirit and traditions that make Texas A&M so special are deeply rooted in the Corps of Cadets experience. For that reason, the Corps has been long regarded as the “Keepers of the Spirit and the Guardians of Tradition” of Aggieland.

  • Ross Volunteers

    The Ross Volunteer Company is the oldest honor guard and drill team of its kind in the state of Texas. The honor guard was formed in 1887 and was originally named the Scott Volunteers. In 1898, the unit was renamed in honor of Lawrence Sullivan Ross, former governor of the state of Texas and President of the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Texas.

    The company, which serves as the official Honor Guard of the Governor of Texas, is composed of junior and senior cadets. The cadets wear a very distinctive white uniform with yellow trim, while officers wear a silk red stash around the waist of their uniforms.

    The Ross Volunteers — which are often called RVs — perform 3-volley, 21-gun salutes at Texas A&M’s Silver Taps ceremonies and its annual Muster ceremony. In addition to these ceremonies, the RVs march in several parades each year and also serve as the Honor Guard of King Rex, the King of Mardi Gras, in New Orleans.

  • Fightin’ Texas Aggie Band

    The Fightin’ Texas Aggie Band is the official marching band of Texas A&M. Also known as the “Noble Men of Kyle,” the Aggie Band is the largest military marching band in the United States. All members of the Aggie Band are members of the Corps of Cadets.

    The nationally acclaimed Aggie Band, which was formed in 1894, is known for its military precision and style. The band performs at all university home football games, many away games — including bowl games — and other functions throughout the year. The band has also participated in inaugural parades for many U.S. presidents and Texas governors, as well as numerous other parades and special events, making it one of the most traveled collegiate bands in the country.

  • Fish Drill Team

    The Fish Drill Team is an all-freshman precision rifle drill team that represents the Corps of Cadets and Texas A&M at military drill meets across the United States. The Fish Drill Team has won numerous national championships at the Tulane NROTC National Drill Competition over its six decades of existence, making it one of the most highly decorated and recognized organizations in the Corps of Cadets.

  • Parson’s Mounted Cavalry

    Parson’s Mounted Cavalry was formed in 1973 and was named after Col. Thomas R. Parsons, a former commandant of cadets. Parsons Mounted Cavalry is currently comprised of more than 40 horses and four mules and marches with the Corps of Cadets at all home football games. All members of Parsons Mounted Cavalry are cadets in the Corps and are trained in basic horsemanship skills, as well as the care and feeding of the stock. Parsons Mounted Cavalry represents Texas A&M at parades and other equestrian events throughout the state of Texas.

Boots, marching, Corps of Cadets

Did You Know?

During World War II, boots could not be made due to the rationing of leather. Because of this, incoming seniors cadets had to buy their special senior boots from former students.

Related Traditions

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The Corps has been long regarded as 'the Keepers of the Spirit and the Guardians of Tradition' of Aggieland.

Aggies Remember

Being a Ross Volunteer isn't something that lasts only your junior or senior year in the Corps. For the rest of your life, you're called to be a soldier, statesman, and knightly gentleman. In every situation, you must, as Governor Coke said, "Stand by the right."

- John Griffin ’09

I always love watching Parsons Mounted Cavalry march in with the Corps before the football games. And the canon always brings excitement to the football games. I love hearing it go off after the Aggies score!

- Jen Smith ’11

The Fish Drill team represents the excellence, precision, and discipline of the freshman class in the Corps at Texas A&M. Only in Aggieland can a group of untrained recent high school graduates take four months to prepare for and consistently win a national championship against senior military colleges and universities that have been preparing for years. If you can take the push-ups and "character building," you get the chance to join the long maroon and white line before you.

- John Griffin ’09

As a member of the '72 National Champion Fish Drill Team, I can say the memories of the hard work and dedication to the cause have stayed with me my whole life. Disciplines learned through the training and drill we performed taught me about rising above my own sense of limits. The one moment when we hoisted the national championship trophy is forever etched in my soul.

- Doug Thorpe ’75