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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

Texas A&M utility Gavin Grahovac (9) throws the ball during A&Ms game against Georgia on Friday, April 26, 2024, at Olsen Field. (CJ Smith/The Battalion)
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Farewell from the graduating Battalion staff of 2024
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The BattalionMay 4, 2024

Cadets with contracts

Forty+percent+of+members+in+the+Corps+of+Cadets+sign+contracts+with+military+units.+This+allows+them+the+chance+to+begin+their+service+at+higher+ranks.
Photo by File

Forty percent of members in the Corps of Cadets sign contracts with military units. This allows them the chance to begin their service at higher ranks.

Brutal drills, early hours and strict uniform members of the Corps of Cadets may lead some to assume a military future is in store for all members of the Corps. But in reality, only about 40 percent of cadets continue on to a career in the armed services, all of whom have the option to pursue a commission into their prospective branch through contracts or the option to enlist after graduation.
For history senior Robert Herzberg, it has always been in his plan to follow in his family’s tradition of military service. Herzberg is a member of A-Battery and a member of the Fightin’ Texas Aggie Band. Herzberg chose to accept a contract his freshman year and will be commissioning into the U.S. Army upon graduation. Herzberg said there were several factors that led him to choosing this path.
“The first [factor] was the financial portion, because college is expensive and the Army offers a very good scholarship for cadets who are under their command,” Herzberg said. “Secondly, I would say the dream of becoming a soldier — to be like my dad, to be like my grandfathers — is something I’ve always wanted to do.”
Fellow A-Battery member, technology management senior Josh Brown also plans to commission into the National Guard as a contract. Brown said being in ROTC and the Aggie Band makes for a hectic schedule — especially during football seasons — but the benefits of an academic scholarship and the chance to start in the military at a higher rank made his decision to accept a contract much easier.
“When you’re a contracted cadet in ROTC, you enter the military as an officer,” Brown said. “So anyone who graduates from A&M and commissions will start as a second lieutenant. Anyone that doesn’t have ROTC experience, are enlisting and would start off as a private, which is the lowest you can be in the Army.”
While all cadets are required to participate in ROTC classes during their freshman and sophomore years, those under contract continue ROTC throughout their entire college career and also must adhere to grade requirements.
For Herzberg, being a contract has helped to push him towards his goal and solidify his post-graduation plans.
“It really gave me a reason to stay in college,” Herzberg said. “There’s always a point where everybody wonders whether or not this is right for them. It really gave me a way to know that this was where I was meant to be and this is what I was meant to do.”
At the graduation ceremonies held in Dec. 2016, 35 graduates were commissioned into the U.S. Armed Services. In the graduation held in May 2016, more than 110 graduates received commissions.
With all of the military education, early mornings and drill practices, it can be easy to wonder why students not pursuing a military career may choose to join the Corps of Cadets. But for junior Management Alex Curry, member of the outfit C-2, this was never a question.
“When I first visited Texas A&M, I fell in love with the traditions of our school, and realized that the best way to become part of those traditions was to join the Guardians of Tradition themselves,” Curry said. “The time spent in ROTC as a freshman and sophomore was still valuable to my professional development, and I have a deep understanding and appreciation of our nation’s military. It’s an honor to live, train and study alongside the future of America’s military.”
Although he won’t be gaining a commission into a branch of the military, Curry said there are many valuable lessons he’s learned from being in the Corps.
“In addition to earning a certificate in leadership studies, I’ll have gained memories, experiences, and relationships that will positively influence me for the rest of my life,” Curry said. “Oh yeah, and this really cool pair of boots, too.”

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