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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

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Corps of Cadets Company C-2 takes flight in Corps’ oldest tradition

Photo by Photo by Abbey Santoro

Company C-2 kicked off Halloween early with the annual Flight of the Great Pumpkin on Friday, Oct. 22 at 10:31 p.m. on the Quad. 

The Corps of Cadets celebrated the Flight of the Great Pumpkin in honor of Halloween with masks, candy and torches.
Company C-2 held its annual event on the Quad on Friday, Oct. 22. The Halloween tradition is the oldest in the Corps, dating back to the 1960s.
C-2 senior Mike Churchman explained the history of this tradition.
“[Flight] started back in the 1960s as a punishment for a freshman who had done something stupid,” Churchman said. “He was sent out to walk around, like the ghost from ‘It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown.’”
Although the tradition shares a name with the Charlie Brown cartoon, the origins of the two differ quite a bit.
“At the time, C-2 had a big rivalry with the band and it was really vicious,” C-2 international studies junior Wes King said. “One year, the fish decided to find the biggest pumpkin they could find and smash it in the band dorms.”
King said the original freshman who inspired the tradition was covered with a white sheet with a hollowed-out pumpkin on his head. While holding a flaming broom, King said the freshman ran through a group of upperclassmen.
“It’s much tamer now. It’s more ceremonial,” Churchman said. “Now Flight is a form of camaraderie between not only C-2 and the band but between the Corps itself.”
Although Flight has evolved into a less violent tradition, the outfit’s dedication to the Halloween event remains strong. Freshmen and sophomores in the outfit are not allowed to know anything regarding the preparation of Flight and do not partake in the event itself. Additionally, freshmen are not allowed to own anything orange and will get in trouble if they mention anything related to the holiday or the Corps’ event. They are not allowed to “know” the numbers 10 or 31 as they are related to Halloween, King said.
“[The] Flight begins day one of Freshman Orientation Week,” King said. “It’s the most important thing they hammer in. Upperclassmen give the freshmen a list of Halloween-themed terms that they are not allowed to ‘know’ or talk about.”
Several members of C-2 are second, third or even fourth-generation Aggies and members of the outfit. Both King and Churchman’s fathers were members of C-2 during the 1990s. Mike Churchman Sr., Class of 1992, was a part of Flight during his time in the Corps.
“Him having experienced this just as I had really built our bond stronger,” Churchman Sr. said. “It’s something that we can sit down and have a beer and talk about our different experiences. I was really excited about that.”
For students who might not know of the Halloween tradition, Flight can seem intimidating to an unknowing onlooker. Economics sophomore Hannah Hubert commented on her first time attending the event.
“I think it’s a life-long tradition that C-2 puts on to show their honor and tradition toward their outfit,” Hubert said.
With its long history of Halloween tradition, C-2 brings festivity to the Quad every year. Whether students are members of the Corps or not, Flight is a fun celebration of October’s spookiest holiday.
“To me, Flight is just so exhilarating,” Churchman Jr. said. “It’s wacky, and it’s unlike any other tradition out there.”

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  • Company C-2 kicked off Halloween with the annual Flight of the Great Pumpkin on Friday, Oct. 22 at 10:31 p.m. on the Quad. 

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