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

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

The Battalion

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Photo by Photo by: Valerie Gunchick

The Corps of Cadets completed an 18-mile march from Corps of Cadets’ dorms on the Quad to the Brazos River.

Rainy weather was enough to delay but not cancel the Corps of Cadets’ 40th annual 18-mile March to the Brazos.

The yearly event serves as both an informal transition of ranks among the Corps and a fundraising event for March of Dimes, an organization dedicated to funding research on the causes of premature birth. The organization holds many walks and events to raise money, but March to the Brazos is its largest student fundraiser.

“The outfits actually raise money during the school year and we march to the Brazos River,” said Master Gunnery Sergeant Fred Hauffe, Cadet Training Officer for the First Regiment. “Then the money is turned over to the March of Dimes, and they’re told about which outfit collected the most money.”

The march typically starts by the Corps of Cadet dorms on The Quad. However, due to construction, the cadets began in front of the Colonel Sanders Corps Center. From there, cadets marched 9 miles past the MSC and West Campus to the Texas A&M Animal Science Teaching, Research and Extension Complex that lies by the Brazos River.

Gavin Suel, a kinesiology freshman and the 2016-2017 mascot corporal, said Reveille even joined for part of the trip.

“She walked with the whole unit up until the end of West Campus, at which point she got dropped off and just rode along with us,” Sewell said. “We’re not going make her walk the whole 18 miles, it’s just fun for her to be there for a part of it as a symbol of who we are.”

Once the cadets reached the complex, they participated in multiple activities like wrestling and tug-of-war. As per tradition, the seniors then loaded up in buses and returned to the Quad while the rest of the cadets marched the 9 miles back to complete the 18-mile trek.

“It’s kind of a culmination of sorts,” said Cody Buczyna, management senior. “You march 18 miles for three years to earn that final ride back, so it’s a really sweet moment that you look forward to from your very first March. It’s also really cool for the rest of the Corps, especially for the rising seniors, because once we leave, the Corps is finally theirs to take over.”

Though the first March to the Brazos was held on April 1, 1909 to keep cadets from playing April Fool’s Day pranks, its reinstatement in 1977 not only started its partnership with March of Dimes, but also created a tradition for cadets.

Mathew Mansell, sociology senior from squadron 23, said March to the Brazos is a significant event for the entire Corps.

“March to the Brazos is the cumulative event at the end of every year that every cadet looks forward to,” Mansell said. “It is the [unofficial] transition point where one class year moves onto the next. The fish no longer have to call themselves ‘Fish So-and-So’ anymore, and the seniors are now entering the world of non-reg status. It truly is an event to remember.”

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