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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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Dog’s new best friend

The cadet who has the privilege of being Reveille XIII’s handler changed on April 17 when Ben Coffman, a freshman general studies major, became the newest mascot corporal.
Each year, a freshman is chosen to be the first lady of Aggieland’s primary caregiver for the next year. As mascot corporal, they are responsible for housing Reveille in their dorm room, accompanying her to events, escorting her to class and keeping the tradition alive.
The 2008-2009 mascot corporal John Busch, a sophomore accounting major, said he had the opportunity to be a part of a unique tradition of Reveille that’s a defining aspect of Texas A&M.
“It’s a living tradition; something you can actually touch and see,” Busch said. “As opposed to that one-ton cow over in Austin, you can actually cuddle up with this.”
The mascot corporal comes from the E-2 Company of the Corps of Cadets, more commonly known as the Mascot Company Rebels. As freshmen, cadets are required to learn the history behind A&M’s furriest tradition, and every cadet in this company has a behind-the-scenes role in the care of “Miss Rev.”
“I joined the Corps in the first place to be a part of the E-2 outfit because they were unique and had a defined purpose,” said Coffman about the exclusive duty of his outfit.
Coffman went through a rigorous selection process to become the 2009-2010 mascot corporal. In the final two months, candidates endured tasks such as uniform inspections, essay assignments and library record research at the Cushing Library.
The various tasks looked at whether the candidates could work well with people and ensure that the cadet picked viewed the responsibility with utmost importance, said Busch, who had a final say on his replacement.
“One of the main reasons why Ben was chosen – he will never say it, but I will – is humility,” Busch said. “To be humble is one of his greatest aspects and it is absolutely required for the job.”
The mascot corporal position is a selfless service job and Busch joked that Coffman could claim the superlative of having “the most famous legs in Aggieland,” because of the pictures focusing on Reveille, who will soon always be at his side.
Now that Busch’s time as mascot corporal has ended, he has become a “mascot sergeant,” mentoring and helping Coffman adjust to his new job. Busch, who was elected as a junior yell leader for next year, said he is looking forward to passing down the tools of the trade, especially lint rollers.
The mascot corporal devotes a large chunk of his time to Reveille – taking her to class, bringing her on dates and even giving up his own bed. As the tradition goes, if Reveille falls asleep on the cadet’s bed, they must give it up and sleep on the floor.
“I’m looking forward to two things,” Coffman said, “meeting interesting people and the football games.”
At the football games the mascot corporal walks Reveille out onto the field and then spends the rest of the game touring the private boxes.
Last year, Busch met Aggies from all walks of life: Governor Rick Perry, military generals and distinguished former students, as well as an adopted Aggie, President George H.W. Bush. The greatest experience, he said, was meeting Rudy Ruettiger, the legendary Notre Dame football player who the movie “Rudy” is based on.
“Rudy was so excited to see Reveille and kept saying, ‘It’s the real Reveille!’ while the whole time I was saying, ‘It’s the real Rudy!'” Busch said. “It was a neat experience to see two legendary traditions from two different colleges there together.”

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