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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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Freshmen cadets earn Corps Brass

Photo by Allison Bradshaw
Cadets do physical training to earn their Corps Brass on Sunday. 
Photo by Allison Bradshaw Cadets do physical training to earn their Corps Brass on Sunday. 

After hours of physical training, mental challenges and intensive team building, Corps freshmen earned their Corps Brass on Sunday afternoon, affirming their acceptance among the ranks of Texas A&M’s Corps of Cadets.
Corps Brass was established in 1960 under Texas A&M’s 16th president, Gen. James Earl Rudder. At that time it was designed by members of the Corps and consisted of the Latin motto, “Per Unitatem Vis,” meaning, “Through Unity, Strength.”
The emblem is still worn more than 50 years after its creation on the uniform of every cadet who earns it.
John Squatrito, construction science freshman, said Corps Brass is an event all freshmen prepare for.
“We’ve prepared with countless hours of intense physical training and strenuous mental training just trying to push our limits as far as we are able to,” Squatrito said. ”We’ve really just tried to prepare ourselves the best we can.”
Parker Poage, business administration freshman from Vail, Colorado, said he had no idea the magnitude of the Corps’ impact would be so great until he got to College Station and actually experienced what it meant.
“Corps Brass, to me, means that I’ve pushed myself to the brink,” Poage said. “And the Corps Brass is sort of a symbol showing the next step of maturity as a unit.”
Andy Wilcoxon, political science freshman, said the outfit did campusology, which includes running around campus and answering questions about A&M, the Corps and campus history.
“You’re put to the test with your brothers and sisters and you’ve got to embrace it,” Wilcoxon said. “You’ve got to depend on them to help you out.”
Poage said Corps Brass moves freshmen one step closer to gaining the acknowledgement and duties of a Corps sophomore.
“Corps Brass is a symbol of me and my class,” Poage said. “That we work hard together and that we’re united.”
David Trigg, Corps commander, recalling his own Corps Brass process, said while it was difficult, the effort was worth the reward.
“It was incredibly challenging but equally rewarding,” Trigg said. “It unified my buddies and my class.”
Charles Kirbo, civil engineering senior, said the tradition is meant to unite the freshman class and help them create bonds that will not just last for four years, but for a lifetime.
“At least for my class, we weren’t that close before it,” Kirbo said. “But after Corps Brass, because the challenges of trying to pass off rooms, getting our uniforms perfect and whatnot — it bonded us. We were forced into a rough situation and we had to rely on each other to get it done.”
Freshmen could be seen running around campus and working out within their various outfits in different locations between 2-5 p.m. Sunday.
The different challenges ranged from outfit runs, to Texas A&M and Corps knowledge assessments. The freshmen are meant to come together as a class during these trials and strengthen bonds, said Aaron White, civil engineering junior.
“During freshman year, Corps Brass was a really good time to bond with my buddies,” White said. “It’s a bond that I have cherished since then. They are like brothers to me.”
Trigg said he hopes cadets continue to follow the unifying values included in the Corps Brass process.
“I want them to remember that at Texas A&M, the Corps of Cadets is a privilege,” Trigg said. “It is a blessing that needs to be earned every day.”
Not all cadets received their Corps Brass Sunday. Some select Army outfits were at a Rudder’s Rangers competition over the weekend and will go through Corps Brass procedure at an unspecified time this week.

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