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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Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp attends the Class of 1972 50-year reunion in Kyle Field on April 20, 2022.
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Farewell from the graduating Battalion staff of 2024
Farewell from the graduating Battalion staff of 2024
The Battalion May 4, 2024

Get to know your yell leaders: Roy May

Photo+by+Cody+Franklin
Photo by Cody Franklin

Battalion reporter Phillip Martinez sat down with Yell Leader Roy May.
THE BATTALION: You were introduced to Texas A&M early on in life. How much did that influence your desire to become a Yell Leader?
MAY: It had a great influence on me, because I had grown up knowing it was important. Now that I am a Yell Leader, I can finally appreciate the impact we have as some of the ambassadors for Texas A&M. There’s something mystical about the Yell Leaders when you’re a kid. Usually the three things these kids want to do is get a picture with Johnny Manziel, a picture with Reveille and a picture with the Yell Leaders, and I get to help them with that. My parents tell me I had wanted to be a Yell Leader ever since I was six years old and I’ve been lucky enough to see that desire come full circle and fulfill itself.
THE BATTALION: What would you say was the biggest influence for you attending Texas A&M?
MAY: Well I was born in the maroon and white. There were no other college options for me. Either I would go to school at Texas A&M or I wouldn’t go to school at all. Another big factor was my career in the U.S. Army. At the time, I was at a crossroads in my career where if I had reenlisted, the U.S. Army would have been my career. I wouldn’t have minded it, but there is something very important to me about getting a college degree. The degree isn’t just a piece of paper — it also represents your determination to stick with a life changing decision. Also, since I have a daughter, I can’t tell her to get a degree if I don’t have one, I want to be a good role model to my family just like my wife is.
THE BATTALION: How much history do you know about the Yell Leaders?
MAY: I’ve heard a lot of good bull stories from my father, and from all the old Ags who return to campus. If you’re fortunate enough to get selected or even run for Yell Leader, the history will come in droves. There’s a formal history we all learn from books but there’s also an informal history we learn from the old Yell Leaders, since many of them live in College Station. The old Yell Leaders are the most revered though, since they can tell you things no book will be able to say.
THE BATTALION: What was the most memorable event you can remember as a Yell Leader?
MAY: My very first event was The Big Event. It’s the very first time the newly elected Yell Leaders are in public in their white uniforms. It’s very intimidating being in front of 20,000 people. Some other memorable events were my first Midnight Yell, and the Midnight Yell right before the ‘Bama game. But really, any event we’re at is wonderful because once it gets started, I have a reason to act like I’m twenty again.
THE BATTALION: You’re a very unique student. What was the hardest part of transitioning from an active-duty soldier to a fulltime student?
MAY: The hardest thing is getting back into the academic mindset. Personally, the most difficult thing was remembering how much time to dedicate to studying. Most people continuously go from one grade to the next, so they’re consistently surrounded by the academic world. It’s very difficult to get back into that mindset after taking a break from that environment. Since a lot of the “real world” is based on performance in the academic world, success is very hard to achieve for those who have stopped going to school.
THE BATTALION: Did being in the Corps of Cadets Delta Company help your transition?
MAY: Oh yes, Delta Company is a very special place. I believe it makes Texas A&M the premier choice for combat veterans. When I got here it wasn’t anywhere near the size of a regular outfit, but there were still around 10 or 15 people. We had a common bond of understanding, since we were all combat veterans. It’s an amazing support network among those who are the most professional individuals in the world. We didn’t even have to be in the same branch to have that bond. It’s a cohesion that’s very hard to explain, but that is very strong. You’ll see this even in other countries’ armed forces, how everyone seems to know each other and how they’re always available to help with anything. It’s the same thing in Delta Company — you can always get help from your buddies.
THE BATTALION: Are there any military traditions that are similar to the traditions of the Corps of Cadets?
MAY: The marches and formal activities like passing in review are definitely very similar to those of the military. The rank structure is almost cut-and-pasted to be the same as the U.S. military. There are about 2015 parallels between the U.S. military and the Corps of Cadets, and I think it’s a very good thing that helps in the transitional process. Some of my friends from the Army have gone back to their hometowns and gone back to school. And I hear from them about what their ROTC department does and it’s quite surprising to me to hear that many are not modeled like the U.S. military is. I am of the opinion that there is not a sharper Corps of Cadets than that of Texas A&M.
THE BATTALION: If you could leave any lasting impact on Texas A&M, what would it be?
MAY: I don’t feel that I can leave a lasting impact on Texas A&M — I don’t want to make a singular, personal impact to Texas A&M. If someone is willing to listen to what I have to say, I’d want them to understand the great fortune we all have to be Fighting Texas Aggies and to give everything for this campus until you step on God’s campus. I’d also want them to understand how the Aggie Family produces the Aggie Network. Once they graduate, they’ll truly be a former student and part of the Aggie Family. There is truly no University that takes care of their graduates better than Texas A&M.

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