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The Battalion

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

The Battalion

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The crowd always parts for the Corps’

 
 

Saturday’s March-In path will incorporate Military Walk to allow for more gameday exposure for the Corps.
Normally, cadets start on the Quad one and a half hours before game time. They make their way from south campus to Koldus and the MSC, where they then march into Kyle Field. Saturday however, cadets will not march into Kyle Field for the ULM game, said David Trigg, Corps commander. Instead cadets will travel part of the same path former cadets marched to Sbisa for dinner, Trigg said.
“We will leave from the Quad, march the normal route we normally do down in front of Koldus and in front of the MSC, and then we’ll just keep going,” Trigg said. “We’ll walk all the way around the MSC, go back along O.R. Simpson Drill Field and hopefully meet up at the Rudder Statue and march directly up Military Walk as the old Corps did when they used to march to Sbisa to go to the dining hall.”
Because most fans don’t enter the stadium early, the new route allows the Corps to have more gameday exposure on campus, said Trigg.
“If you look at the stadium when we normally march in, even on a big game weekend or a night game, the stadium is pretty bare because we march in about an hour and a half to two hours before,” Trigg said. “Because of that, there’s a lot of tailgating going on, so we wondered if we marched outside of the stadium and a round around campus around these different tailgating environments, we definitely have a lot more Corps exposure and to showcase how large our Corps of Cadets is this year.”
Trigg said future Corps leaders may consider repeating the alternate March-In route.
Trigg said March-In is a tradition that connects Aggies across generations.
“In a March-In for the Corps, it is a unique tradition for how we start a football game,” Trigg said. “We actually march, we do a full parade, and for cadets that begins the game day experience. We have tailgating, we have the fan-based activities, but the crowd always parts for the Corps.”
Mary Godwin, philosophy junior and infantry band sergeant major, said March-In is an event not just for the cadets but also for family and friends.
“Every outfit does their own interesting thing, everybody does their ‘hump it,’ which is kind of a morale booster yell for each Corps outfit, and the band does one together,” Godwin said. “It’s when the Corps is on display for parents and friends.”
Godwin said March-In is done in the spirit of a military review.
“Each outfit passes by the reviewing stand, which includes the commandant of the Corps usually and then our military professors,” Godwin said. “If we have any military guests, they also stand up there and salute each unit and each major unit commander as they go by.”
Godwin said cadets feed off the gameday energy.
“Getting everyone out on the Quad ahead of time and doing outfit morale things and being able to be together as a Corps and look around and see so many other cadets in that group, it brings together the sense of Aggie Spirit before the game starts,” Godwin said. “We’re together all in one place mentally as well as physically.”
For a number of cadets, the experience is memorable.
Trigg said he still remembers his first March-In.
“Every second of it,” Trigg said. “I remember I went in two hours early from tailgating with my outfit to make sure that my uniform was perfect. I was ready, I was very nervous.”
Billy Felton, biology freshman and cadet, said the pace of the event picks up as the Corps marches toward the stadium.
“The cannon goes off, and everyone starts marching out,” Felton said. “It’s really slow at first, but once you get on the main road and head toward Kyle Field, you start getting a little more nervous because you see groups of people here and there and then you get in front of Rudder and it’s just massive groups of people, and all of them are taking pictures and cheering and stuff.”
Felton said the experience is exciting and a little nerve-wracking.
“You’re always watching to make sure you don’t mess up and trip in front of all of these people,” Felton said. “It’s a lot of fun. It’s probably one of the most fun things you can do, other than being at the football game. It’s one of the most attention bearing things that I’ve had [to do] throughout my school career so far.”
Alana Gregory, business freshman and cadet, said she’s been thanked before for the presentation.
“I went to eat afterwards with my buddies and this little boy came up to me and he was like, ‘Thank you for the parade’ and he gave me a hug and that was so special,” Gregory said.
Travis Miles, BIMS sophomore, said his most memorable March-In moment came when inside the stadium.
“We were marching on the field and we were going behind the field goal and the punter [on the other team] was kicking the ball for warm up and one lands right by me,” Miles said. “Like, six inches from me, it nearly killed me. Those things are going fast, I would probably be knocked out if it hit me.”
Many March-Ins later, Trigg said he has come to recognize how unique March-In is.
“You get the feeling you have a fan base, and that’s a really unique feeling now as Corps commander when I march in front and I see the crowd part and the little kids running out of the street and some of the adults trying to get as close to me as they possibly can to get a picture,” Trigg said. “It’s just a really unique feeling that we’re about two percent of this campus, yet we have an incredible audience that is so supportive of what we do.”
Step-off will begin at 9:30 a.m. Saturday at the Quad.
Akshay Shankar stands at attention during the March-In before the 2014 Ole Miss game at Kyle Field.
Cadets enter Kyle Field during the March-In before the 2013 Alabama game.
Photos by Tanner Garza.

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