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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

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
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The BattalionMay 4, 2024

The First Lady’s handlers sound off on her character as campus prepares her send-off

C. Morgan Engel

After seven years of Kyle Field Saturdays, campus appearances and photo opportunities, the First Lady of Aggieland will be the center of attention one last time.
Reveille VIII will retire on May 9 at the Corps of Cadets Final Review, but first a Wednesday celebration will commemorate her time on campus.
Those who worked closest with her remember the mascot as well-mannered, spirited and ready for her retirement, which was announced at the beginning of the academic year after consultation with her veterinarians.
 “She’s definitely tired and ready to retire,” said Ian Moss, Reveille’s newest handler and construction science freshman. “I’ve been handling her for two weeks and she gets exhausted pretty quickly. She also prefers laying down instead of sitting.” 
 Reveille VIII was officially introduced as A&M’s mascot and the highest-ranking member of the Corps of Cadets in August of 2008 when she was two years old. She has since maintained an active campus presence.
 “[Reveille] has about 12 events to attend a week,” Moss said. “It generally averages to about two per day. I try not to take her to class when she has many events to attend, seeing as she is such a busy dog.”  
As per tradition, Reveille resides with and is handled by a sophomore in Company E-2. Reveille’s handler must go through extensive training, studying and must pass multiple tests before being declared a handler. 
“There’s a designated eight-week process where we study a different Reveille every week, learn about her and write an essay on her,” Moss said. “We have to read a book on tips on raising a healthy dog. [Rev’s handler] has to be a good ambassador of the university who represents his or herself well.”
 Reveille’s day adheres to the schedule of her handler, a cadet who must not only manage his or her own schedule, but plan it around Reveille’s needs.
“I wake up at 5:25 a.m. and we go workout together,” Moss said. “Then I bring her back to the dorm, feed her, brush her teeth and brush her fur. I don’t have any 8 a.m. classes so she usually sleeps after her morning routine.”
Daylon Koster, agricultural economics senior and Reveille’s handler from 2012-2013, said Reveille is mostly calm — with some humorous exceptions.
“I was in my animal science class with Rev in the front row and the professor was talking about and displaying cows in his lecture,” Koster said. “Being a natural herding dog, Reveille got extremely curious at the sight of these cows and barked. All 300 students got out class early that day.”
Reveille has not only met professors and students, but has also spent time with high-profile campus and national figures.
“[Rev] has gotten to fly with Coach Sumlin in private and in her own seat,” Koster said. 
Business administration freshman David Sharp is Reveille’s “third leash,” meaning if Moss or her “second leash” cannot take her to the event, he is in charge of her. Sharp describes Reveille as fluffy, sassy and playful.
“She loves to chase squirrels,” Sharp said. “One time I was with her and as she was posing for a photo, she saw a squirrel about 50 feet from her and immediately froze. She began creeping up to the squirrel and as soon as it locked eyes with her, she darted after the squirrel, chased it up a tree and was barking throughout.” 
Despite the many everyday surprises not typical to any other dog, Reveille has stuck to her routine and by her handlers’ sides.
“She knows the job better than I do,” Moss said. “Since I am new, she walks me through what I’m supposed to be doing and where I’m going. She knows where she’s supposed to go. She even has a designated poop spot right behind the Quad.”
Sharp said sometimes she outright refuses to carry on with her responsibilities.
“Whenever I’m walking her off the Quad, she knows that once she passes the arches she’s heading somewhere,” Sharp said. “Sometime, she anchors herself to the ground and tugs on her leash, refusing to budge.”
Koster said Reveille remembers her handlers and treats them with the same affection.
“Even though it’s been two years since I was her handler, [Rev] is still in the dorms and I get to babysit her all the time,” Koster said. “She has a great memory. Every time she sees her breeders, she runs up to them, tackles them and licks them.”
Moss said next year he will face the responsibility of learning how to train a brand new Reveille IX.
“[Reveille VIII] has things that bother her and they have been known for so many years,” Moss said. “With the new Rev, I’ll be figuring it all out from trial and error. I’ll be teaching her all the ropes, especially how to compose herself around people and at events.”
Koster said Reveille VIII is an amazing dog and served her role well.
“I’m excited for her,” Koster said. “She had a great run. I also can’t wait to meet the new Reveille IX.”
The celebration will be from 4-6 p.m. at the Clayton Williams Alumni Center.

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  • Reveille leads the Corp of Cadets as First Lady.

  • Reveille joined students at Rudder Plaza to raise awareness of modern slavery and human trafficking. 

    Jena Floyd
  • Reveille relaxes on the steps of the Administration Building after a walk with Ian Moss, her handler.

    Sarah Lane
  • Reveille takes a break during half-time while attending a football game against LSU.

    Shelby Knowles
  • Reveille attending one of her many events.

    Shelby Knowles
  • Reveille shows her support for the Aggies at football games.

    Shelby Knowles
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