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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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University announces March to 3,000

Photo by Abbey Santoro

Hoping to increase enrollment and overall size of the Corps of Cadets, on Thursday, April 28 announced changes to recruitment and retention practices.

In an effort to grow the number of members in the Corps of Cadets, Texas A&M announced the “March to 3,000” campaign.

With 2,143 student members as of fall 2021, the Corps is the largest uniformed student body, aside from the United States military academies, according to an April 28 press release. Intertim Commandant Col. Bryon Stebbins, Class of 1978, said the Corps is what makes the university stand apart from other secondary-education programs.

“As the ‘Keepers of the Spirit’ and the ‘Guardians of Tradition,’ the Corps is devoted to upholding Texas A&M’s reputation as a top-tier institution, as well as its time-honored traditions,” Stebbins said. “The leadership experience gained through the Corps’ four-year leadership development program is unmatched and prepares cadets for careers in the military, public or private sectors.”

A&M President M. Katherine Banks said the Corps is an important part of the history of the university. As one of the oldest student organizations, the Corps was mandatory for all students attending the university at its origin, though in 1965, former university President Gen. James Earl Rudder declared it would no longer be a requirement, but an opportunity students could choose to take part in.

“Many graduates have gone on to serve with excellence across a broad spectrum of careers,” Banks said. “We have a duty and obligation to our state and nation to continue developing leaders of character, and I am in full support of expanding the opportunities the Corps provides our students.”

Vice President for Student Affairs retired Brig. Gen. Joe E. Ramirez Jr., Class of 1979, said the Corps has a long-standing history and is an integral part of the traditions at A&M. Ramirez formerly served as the Corps commandant and said he saw the effects of the organization on students.

“I saw first-hand the positive impact that the four-year Corps experience can have on our cadets — in academics, leadership development and career readiness,” Ramirez said. “A larger Corps only enhances the overall A&M experience for all. I am excited by this initiative, and look forward to seeing the steady growth of the Corps over the coming years.” 

With strict adherence to study times and academics, many cadets have exceeded the academic performance of their peers.

“In fall 2021, 69% of cadets posted above a 3.0 GPA,” the release reads. “In May 2021, over 90% of cadets were either employed or commissioning into the military at graduation.”

To help with cadet recruitment, the university has funded two scholarships in the 2021-22 academic year including the ROTC Patriot Scholarship Program and the Maj. Gen. Raymond L. Murray scholarship

Additionally, the Office of the Commandant is working to evaluate recruitment and retention efforts through a partnership with Mays Business School and a cadet retention task force as well as an upcoming marketing campaign.

“Specific efforts include a partnership with the Master of Science in Marketing program in Mays Business School to review and make recommendations on the Corps’ current recruiting practices,” the release reads. “They are also working with an advertising agency to launch a marketing campaign this summer aimed at increasing awareness about what the Corps has to offer.”

To keep up with the growing number of cadets, two additional dorms will be constructed with a completion date of 2027-28.

From being a fish to senior boots, Stebbins said the Corps provides a unique experience for Aggies to experience their college years.

“The Corps of Cadets provides students at Texas A&M with the complete Aggie experience, from the day they arrive on campus to the time they cross the stage at graduation,” Stebbins said.

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