The Traditions of Texas A&M

To say Texas A&M is a traditional school is an understatement. Texas A&M lives and dies by its rich tradition. To an outsider like me, it’s hard to wrap my head around things. Victoria once said she didn’t get all the rituals and traditions of the Catholic church. Growing up Catholic (can you actually believe I was an altar boy?), I clearly get what is going on with things. After meeting Victoria and getting introduced to Texas A&M and its traditions, I can definitely say I echo her sentiment about the Catholic Church, but instead for the university. Slowly but surely, I am starting the wrap my head around things and the traditions are starting to show their meaning.

The main tradition of Texas A&M is rooted in its military history. When called to service in World War 1, the entire senior class of 1917 left to fight. Texas A&M also graduates the most commissioned officers for the United States Military outside of the actual official military academies ran by the US Military. It is also only one of six classified “senior military academies” that gives direct officer commissions upon graduation.

I actually didn’t know there was such a thing as a senior military academy. When I was getting out of college with my bachelor’s degree, I actually looked into joining the military as an officer. I knew you could either go to an official military academy to get a commission or through Office Candidate School (OCS). I didn’t know there was another avenue, but obviously there’s only six  universities that do this, with Texas A&M being one of them.

After doing some additional research and actually walking around the campus, I can see why they allow this direct commission. The Corps of Cadets lives and breathes military discipline, in a way it that almost looks like they have a 4 year boot camp as they get their degrees. I thought OCS was going to be challenging, but I could see where this is just as challenging, if not more challenging.

Even with many students not being in the Corps of Cadets, the military tradition permeates throughout the school itself. There are so many military-based traditions, I could make this blog entry a novel. Additionally, I’ve personally only really scratched the surface and am still trying to wrap my head around everything. I plan to do a lot of exploring of College Station and Bryan and ultimately the Texas A&M campus, so I will point out the traditions I discover in those blog entries. As they say at Texas A&M, “If it happens more than twice, it’s a tradition.”

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