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12th Man’s best friend

Five-diamond cadet general, A&M’s First Lady ‘and she knows it’

Published: Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Updated: Wednesday, July 25, 2012 19:07

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12th Man's best friend

Five-diamond cadet general, A&M’s First Lady ‘and she knows it’

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She’s six years old, the highest-ranking member of the Corps of Cadets and the First Lady of Texas A&M University.

Reveille VIII, A&M’s official mascot, is not just a dog, but a tradition.

In 1931, a group of cadets were driving to College Station from Navasota, and accidentally hit a black and white stray mutt. Eager to care for the dog, the cadets brought her back to their dorm, even though pets were not — and are still not — allowed inside. The next morning, when a bugler played “Reveille,” she started barking and so was named after the morning wake up call.

The following football season, Reveille I led the band onto the field during its half-time performance and was dubbed A&M’s official mascot. When Reveille I died in 1944, she was given a formal military funeral and then buried at the north entrance of Kyle Field, where all Reveilles are buried, facing the scoreboard so that she may always watch the Aggies outscore their opponent. To date, there have been eight Reveilles with the second one being a Shetland Sheepdog and the rest, purebred American collies.

Reveille is taken care of by Company E-2 of the Corps of Cadets and lives with a sophomore Mascot Corporal and Assistant Mascot Corporal throughout the school year.

“During the school year, we often wake up around 6:00 a.m. and she eats, gets brushed and attends morning formation,” said Daylon Koster, sophomore ag leadership major and current Mascot Corporal. “We march into ‘Chow’ and after that we are off to class. Rev usually falls asleep since she is going on her fifth year at A&M. We often joke that she is getting her Dog-terate.”

Ryan Crawford, a junior political science major and former Mascot Corporal, said Reveille VIII fits her position as Aggie royalty.

“She’s definitely smarter than the average dog,” Crawford said. “She’s very proper and eloquent – she’s more reserved and elegant, never obnoxious. She’s the First Lady of Texas A&M and she knows it.”

Reveille VIII, being a five star general, merits a high level of respect. If she is sleeping on a cadet’s bed, that cadet must sleep on the floor and cadets must always address Reveille as “Miss Rev, ma’am.” Further, if she is in class and barks while the professor is teaching, class is to be immediately dismissed.

“On her uniform, she has five diamonds so that means she outranks even the highest commanders,” Crawford said. “When a senior would come in and tell me to do something, I would just look at Rev and look back at him and then say, ‘I don’t think Rev thinks that’s a good idea’.”

During the summer, Reveille VIII goes home with the Mascot Corporal and participates in his or her daily routine.

“We do pretty much everything together,” Koster said. “Recently, Reveille and I flew to Atlanta for the Texas A&M-Missouri SEC Welcoming Celebration. Since Reveille is the First Lady of Texas A&M, she has never really been crated or boarded, so she got to fly in a private plane with Coach Sumlin.”

Being Mascot Corporal is considered a high honor at Texas A&M. The position is only given to an incoming sophomore in the Corps of Cadets who has demonstrated the adequate skills and knowledge required to best take care of Reveille. The new Mascot Corporal is announced each year during Parents’ Weekend.

“It’s a lot of hard work and the candidates must strive for excellence throughout the entire year in everything they do,” Koster said.

Recently, rumors have circulated about Reveille VIII’s replacement. Major Christy Gantt, the overseer for all things Reveille and her health, said that is not the case.

“The rumors are not true — Reveille VIII is doing just great,” Gantt said. “We keep a good eye on her and I can tell you that she’s in perfect health. We are not looking to replace her anytime soon.”

This is great news, considering Reveille VIII is not just a mascot, but also a pet to students all over campus.

“Most of the time you only see other mascots at a pep rally, football game or other athletic event, but Reveille attends class just like all of the other students at Texas A&M,” Koster said. “She sleeps in the dorms, studies in Evans and even takes the bus across campus. You never know when you might see Reveille and it certainly brings a smile to a student’s face when they happen to cross paths.”

The Mascot Corporal encourages fellow students to stop and take pictures with Reveille if they have a chance.

“She’s the University’s mascot and she’s everyone’s dog,” Crawford said. “I would encourage people to stop the Mascot Corporal and take pictures and say hello.”

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