COLLEGE STATION, Texas — Since 1876 the Corps of Cadets has been the spirit of Aggieland, and like everything else, things have continued to evolve within the organization.
"The Corps is the heart and soul of the tradition and the character in the values that define Texas A&M," 46th Commandant Patrick R. Michaelis said. "You go back almost 150 years, and the origin of this university has its heart and soul within the Corps itself."
In April of last year, the Corps announced its "March to 3,000 initiative" to grow its membership to 3,000 by 2030. Currently, the organization has over 2,100 members.
"When I look at the March of 3,000, I look at it as a huge opportunity," Michaelis said. "We're talking about growing the Corps by a third, and the impact of that third it has on the state and nation. When you produce leaders of character, the caliber that come through the Corps, you affect the world around us."
Another change recently has been the appointment of the 46th Commandant of the Corps of Cadets. The Brigadier General, a 1993 graduate of Texas A&M University, says his four years in College Station was the most time he spent in any one location during his time with the U.S. Army.
"The reason why I came back to Texas A&M was because of the experience I had in the Corps of Cadets," Michaelis said. "It made me who I was as an officer in the Army and makes me who I am today. That grounding in character, in values, in education."
The commandant says while a lot has changed since his time at Texas A&M, the one thing that has stayed the same is the student's commitment to each other and to the values the university represents.