Originally known as “the hike”, March to the Brazos began in 1908 in an effort to keep cadets out of trouble on April Fools Day. Cadets took part in a multi-day trek from campus to the Brazos River, conducting a symbolic passing of positions to the next class year once they reached their destination.
Off and on over the last 115 years, the tradition of March to the Brazos has evolved into a nine mile hike the weekend before Final Review. As one of the last major Corps events of the year, the days leading up to March to the Brazos are filled with excitement and anticipation for what’s to come.
“The week leading up to March to the Brazos is so exciting. We’d looked forward to it all year, and I was so excited for our freshmen to experience March to the Brazos for the first time. I am really looking forward to the new experiences that next year will bring, and I can’t wait to see everyone in my outfit grow as leaders and as people across the next year,” Sofia Perez ‘25, Squadron 2, explained.
With the Texas A&M Beef Center serving as the present day destination, cadets still conduct a similar transition of positions and assume their new leadership roles for the upcoming academic year.
“I can’t wait to see everyone take on their new leadership positions and succeed within them. The Corps has done so much to develop me as a leader. My buddy class and the rest of Gator 2 have always been there to support me and hold me to the highest standard. I would not be the person that I am today without them,” Sofia said.
The walk back is symbolic of the upcoming school year, with each cadet ready to lead in their new roles. In one of their first acts as incoming cadet leaders, rising seniors, juniors and sophomores lead the way during the 9-mile march back to campus. During this time, outgoing seniors depart from the Beef Center on a well earned bus ride back to campus.
“It’s crazy to think that I’m entering my final year. I remember March to the Brazos last year, I had just been selected to serve as a leader within the outfit. I was really excited and senior year seemed so far away, but now it’s here. I’m really looking forward to getting my boots and ring next year, and I’m really excited to meet the new freshman class and show them all that the Corps has to offer,” Charlie Wright ‘24, Company E-2, said.
Though this annual tradition has looked a little different throughout the years, the transitional sentiment has remained the same. March to the Brazos remains symbolic of the personal development, achievements and relationships that each cadet forms as a member of the Corps. A yearly reminder of how far they have come, cadets across all class years are able to utilize March to the Brazos as a time to reflect on their Corps careers, and prepare for what lies ahead.
“While I was sad that this was my final March to the Brazos, I was really excited for it. It is my favorite Corps tradition. Each year in the Corps taught me something different. Freshman year taught me humility, being a hound as a sophomore in the Fish Drill Team taught me confidence, junior year taught me the value of true friends and senior year has taught me how to advocate for myself. I’m excited to carry all of these things with me into my next chapter of life,” Liam Stevens ‘23, Company G-2, said.
Tradition is a key part of Texas A&M and the Corps of Cadets. Backed by several decades worth of history, March to the Brazos has remained one of the most cherished and anticipated events in the Corps. Through events like March to the Brazos, the Corps of Cadets leverages cornerstones of history and tradition to remain one of the nation’s most unique leadership development programs.
Story By: Robin Nelson ’22