The Corps of Cadets recently announced the organization’s leadership selections for the upcoming 2023-2024 school year. At the top of this list lies the Corps’ third-ever female Corps Commander: cadet Caitlynn Walsh ‘24.
A Political Science major from Double Oak, Texas, Caitlynn currently serves as the Corps’ Sergeant Major for the 2022-2023 school year. As she prepares to officially step into the Corps Commander role next month at Final Review, Caitlynn took time to reflect on her unique path to Texas A&M and the Corps of Cadets.
“I transferred to Texas A&M during my sophomore year from the U.S. Coast Guard Academy. After reflecting on what I wanted in a university experience, I decided to make the switch to Texas A&M and joined the Corps as a transfer cadet in Company D-1. I have always wanted to serve in the military and saw the Corps as the best place to immerse myself in a community of service-driven individuals with many opportunities to further develop my leadership skills,” Caitlynn said.
With her sights set on military service, Caitlynn has chosen to pursue a Marine Corps contract through the Platoon Leaders Class, an undergraduate commissioning program.
“Before joining the Corps of Cadets, I had not really considered the Marine Corps. Since joining the Corps, I am grateful to have made many friends that shed light onto the opportunities and values of the Marine Corps. The Marine Corps ultimately drew me with its strong esprit de corps, values and mission that I resonated with, and the unique opportunities to serve my country that it offers,” Caitlynn explained.
As Corps Commander, Caitlynn looks to lead the Corps by example and serve as a source of inspiration to those around her.
“I hope to inspire others by setting an example and showing commitment to the Corps’ values of Honor, Integrity, Courage, Discipline, Respect and Selfless Service through my actions. I also aim to foster an environment where every member feels supported, valued and encouraged to succeed and grow as a leader in this organization,” Caitlynn said.
“As the third-ever female Corps Commander, I also hope to inspire other women within the Corps and beyond by serving as an example that leadership is not limited by gender. The role of Corps Commander holds great responsibility, regardless of gender, and I see it as a tremendous opportunity to serve the university that I love.”
With her tenure as Corps Commander about to begin, Caitlynn offered a few pieces of advice to the incoming freshman class of 2027.
“Commit yourself to the Corps’ values. Honor, Integrity, Courage, Discipline, Respect, and Selfless Service are central to the Corps experience and the Aggie identity. Embrace them and they will serve you well as you use them to guide your actions as a cadet and beyond.
Be disciplined, but don’t be afraid to seek help. The Corps experience is a challenging one, and it is supposed to be. It is designed to develop values and strong leadership skills in each member, which takes dedication and hard work. Realize that there is no shortage of people who are invested in your success and are willing to mentor, guide and help you overcome any challenge you may face.”
For over 145 years, the Corps of Cadets has served as Texas A&M’s premier leadership organization, developing leaders from all walks of life. Though Caitlynn took a non-traditional path to the Corps of Cadets, the opportunities available to her were endless. The Corps of Cadets serves as a place for every individual, regardless of their goals for the future, to develop into well rounded leaders prepared for any challenge they may face.
Story By: Robin Nelson ’22
Though Caitlynn has chosen to serve in the United States Marine Corps after her time at Texas A&M, a majority of graduating cadets go on to serve in the public and private sectors. Fill out the form below to learn more about the professional, educational and scholarship opportunities available in the Corps of Cadets.