For generations, the Texas A&M Corps of Cadets has prepared young men and women to serve at the forefront of our nation. For some, their service to our country is not performed as a member of the Armed Forces, but in other vital capacities. Through the Bush Combat Development Complex (BCDC), new opportunities to serve are being made available to these cadets.
Located on Texas A&M’s RELLIS Campus in Bryan, the Bush Combat Development Complex serves as a production resource that provides our nation’s defense organizations with the technology needed to readily secure and defend our country against the challenges of the 21st Century. With a five year, 96.2 million dollar contract from the U.S. Army Futures Command awarded to them in September, the Bush Combat Development Complex’s push toward the future is now stronger than ever; and they’re looking to the Corps of Cadets for support as they advance.
Through the Bush Combat Development Complex’s National Security Fellowship Program, a program that grants recently graduated cadets the opportunity to conduct graduate level research through the complex, a pipeline between the Corps is being established.
In order to be eligible for the Fellowship Program, former cadets must be U.S. citizens, must have at least a 3.25 GPA in a relevant field of study and must also be accepted into a graduate program with the Texas A&M College of Engineering. With expansion plans to other fields of study set for the near future, the Fellowship Program looks to soon welcome cadets from all academic specialties.
“We are passionate about providing our Aggies with the tools they need to protect our tomorrow, today. As such, we are excited about a developing opportunity through the BCDC Fellowship Program that will provide a pipeline for students in the Corps who have an
interest in serving in national security research to work with us,” Major General Tim Green (USAF, Ret) ‘86, Director of the Bush Combat Development Complex, said. “In fact, Brigadier General Michaelis and members of his staff are engaged in constant discussion with us about building these opportunities for cadets. As we host both government and industry leaders, the one question we constantly receive is how they can recruit students who have a heart for service to the nation and are able to obtain a U.S. security clearance. The natural source for that is through the Corps of Cadets.”
The plan to incorporate the Corps of Cadets into the Bush Combat Development Complex’s research initiatives was a natural partnership given the shared values of the complex and the Corps.
“Just as Texas A&M has been producing leaders of character for our state and nation since 1876, it only makes sense that we would be involved in the research to provide these leaders with the tools they need to hopefully deter combat, but if necessary, have them deploy-fight-win and return home safely with those that our Aggies will lead in the future. This is personal to the Bush Combat Development Complex, as many of us are former military, with several of our staff also being former Texas A&M cadets themselves,” Major General Green explained.
Over the last decade, the percentage of cadets choosing to pursue careers in the public and private sectors has greatly increased. Currently, well over half of all graduating seniors in the Corps pursue careers in these sectors. Opportunities, like those available through the Bush Combat Development Complex, give cadets the opportunity to serve our nation without having to contract into the military.
“As our facilities continue to come online in the coming months and these organizations join in on BCDC research efforts, I think it will be a natural draw from both government and industry to have cadets who meet the criteria join in fellowship and internship opportunities that could happen right here at BCDC, particularly for engineering students,” Major General Green said.
Through this upcoming partnership with the Bush Combat Development Complex, the Corps of Cadets will continue to prepare our nation's top leaders on an even larger scale. As the Corps continues to march toward the future, opportunities such as this partnership allow our cadets to serve at the forefront of every sector.
“These fellowships exemplify the quality of cadets who are coming through the Corps. The partnership with the Bush Combat Development Complex provides a pipeline of excellence for those who want to serve the greater good and shape the future of our national security posture. I’m very proud of where this partnership is going, and I am looking forward to the impact that the cadets who are selected into this program will create,” Brigadier General Patrick Michaelis ‘93 (USA, Ret), Commandant of the Corps of Cadets, said.
Story by: Robin Nelson '22