The Corps of Cadets is the premier Texas A&M leadership development program. Multiple opportunities exist for cadets to hone their leadership skills in the Corps – an organization that has been producing leaders for 145 years. The Corps of Cadets has produced Student Body Presidents, Student Regents, Student Senators, Class Presidents, and student athletes among many other leadership positions on campus. Cadet Tyler Bulthuis ‘22, applies the leadership skills he’s learned as a cadet on Kyle Field as a member of the Texas A&M Football team.
Tyler is a Construction Science major from McAllen, Texas. He is the son of Nelda and Doug Bulthuis and the brother of future cadet Ryan Bulthuis. As a member of the Corps, Tyler is a member of Company E-1 and serves as a Platoon Sergeant, where he is responsible for developing over 25 cadets in his platoon. As a member of the Texas A&M football team, Tyler wears number 28 and plays defensive back. His journey to Texas A&M started years ago when Tyler first attended Aggie Football Camps. Doug Bulthuis, Tyler’s father and longtime football coach, would load up Tyler and his friends to make the several hour trip to College Station each year. After spending most of his life playing football, Tyler knew he wanted a similar team environment going into his freshman year at Texas A&M.
“After doing my research, the Corps reminded me of my high school football experience where you bond with brothers and build great friendships,” said Tyler. “So during my New Student Conference (NSC), I talked with Company E-1 and was immediately sold.”
In the Spring of 2020, Tyler decided to try out for the Aggie football team. He soon received a phone call offering him a position on the team. However, due to the pandemic, players weren’t able to return to campus and Tyler was cut from the team. Shortly after the start of the fall semester, Tyler received another phone call with an offer to rejoin the team for the upcoming season.
“I was extremely excited once I got that second phone call. I never got the opportunity to prove myself before I got cut from the team in the summer because of COVID-19,” he said. “I honestly thought there was zero chance that I would get a call back, but God works in mysterious ways and I give all glory to Him.”
On the football field, Tyler’s role as a defensive back is to give the offense a good scout team look to help them prepare for the opponent that week. For his efforts, Tyler was named the Scout Team Player of The Week twice during the 2020 season. After being a part of a record setting season, he plans to return to play Aggie football once again in the fall of 2021.
“Coach Fisher is building something special here at Texas A&M, and I consider myself extremely blessed to be a part of it,” he said. “This season was a perfect foundation or stepping stone for future teams to build off of.”
From the Corps, to the classroom, and to Kyle Field, Tyler must juggle multiple schedules and responsibilities. Although it can be difficult to balance at times, Tyler has had an incredible support system from the beginning of his journey who have championed him in all aspects of his life.
“My buddies, upperclassmen and fish supported me and believed in me when I told them I wanted to try out for the football team,” he said. “Multiple times after outfit physical training sessions, several buddies, upperclassmen and fish stayed with me to train. I am very appreciative of the support they gave me and continue to give me.”
Although it can be difficult to manage the many responsibilities that come with being a cadet and student athlete, both organizations have taught Tyler valuable lessons.
“The Corps and football team demand excellence and attention to detail, are team oriented, and want you to be the best teammate you can possibly be,” he said. “Both organizations have had a huge impact on me by teaching me to embrace my role in whatever shape, way or form that it may be in because it’s best for the team/outfit.”
Tyler’s story is a testament to the quality of student leaders that the Corps produces. As a student athlete and cadet, Tyler encourages other cadets to be involved in the Corps and in other organizations on campus.
“The Corps of Cadets has a lot of hard working, dedicated, and team oriented individuals that can be great assets on the varsity sports teams here at A&M,” Tyler said. “I truly believe that we could help and contribute to those teams.”
Kaitlin Villa ’22