Why The Corps of Cadets?

There are more than 2,000 cadets at Texas A&M, each with their own reason for joining the Corps of Cadets. For some it was an opportunity to pay for college, for others, it was a chance to join elite units and challenge themselves more than they ever thought possible.  Below are just a few of the reasons our cadets have joined.

Video: Why did you join the Corps?

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Daily Life in the Corps

A day in the life of a cadet graphic

Once you have decided to join the Corps of Cadets you may wonder what to expect in a typical day as a cadet. This is the typical breakdown of a weekday in the Corps of Cadets.  Of course, some days and special occasions will adjust this, but this illustrates the structure of most weekdays for cadets.

Typical Day


  • Formation & Exercise


  • Chow


  • Academic Day


  • Training

Typical Evening


  • Evening Formation


  • Evening Chow


  • Evening Study


  • Room Study & Lights Out

Year to Year in the Corps

Daily life in the Corps is all about routine. The Corps lifestyle builds a routine that incorporates a balance of academic commitment, healthy lifestyle, and career readiness learning experiences.  Just as every day can be a different experience in the Corps,  each year, from freshman year to senior year, is a different experience as well.

Cadet on the obstacle course
Freshman Year: Bringing Your Best

As freshmen, cadets bring their talents and skills with them to the Corps. “fish,” as they are known their freshman year, begin their Corps experience at Freshman Orientation Week, known as FOW, held before school begins. During that week, “fish” learn about Corps life, receive their uniforms and bond with the other freshmen in their unit. Throughout their freshman year, cadets learn facts about the campus, the university, its traditions, and history. The goal of every “fish” is to succeed academically while becoming an outstanding cadet.

Freshmen have a special opportunity to join the nationally recognized Fish Drill Team.

Milestones that every freshman looks forward to include their first March-In before a home football game, earning their Corps brass, March to the Brazos and Final Review.

Watch the video and see the fish experience.

Watch the video and see the fish experience.

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Watch Video

Sophomore Year: Stepping Up

Sophomores in the Corps are responsible not only for themselves, but also for the new freshman class. They are challenged to use what they learned as “fish” to teach and lead younger cadets. Their goal is to be seen as the “perfect cadet” in the eyes of the freshmen.

Sophomore year focuses on direct leadership. While they lead the freshmen, they must still follow instructions from the juniors above them. Throughout sophomore year, many cadets begin to earn the distinctive cords and ribbons that adorn the Corps uniform.

At the end of sophomore year, cadets decide whether they want to be commissioned into the military at graduation or become a Drill and Ceremony cadet. Drill and Ceremony cadets can work to earn an Academic Certificate in Leadership Studies, a credential available only to members of the Corps.

Each sophomore looks forward to the end of the year, where they will not only earn their white belt, but also become an upperclassman. Many sophomore cadets apply for positions on Corps staff for their junior year.

Junior Year: Taking Charge

Junior year in the Corps focuses on indirect leadership. The junior class is responsible for leading the sophomores who then instruct the freshmen class. At the same time, they must make decisions to achieve organization-wide goals.

The junior year is filled with exciting milestones. During football season, junior cadets and their dates get to stand on the football field at Midnight Yell. They also get fitted for their senior boots in anticipation for the next year.

The most exciting time of the year takes place in the spring when March to the Brazos and Final Review are held. At March to the Brazos, the leadership positions for the next year, such as Corps and outfit commanders, are announced and the juniors unofficially become the leaders of the Corps. At the end of the semester is Final Review, consisting of two military reviews. The first features the current Corps and their leaders. After completing the first pass, the cadets change uniforms, the juniors put on their boots for the first time, and take their place as the leaders of the Corps. They then lead the Corps on a second review. The year ends with the traditional Boot Dance, a night celebrating the junior class rising to take the place of the seniors.

Senior Year: Leading the Way

The senior year focuses on executive leadership. Cadets establish policy, set rules and determine the course of the organization for the upcoming year. Seniors hold a variety of leadership positions throughout the units, the special units and on the Corps staff. With senior year comes many privileges – the most recognizable of which is the opportunity to wear the Corps senior boots.

In the fall, there are numerous events. At each of the football games, the seniors from one unit earn the honor of standing on the football field as the “Officers of the Day.” All senior cadets participate in Boot Line by creating a tunnel for the football players to enter the field through.

Elephant Walk, a school-wide tradition, is something all seniors look forward to. The morning is filled with speakers and activities, and ends with a walk around campus where the seniors say goodbye to the school and unofficially step down as the leaders of the school. At March to the Brazos and Final Review, the seniors step down, turning the Corps leadership over to the junior class. The year ends with another campus tradition, earning the Aggie rings and Ring Dance, where all seniors gather to celebrate their time together at A&M.