Tag Archives: Muster

Aggie Muster 2014

I. Love. Aggie. Muster. Even more, I love telling people about Muster and why it, in my opinion, sets my university head and shoulders above the rest. Forget football. Forget national championships. Forget all the research and medical advances being done. Remember the PEOPLE. Remember the SPIRIT.

Middle Tennessee Aggie Muster attendees
Middle Tennessee Aggie Muster attendees

Aggie Muster lands every April 21st. It’s a day in which Aggies gather all around the world — including on military bases during times of war — to visit with each other, remember our times at A&M, and at the pinnacle of the event, call the roll of Aggies who have passed away over the last year. As the names are called, they are answered with a “Here” as their spirit is always present in our hearts.

From the Aggie Traditions website:

Still remembering and honoring the time spent in Aggieland, the tradition of mustering has grown in strength, meaning, and spirit. By 1929, meeting had grown worldwide, and in 1942 Aggie Muster gained international recognition. Twenty-five men, led by General George Moore ’08, mustered during the Japanese Siege of the Philippine island of Corregidor. Knowing that Muster might soon be called for them, these Aggies embodied the essence of commitment, dedication, and friendship- the Aggie Spirit. They risked their lives to honor their beliefs and values. That small group of Aggies on an outpost during World War II inspired what has developed into one of our greatest traditions.

Muster is celebrated in more than four-hundred places world wide, with the largest ceremony on the Texas A&M campus in College Station. The ceremony brings together more Aggies, worldwide, on one occasion than any other event.

Some day my name will be called and answered with a, “Here.”

If that’s not a staggering and humbling realization, then you just don’t GET it.

Calling the roll, Adam Beloney '03 & Greg Dew '80
Calling the roll, Adam Beloney ’03 & Greg Dew ’80

We have a saying at Texas A&M, “Once an Aggie, always an Aggie.” Aggie Muster really embodies that fact, as we pause to remember and reflect on this bond we share with other Aggies. It’s not just a diploma on the wall. It’s not just wearing something maroon and white. It’s not even our beloved Aggie Rings. It’s something so much more. It’s much deeper. Its respect. Dare I say, its about love of your fellow man. As the roll was called and Silver Taps was played, I looked around the room to see many tears being shed. Its overwhelming.

My turn to speak.
My turn to speak.

I’ve organized Muster for middle Tennessee since 2008. I do it because I love it that much. I stress and stress and stress over it, because I want it to be perfect. I can’t relax until we are done, because I feel like if something goes wrong its my fault. I want the spirits of those names we call and their families to know we love and respect them enough to give them a proper “send off.” Logically, I know that no one would hold it against me if something fell through, but in my heart I want it to go perfectly.

One of the biggest things is the guest speaker for each Muster. This year, we had Mike Flynt. His story inspired me when I heard it the first time, and I hope it inspired everyone else at Muster last night.

Mike Flynt
Mike Flynt

How can you not be inspired by a man who went back to college at the age of 59 to play his senior year of football? And who also has such a strong faith and belief in God? I’m still on a high from last night.

So forgive me if I happen to think my university is a little better than the rest. Forgive me if I get fighting mad when people “put down” Texas A&M based strictly on football. Because its so much more. Its so much deeper.

From the outside looking in, you can’t understand it. And from the inside looking out, you can’t explain it.

Gig’em and God Bless.


musterprogram Once an Aggie, Always an Aggie…

I love my Alma Mater, Texas A&M University. Anyone who knows even a little bit about TAMU knows its steeped in tradition. Of our many traditions — The 12th Man, Midnight Yell, Big Event, Aggie Ring, Replant, Howdy, Gig’em, Reveille, Bonfire, Fish Camp, etc. — my favorite traditions are Silver Taps and Muster. Mostly Muster to be completely honest.

Silver Taps and Muster both honor Aggies who have passed away.

From the Traditions Council website, “By far, one of Texas A&M’s most honored traditions is Silver Taps. Silver Taps is held for a graduate or undergraduate student who passes away while enrolled at A&M. This final tribute is held the first Tuesday of the month following the students’ passing.

The first Silver Taps was held in 1898 and honored Lawrence Sullivan Ross, the former governor of Texas and president of A&M College. Silver Taps is currently held in Academic Plaza. On the day of Silver Taps, a small card with the deceased students name, class, major, and date of birth is placed at the base of the Academic Plaza flagpole, and the Silver Taps Memorial located behind the flagpole. Around 10:15 that night, the lights are extinguished and hymns chime from Albritton Tower. Students silently gather at the statue of Lawrence Sullivan Ross. At 10:30pm, the Ross Volunteer Firing Squad marches into the plaza and fires a twenty-one gun salute. Buglers then play a special rendition of Silver Taps, by Colonel Richard Dunn, three times from the dome of the Academic Building: once to the north, south, and west. It is not played to the east because it is said that the sun will never rise on that Aggies life again. After the buglers play, the students leave from Academic Plaza in complete silence. Silver Taps is a sacred tradition that Aggies treasure dearly.

Due to living an hour away from campus while a student at A&M, I only was able to attend one Silver Taps. However, that one time moved me deeply, and marked as one of my most powerful nights as a student.

MusterMuster, however, Muster has become a huge part of my life. As a student, it was the one tradition I made sure I attended every year. And its the one tradition I have not missed in over ten years.

Its the one tradition I’ve helped keep alive in Nashville for the last six years as Muster Chair for the Middle Tennessee Texas A&M Club.

We call ourselves the Aggie Family, and just as you mourn when a family member passes away in your close family, we, too, mourn our members. That mourning for each year culminates on April 21st when we celebrate Muster.

Softly call the Muster, let comrade answer, “Here”

When we gather for Muster, we take time to visit with fellow Aggies in the area. We remember our days in Aggieland. We make new friends. We take time to visit with old friends.

Then we begin the Muster program, at which time we call the names of Aggies who have passed in the last year from our area, answering with “Here” — marking them present in our hearts and minds.

If seeing the candles lit in their memory doesn’t move you, listening to Silver Taps will. Just last night, as it played and we all stood in silence in honor of those Aggie passed, I felt tears well up in my eyes. It’s a powerful moment. You feel all their Spirits with you. You feel the Spirit of Aggieland.

Perhaps the most humbling thing is knowing that some day… some day your name will be on that roll call. And Aggies — some you know in person, some you never met — will call your name and answer for you with a “Here.”

Muster means a LOT to me, and I think that is why I get overwhelmed every year as I plan it. Its why I fuss and rant to my parents and my husband, when I feel like I am running into roadblocks. I want the night to be perfect. I want people to attend and feel the power of that night along with me. I get burned out, throwing my heart and soul into the event.

And then… then the night happens. I am moved all over again. I am rejuvenated. And I leave already planning the next one in my mind. Already excited to do it all over again.

In Memoriam

We stood a little taller,
and a little prouder then

When we heard the call of Muster
and the Roll Call just begin.

We stood there all together
and wiped away the tears

When our names were called out softly
and answered with a “Here!”

… and so we’ve joined together
with our brothers of the past

To make our final resting place
at Aggieland our last.

We take a toast to our brotherhood
wherever they may roam,

For us the trek is over
Aggieland we’re coming home.

by Lt. Col. David Harrigan ‘68