COLLEGE STATION, TEXAS — The largest and oldest student organization at Texas A&M celebrates the end of another school year, in a very historic and traditional way.
The Corps of Cadets is known as 'Keepers of the Spirit' and 'Guardians of Tradition' and they do just that. While the pandemic put one of their traditions on hold... it wasn't for long.
"'Final Review' is kind of like changing of the guard between the old senior class and the old leadership, and the new incoming folks," Connor Fortier, the incoming Corps Commander for the Texas A&M Corps of Cadets shared with KRHD 25 News.
Family and friends of Corps of Cadets braved the inclement weather Friday morning at Kyle Field, for the Corps' last activity before the summer break.
"The first pass which is the entire corps marching together as it is in 2022-2021 school year and then the second pass, where the seniors move out they put on someone of their old outfit gear and new leadership takes charge and marches through," Fortier said.
Having the event back on, Fortier says, was a well-needed morale boost after Final Review last year was canceled. The class of 2020 was honored in a unique way during Friday's event.
"I know last year kind of ended with COVID-19 and it was terrible... Class of 2020 didn't get to march and show themselves off one last time, so it was good to have them back out here for the first pass. They were the reviewing party and second pass... It was a big morale boost. It was a good step towards normal. It was a good step to see us go back to normal like this" Fortier said.
Fortier says, seeing supporters of the Corps braving the elements was touching.
"It just kind of reminds you of what the Corps is all about. The family aspect and getting everyone out here to have a fellowship and share a good time together. It was great. Even though it was pouring rain, I think it made it better," Fortier said.
One family in attendance, the Bert family, has a Senior in the Fightin' Texas Aggie Band and says Final Review is symbolic of the passing of the torch.
"It was nice to see that step-off and that last performance because we missed all of it last year. Every time they play it's special and since we missed it all last year, it's really good," Kimberly and Nick Bert said.
This time of year, for many, is a bag of mixed emotions and for good reason.
"The class of '21... I know a lot of them were tearing up just because they were remembering their time in the Corps ever since they were a Fish in the last 4 years... So for them, it's a little sad, but it's also exciting to see the people they've mentored over these 4 years, step up and now take charge for next year," Fortier shared.
The Corps is now on hold until freshman orientation week next semester starts.
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