COLLEGE STATION, Texas - The Corps of Cadets fill the stadium with robust energy as they always do in support of their home team Texas A&M Aggies.
The cadets along with other supporters are attending the Aggies' tenth game of the season where they face off against the South Carolina Gamecocks at Kyle Field, College Station, Nov. 16.
On a Saturday night highlighting and showing appreciation for the ongoing service of our nation's military, both past and present, the "Keepers Of The Spirit" were out in first-class array. Many have varying future aspirations, but for two particular cadets, their desire is to continue service in the U.S. military.
Cdt. Cade Sandel, now a junior at the university, is proud to be the first and only member of his family to join both the Corps of Cadets and the U.S. Army.
"I always knew I wanted to join the military and growing up in Bryan-College Station I was exposed to A&M and the corps. I figured if I was going to join the military, then I was going to do it through the corps," said Sandel.
Sandel, who signed his army contract after his freshman year at Texas A&M, draws advice from various persons. Mentorship stands out as one of the biggest things that he has taken away from his corps experience thus far.
"As a freshman and sophomore I had a lot of upperclassmen and other people who provided a lot of good advice to me. Even as a junior I still have tons of mentors that I go to with questions and general life advice," said the Bryan, Texas native. "Right now my biggest mentor is Cory Smith, a senior on corps staff with me and my direct superior. Cory and I got close over the last couple of months working together."
The mentorship he has received has also compelled him to do the same for others.
"It has created a desire in me to become a mentor to the underclassmen in order to keep that spirit and tradition alive to try and help them out," Sandel said.
Sandel plans to commission in the U.S. Army after graduating from Texas A&M University. He plans to commission as a military police officer. Though he is not certain if he wants to continue a long term career in the Army, he is highly interested in going to law school if it plays out that way.
Cdt. Josiah Lowe also desires to serve in the military like his good friend Sandel. His reason for attending Texas A&M was also strategic.
"I knew I wanted to be in the Air Force and do that through the Reserve Officers' Training Corps. In addition to that I wanted an extra experience that would give me more leadership and discipline development."
Lowe, who was born at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, also cherishes the values he has developed from the Corps of Cadets.
"Teamwork is huge, you've got to lean on other people for help. The importance of self discipline and integrity in the very small things in life will help for future situations where you might be tempted to take the easy way out... always do what's right," he said.