Madam Speaker, Texas A&M University was founded in 1876 as a land grant college under the Morrill Act. The university began as an all male military school until after World War II. Aggies have been serving with honor in the armed forces since the Spanish American War of 1898. In fact, Texas A&M is the largest provider of military officers outside of the Nations service academies. General George S. Patton said, Give me an army of West Point graduates, and I'll win a battle Give me a handful of Texas Aggies, and I'll win a war.
During the Spanish American War, eighty-nine Aggies served in the Army, and sixty-three Aggies served as officers. When the United States became involved in World War I, 702 A&M graduates served in the military, and 668 graduates were officers. Texas A&M trained over 4000 troops during World War I.
It was World War II, however, when Texas A&M exhibited its expertise in training soldiers as well as scholars. Twenty thousand Aggies served in World War II; fourteen thousand of these men were officers, and twenty-nine were generals. In order to speed up the process of sending more Aggies to the front lines of the war, Texas A&M instituted a twelve-month, three semester training program to prepare its soldiers. The entire graduating classes of 1941 and 1942 enlisted in the armed services immediately following graduation. Seven Congressional Medal of Honor winners during the second world war were graduates from Texas A&M. They included MAJ Horace S. Carswell, Jr., class of 1938; LT Thomas W. Fowler, class of 1943; LT Eli Whitely, class of 1941; SGT William Harrell, class of 1942; 2LT LloydHerbert Hughes, class of 1943; LT Turney W. Leonard, class of 1942; and SGT George D. Keathley, class of 1937.
Six Aggies were survivors of the 131st Texas National Guard Field Artillery, best known as the Lost Battalion because it was three years before the fate of the men was known. They were captured on Java in 1942, and then transported to Burma, where they were forced to build the infamous Railway of Death depicted in the movie Bridge Over River Kwai.
Membership in the Corp of Cadets is now voluntary at Texas A&M; however, the university continues its tradition of training men and women to serve their country through military service.
And that's just the way it is.