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Texas A&M students from Marble Falls tasked with Reveille’s care

texas A&M university reveille

Texas A&M University students Zach Haydon (left), a Faith Academy of Marble Falls graduate, and Lane Bingham of Marble Falls High School will take care of Reveille IX, the school’s mascot, this year. Courtesy photo

JENNIFER FIERRO • PICAYUNE STAFF

COLLEGE STATION — Two Texas A&M University students with Marble Falls ties have been given a very important school assignment: taking care of Reveille IX, the Aggie mascot.

Faith Academy of Marble Falls graduate Zach Haydon and Marble Falls High School graduate Lane Bingham, both members of the Corps of Cadets Company E2, will be charged with the care of the most important dog in College Station for the year beginning May 9 at a ceremony that retires Reveille XIII and welcomes Reveille IX. Haydon is the assistant mascot corporal, or second leash in charge, while Bingham is the guidon, or flag bearer, for the company.

“It means everything to me and my buddies,” Bingham said. “We all worked hard all year in order to earn the privilege to take care of her.”

Haydon will room with lead handler Ian Moss of Southlake and Reveille on campus. Reveille will spend the summer with Moss, who is charged with her primary care.

“It’s a great honor and privilege and very humbling,” Haydon said about being chosen for the duty. “We have a lot of pride in her because of what she means to us. She embodies Aggie spirit.”

Since Reveille, a purebred rough collie who hails from Ohio, is one of the most cherished mascots in college sports, Texas A&M University officials put perspective handlers through an eight-week process to find the two best candidates.

Haydon and Bingham were two of 13 freshmen who read books by “Dog Whisperer” Cesar Millan, spent each week studying the other eight Reveilles and then took tests on dog behavior and care. They also underwent physical training.

“A bunch of running,” Bingham said. “Sometimes, nine miles at a time as well as a bunch of push-ups. We work out at least five times a week.”

Haydon and Bingham are charged with Reveille’s care, including feeding, walking, bathing and grooming her.

“(The cadets) have had a system (of caring for Reveille),” Haydon said. “It works really well.”

Even the process of choosing a new Reveille is “very intense,” Haydon said.

Reveille IX was chosen by a board of 12 people consisting of dog experts, university executives and other students.

Since Reveille represents Aggies, she must be friendly and even-tempered. She can’t be shy as she is in attendance for most sporting events and must still be calm when 105,000 fans are cheering.

“You don’t want to choose a dog that’s very hyper,” Haydon said. “(Officials) look at blood lines, and (she can’t have) health concerns. (Officials) have to make sure she’s going to be a solid mascot.”

The first Reveille was a small black-and-while mixed-breed dog that was hit by a group of cadets in 1931. The cadets smuggled her onto campus, intending to nurse her back to health. She got her name when the bugler played “Reveille” the next morning, and she started barking, alerting others to her presence. At the time, she was the only female on campus until the 1960s, when the university began accepting female students, Haydon said.

One of the rules of taking care of Reveille is that she chooses the bed in which she sleeps, which sometimes means her handlers have to adjust.

“She has her own bed, (but) if she sleeps on a cadet’s bed, he must get comfortable someplace else,” Haydon said.

Both men said they understand the responsibility and pressure of taking care of Reveille. After all, she has a big responsibility, too.

“Anytime around campus you can stop and take pictures with her,” Haydon said. “She makes their day better.”

jfierro@thepicayune.com

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