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Faith Academy graduate takes lead as Reveille handler at Texas A&M

Texas A&M University Mascot Corporal Grayson Poage and Reveille X

Faith Academy of Marble Falls graduate and Texas A&M University Corps of Cadets freshman Grayson Poage is the 2022-23 mascot corporal for Reveille X, the Aggies mascot. Photo courtesy of Texas A&M Corps of Cadets

A top Texas A&M University celebrity just happens to be a dog. Mascot Reveille X, a rough collie, is the face of the Aggies, and when the 2022 football season begins, she will be under the care and responsibility of Grayson Poage, a 2021 graduate of Faith Academy of Marble Falls.

“It feels unlike anything I’ve every done,” the A&M freshman and Corps of Cadets Company E-2 member told DailyTrib.com. “As the mascot corporal, you are representing the university wherever you go. All eyes are on you.”

Mascot Corporal Poage will go everywhere with Reveille X, even taking her to his classes, where traditions says if Reveille barks, the professor should end the lesson because the famed mascot is bored. Reveille rooms with Poage in his dorm and goes home with him during breaks. 

The tradition of a canine mascot began in 1931 when a group of cadets traveling to campus from Navasota hit a small black and white dog. The cadets loaded her in the vehicle and continued to College Station. Texas A&M didn’t allow dogs in the dorms, so the cadets attempted to hide their new roommate. However, when reveille sounded out early the next morning, the dog began barking, alerting everyone to her presence. It also earned her the name Reveille. 

Nine more Reveilles followed. All but the first two have been rough collies like Reveille X, who began serving in May 2021.

Though he knew of the mascot corporal position, which began in 1960 and has always been part of Company E-2, Poage didn’t join the company for that reason. As he was weighing college options, he went to a Spend the Night event with the Corps of Cadets. He spent most of his visit with Company E-2, discovering a unit that “exemplified family, honor, and camaraderie.” When he decided to join the Corps, he put Company E-2 as one of his choices. 

He began his freshman year in the fall of 2021 without a thought of becoming mascot corporal. But when tryouts rolled around during spring semester, he decided to go for it. 

The process involves learning Reveille’s history, giving a public speech, and sitting for an interview. The selection group evaluates each cadet’s interaction with the public. As one of the most popular Aggie celebrities, Reveille X is sought after for public appearances. Her handler has to be able to handle the spotlight as well.

The decision wasn’t revealed until April 8 during family weekend. Company E-2 gathered outside of Kyle stadium where the first eight Reveilles are buried. (Reveille IX is still alive, but retired).

During the ceremony, 2021-22 Mascot Corporal Lucas Scroggins called Poage forward and told him he was Reveille’s next handler.

As Scroggins made the announcement, Poage’s dad, Trey, an Aggie alum, emerged from the crowd with Reveille and handed the leash to Grayson. 

“You know, it was pretty emotional,” Grayson said about taking the leash from his dad and becoming mascot corporal. He will serve in the role until spring 2023, when Reveille’s next handler will be chosen.

During the ensuing weeks, Poage will learn more about how to care for Reveille, or Miss Rev, as she’s known around campus. The canine mascot has the distinction of being the highest-ranking cadet. The Corps commander bears an insignia with four diamonds on their uniform. Reveille’s blanket has five. 

As Poage and Reveille walk around campus, students, staff, and others often stop them to pet the mascot or get photos with her. 

“Everyone, when they see Reveille, their faces just light up,” Poage said. “I just love to see that and be part of it.”

Some of the biggest moments as mascot corporal are yet to come for Poage. When the Aggies open the football season at Kyle Field against Sam Houston State University on Sept. 3, it will be the first time Poage and Reveille run onto the field together among all of the fanfare that comes with Texas college football. He doesn’t know exactly what it will feel like, but he has an idea.

“It will be electric,” he said with a laugh. 

daniel@thepicayune.com

1 thought on “Faith Academy graduate takes lead as Reveille handler at Texas A&M

  1. As an old Aggie (class of 1975), I offer my congratulations to Mr. Poage for his selection as Miss Reveille’s companion. It’s amazing to see how giddy even the most jaded former student gets at the prospect of posing for a photo with Reveille. I know that first hand, having been that giddy fan myself. 👍

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