James Mulvey jokingly says his ideal job would be as a taste tester. In actuality, he's still searching for his path.post-college, post-Corps.
He certainly tasted a unique part of Corps life as a sophomore.
Like many cadets, Mulvey came to the school, in part, because of family. In his case, it was an older sister.
"She talked about it, and talked about how cool it was and the traditions and spirit that not any other college has," Mulvey said. "That's what drew me towards it and made me excited to come here, that I'm always up for a challenge."
So one lady got the Katy native to A&M. Meeting another at the 50-yard-line of Kyle Field as a freshman changed his Corps experience forever.
"I really didn't know what was going on," Mulvey remembers of his fish year. "I just hear some noise of people whipping out, and I wondered who this person was that we're meeting. I get up there, and it's her."
Of the hundreds of thousands of cadets that have come through the Corps, James Mulvey, a member of Company E-2, is one of about 50 ever chosen to handle Miss Reveille, the First Lady of Aggieland, and the highest-ranking member of the Corps.
"I just knew, when I got it, that it was going to be a year-long commitment, and I was really excited to do it," Mulvey said.
When you've got the most well-known dog on campus at the end of your leash, it's hard to escape the throngs of fellow students. "I leave the dorm about 15 minutes early to get to class, just because I know somebody or a group of people is going to stop me," Mulvey said. "If you're walking around Reveille, everyone's watching her. Everyone's watching the guy who's handling her."
And that guy has to get an education, though the tradition of a professor letting out class if Miss Rev barks has it's advantages.
"She'll never bark in class unless...we have our secret commands that we give her," Mulvey admits. "It's whenever we feel like getting out."
Of course, reading, writing and arithmetic have a pretty calming affect on the First Lady...a little too calming. You'll rarely find her awake during class.
The reaction to Rev sometimes: not calm at all, especially for the fish, who can be very loud in greeting the Aggie mascot with "Howdy Miss Reveille, ma'am!"
"They'll whip out to her through me," Mulvey explains. "Everyone shows her the utmost respect."
Part of the reason, Mulvey says, is the fact that with the strict regiment the cadets are often under, and with the opportunities to go home few and far between, a simple collie dog can make a big difference.
"It reminds them of their dog back home, and that's what I think a lot of people like about her," Mulvey said. "She's the Corps. She's Texas A&M's. She's the university's pet."
But she and her handler are also recruiting tools. Rev and James weren't exactly one-trick ponies all year, just going to class and hanging out on the Quad. Regular appearances across the area, the state and the country are commonplace. Often times, the dog and the handler stop by schools to extoll the virtues of life at A&M and in the Corps.
"When they see me with her and they see how cool it is, maybe they might want to be that someday," Mulvey said. "They see my uniform and say, 'That guy looks sharp. Maybe I want to be someone like that someday.'
"To wear the uniform, to wear this brass that I have on, you don't just get that handed to you," he said. "You don't go through it alone. You go through it with your buddies."
He certainly had a special buddy for the past year.
"She taught me how to be a selfless servant, something bigger than myself, which is A&M," Mulvey said.
You can find out more about the cadets featured in "From the Corps" at the official Corps of Cadets website.
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