COLLEGE STATION, Sept. 9, 2006—Surprised and obviously pleased, Texas A&M President Robert M. Gates was inducted into the university’s Corps of Cadets Hall of Honor Saturday—the only person ever to receive such recognition who is not a former member of the institution’s 130-year-old corps.
“I’ve seen a massive intelligence failure,” Gates quipped, registering his total unawareness that the honor was in the offing and using terminology harking back to his days as CIA to express his surprise. He later joked that the intelligence failure was particularly embarrassing because there was a “mole” in his own house, referring to his wife, Becky, who was made aware of his unique honor in advance but kept the information from the former career intelligence officer.
“The Corps, and what it stands for, is the primary reason that I came to Texas A&M and have stayed,” noted Gates at Saturday afternoon ceremonies with entire 1,800-member corps in attendance, along with the other four 2006 Hall of Honor inductees.
Among many interactions with the cadets since becoming president of Texas A&M in 2002, Gates often goes on early morning training runs with them.
Announcement of Gates’ induction was made by Corps Commandant Lt. Gen. John Van Alstyne (U.S. Army-Ret), with Frank Muller, chairman of the Corps Development Council, and Neal Adams, chairman of the President’s Board of Visitors, joining in commending Gates for his service to the Corps of Cadets and the overall university.
The previous announced inductees are Jack E. Brown of Midland, Joe B. Foster and Billy P. Huddleston, both of Houston, and Lt. Gen. Leonard D. Holder (U.S. Army-Ret).
The Corps Hall of Honor had previously inducted 59 former Texas A&M cadets.