When Texas A&M Company E-2 cadet Grayson Poage was told about an unexpected special ceremony at Kyle Field April 8, the freshman was more than curious about why.
When he was called to the front of the gathering at the memorial site of where beloved Reveilles have been laid to rest, the 2021 Faith Academy of Marble Falls graduate didn’t know what was next. When he was told he had been selected as the new mascot corporal of the university’s adored Reveille X, he barely had enough time to process what was next.
At that moment he saw his dad, Trey Poage, bringing Reveille to him. And that’s when there wasn’t a doubt that Poage had been chosen for one of the highest honors on the Texas A&M campus.
“The current handler had called me up and shook my hand and basically told me I had been selected as the mascot corporal,” he said. “I turned around and saw my dad. It was an emotional moment. My dad was the one who handed her to me. Obviously both my parents being Aggies know how important Reveille is to the tradition at Texas A&M.”
Poage was one of several cadets who went through the selection process that included public speaking, memorizing Reveille’s background and illustrating the ability to care for the dog, affectionately referred to as the first lady of Aggieland.
“We’re in charge of the care of Reveille,” he said. “The mascot corporal is always a sophomore. You take her to events and speak to crowds. We did a lot of speeches and learned the whole history of Reveille that started in 1931. So there’s a lot of history on her. Coming into E-2 and the corp, I knew we took care of Reveille, but I didn’t know what that meant.”
The cadet said it was no secret that he wanted to be a member of E-2 specifically because it is the outfit responsible for Reveille, calling it a cool opportunity.
Poage is the mascot corporal and has a “dog chain of command” that assist in her care. Another Faith Academy graduate, Zach Haydon, was a member of the command.
But the mascot corporal, who is her first handler, is considered a Texas A&M position and answers to university officials.
“We all pitch in to take care of her, but she’s my responsibility,” he said.
Reveille and Poage have already made one public appearance together, the first of many for the next 12 months.
“Everyone views her as a celebrity and the queen of Aggieland,” he said.
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