…that the Corps of Cadets’ staff insignia and the Ross Volunteers’ sash were created by Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp ’72 and former university President Jarvis Miller ’50?

The Corps of Cadets are known as the “Keepers of the Spirit,” and its units are each unique in their own way. The Corps Staff, which is led by high-ranking cadets, and the Ross Volunteer Company are no exception. Chancellor John Sharp ’72, who was a member of the Corps Staff, and former university President Jarvis Miller ’50, who served as a Ross Volunteer, were responsible for shaping their units and helping them stand out among their fellow cadets by designing distinct emblems for each.

 

The Corps Staff Emblem: An Insignia of Service

Chancellor John Sharp ’72 and Judson Loupot ’32, famously hailed as “Ol’ Army Lou,” burned the midnight oil in the back of Loupot’s Bookstore designing a unique insignia for the Corps Staff. Sharp recalled that cadets on Corps Staff were the only ones without an emblem identifying their respective unit. His Corps Commander, Thomas Stanley ’72, entrusted him to resolve this issue.

Sharp and Loupot spent a week combing through military books, sketching designs and meticulously choosing symbols that defined the essence of the Corps Staff unit. Sharp is proud of his time as a cadet and the opportunity to leave his mark for future generations. “Any good I have done in my life I owe to the Corps,” he said. “I was taught how to be a follower before stepping into the role of a leader.”

In their design, an eagle adorns the all-white shield and emblem. It is symbolic of agility and power, as well as the ability to reach great heights. Engraved at the top of the shield, the words “Per Unitatem Vis” represent the bond between cadets and are a unifying motto for the entire Corps. This statement, forged from Latin, means “through unity, strength.” Below the inscription, five-point stars are engraved, accounting for the number of wars in which Aggies have served: World War I, World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War and the Gulf War. Since its creation, only one change has been made to the insignia: An additional sixth star was added to honor Aggies who fought in the Global War on Terror.

 

The Corps of Cadets' staff insignia was created by Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp '72 and former university President Jarvis Miller '50.
The insignia can be seen on the uniform of the Corps of Cadets' Commander and cadet staff.
Chancellor John Sharp '72 as a cadet at Texas A&M.

Defining the Ross Volunteers: A Touch of Red

The Ross Volunteer Company's ceremonial uniform is an all-white dress uniform. Company officers carry sabers and wear red sashes.

Dr. Jarvis Miller ’50 served as the 18th president of Texas A&M and is a distinguished alumnus. His lasting impact on Aggieland and the Corps can still be seen today and dates back to his time as a Ross Volunteer. The Ross Volunteer Company, named in honor of Lawrence Sullivan Ross, former governor of Texas and president of the Agricultural & Mechanical College of Texas, are recognized by an all-white dress uniform, while company officers carry sabers and wear red sashes inspired by the French Zouaves. Ceremonial duties include firing three-volley, 21-gun salutes at Silver Taps ceremonies and during the annual campus Muster ceremony. Ross Volunteers also serve as the governor’s honor guard.

Dr. Jarvis Miller '50 served as the 18th president of Texas A&M and is a distinguished alumnus.

On a casual Sunday afternoon, Miller and his buddy were browsing magazines at the YMCA, and they stumbled across a picture of French Zouaves, a light infantry regiment known for its distinctive uniforms consisting of a brightly-colored sash and red trousers. This caught their eye, as they reflected on the plainness of the Ross Volunteers’ all-white regimentals. “We needed something to spruce it up,” Miller said. “As soon as we saw the image, we knew this was the missing piece.” The pair enlisted the help of Irene “Mom” Claghorn, the nurse in charge of the campus hospital, to fashion the group’s signature red sashes, which were worn by company officers for the first time in spring 1949.

“In every way, Dr. Miller has been a most positive reflection upon the Corps of Cadets and has provided support to the Corps of Cadets personally, physically and financially,” said the late Dr. John J. Koldus III, Texas A&M’s longest-serving vice president for student affairs.

Contact:

Dunae Reader '15

Assistant Director of Marketing & Communications/Spirit Editor/Maroon Co-Editor
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