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The Muster Tradition

Century-old roots provide the basis for Muster as Aggies know it today. It has changed, yet the Spirit in which it was established remains the same. Since the founding of Texas A&M, every Aggie has lived and become a part of the Aggie Spirit. What we feel today is not just the camaraderie of fellow Aggies, it is the Spirit of hundreds of thousands of Aggies who have gone before us, and who will come after us. Muster is how that Spirit is remembered and celebrated, and it will always continue to unite Texas A&M and the Aggie family. A&M may change, but the Spirit never will.

April 21 has been a special day for Aggies since the very earliest years of Texas A&M. In the 1870s and 1880s, campus field days were held on the anniversary of the battle of San Jacinto, marking Texas’ independence. By the 1890s, it was an official college holiday.

Meanwhile, A&M’s earliest alumni organizations were starting a tradition of reading aloud a list of names at their annual June meetings to honor their fellow former students who had passed on in the preceding year.

During World War I, Aggies gathered on April 21 in the trenches and towns of France, Belgium and Luxembourg. In the early 1920s, The Association of Former Students encouraged all A&M Clubs to hold April 21st meetings and parties; these spread around the U.S. and elsewhere in the ’20s and ’30s.

Then, in 1942, a reported gathering of Texas Aggies under fire on April 21 made this Texas A&M tradition famous nationwide. News headlines spoke of the Texans’ courage and camaraderie during Japan’s siege of the Philippine island of Corregidor. The next year, more than 500 Aggie Musters worldwide honored the Aggies of Corregidor; The Association sent out the first “Muster packets” to chairs, and the Muster tradition became a permanent part of the Aggie Spirit.

Today, Muster is celebrated in more than 300 locations worldwide, with the largest ceremony taking place on the Texas A&M campus in College Station. The ceremony brings together more Aggies worldwide on one occasion than any other event.

Muster at Corregidor, 1946

The Aggies of Corregidor

On April 21, 2015, a memorial was dedicated on the island of Corregidor in the Philippines in honor of the Aggies who Mustered there in 1942 and 1946, along with all Aggies who defended Corregidor and Bataan during World War II.

On Muster day in 1946, with the war won and the Philippines freed from Japanese occupation, over 100 Aggies who served in the Pacific theatre returned to Corregidor to honor the men of the 1942 Muster, and to answer "here" for those who died defending the island. It was during this second Muster on the island of Corregidor that the famous photograph was taken.

Learn more about the Aggies of Corregidor

Attend a Muster

Each year, Aggies gather to celebrate Muster at over 300 locations around the world. Each of these celebrations is unique, reflecting the preferences and personalities of the communities and volunteers that step forward to host them. From the small county gatherings with barbecue and beer to the larger formal events hosted in hotel ballrooms, the observances have become as diverse as Aggies themselves.

The largest Muster is held on the campus of Texas A&M University at Reed Arena. The ceremony is preceded by a Muster Barbecue at noon on Simpson Drill Field which provides a great opportunity for students and former students to meet and share their stories.

Host a Muster

On behalf of The Association of Former Students, thank you for your interest in hosting a local Muster. Whether your Muster is modeled after our Campus Muster or adapted to accommodate your local needs, know that each Muster perpetuates something that is bigger than a single event, larger than your own local Club or Muster Group—you are perpetuating the essence of the Aggie Spirit.

The Muster Staff at The Association of Former Students gladly offers you their support as you plan your Muster. The Association has numerous online resources available for your use. Please feel free to contact us by email or by phone. The Muster Staff and the entire Association of Former Students team wish you the best of luck with your Muster ceremony. We are here to help, so please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions or concerns that may arise.

Get Started With Your Muster

Musters around the world

505 George Bush Drive
College Station, TX 77840

Phone Number

(979) 845-7514

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