Aggies gathered together on June 26, 1883 to live over again their college days, the victories and defeats won and lost upon the drill field and classroom. Eventually the annual gathering evolved into a celebration of Texas Independence on San Jacinto Day ? April 21st. Over time the tradition has changed, but its very essence has remained ?If there is an A&M man in one hundred miles of you, you are expected to get together, eat a little, and live over the days you spent at the A&M College of Texas.? Muster is celebrated in more than four hundred places worldwide, with the largest ceremony on the Texas A&M campus in College Station.
Muster is a time to look to the past, present, and future?not only to grieve but to reflect and to celebrate the lives that connect us to one another. A gesture so simple in nature yet so lasting in spirit, Muster is the lasting impression every Aggie leaves with us; it reminds us of the greatness that lies within these walls, of the loyalty we possess, of the connection that binds us, and of the idea that every Aggie has a place of importance ? whether they are present in flesh or spirit.
The most well-known Aggie Muster took place during World War II in 1942 on the Philippine island of Corregidor. At this time, Corregidor was the last American stronghold against the Japanese forces in the Philippines, and Japanese artillery and warplanes were constantly attacking. An estimated 1.8 million pounds of shells pounded the island in one five-hour stretch. The American artillery commander on Corregidor was Brigadier General George F. Moore, a 1908 graduate of Texas A&M. With the help of Major Tom Dooley, class of 1935, Moore gathered the names of 25 other Aggies under his command. Despite the fierce fighting as the Japanese laid siege to the island, on April 21, 1942 Moore held a roll call?known as muster in army terms?calling the names of each of the Aggies under his command.
Only twelve of the twenty-five survived the battle and the POW camps to which the survivors were sent. Dooley told a United Press correspondent about the gathering, and the reporter sent an article back to the USA about the 25 Aggies who had "Mustered." The story captured the imagination of the country and "helped boost American spirits at a time a lift was badly needed." T.R.Louder, the last known Corregidor Muster survivor died May 21, 2001 and his name was called at Muster 2002 in College Station.