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Originally known as Graduating Dress Parade, the Corps of Cadets’ Final Review tradition dates to 1897, when it was part of a day-long celebration that included commencement, a Ross Volunteers performance and a ball.

Today, the full military review is held the week before graduation, but its significance each spring remains unwavering as the entire Corps marches from the Quad to Simpson Drill Field and lines up in formation to transition command from one year to the next. On first pass, seniors give their final salutes, while on second pass, rising cadets make their first appearance in new leadership roles—and in some cases, their coveted boots—as they pass by the senior class. In 1942, the father of cadet Robert Hoff ’41 captured the tradition’s poignancy for the Battalion Magazine with the poem below that has stood the test of time.

The Final Review tradition intertwines the heartfelt farewells of seniors with the development of new cadet leaders.

Final Review
By Steve Hoff

They are playing Alma Mater,
You can hear the Aggie tune,
While they’re standing at attention,
’Neath the skies of Texas’ June.

Now they’re marching down the drill field,
To the music of the band,
Past the Mothers and the Fathers,
Of the sons of Aggieland.

Past the spurred and booted seniors,
Formed in an ordered line,
While their comrades do them honor,
For the last and final time.

Four years of work are over,
Four years of joy and pain,
And the spurred and booted senior,
Ne’er will tread that field again.

Many a heart is filled with sadness,
Many an eye is wet with dew,
As the Aggies dip their colors,
In the Senior’s last review!

Watch for more history about the Final Review tradition:

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