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Woman's best friend: A day on Texas A&M campus with Reveille's first female handler

COLLEGE STATION, Texas – It seems that every student at Texas A&M University knows the beautiful collie that makes her way through campus. Reveille IX is more than just any dog. Aggies say the beloved mascot represents what Texas A&M stands for. However, Reveille IX is never alone. The beloved mascot this year has a partner unlike any other.

"[Reveille IX] is actually Cadet General, so she's actually the highest ranking member of the corps of cadets," said Carston Lowe, Corps of Cadets E-2 former Assistant Mascot Cpl.

However, behind every great first lady is her handler. Meet Corps of Cadets E-2 Mascot Cpl., sophomore Mia Miller.

"It's not a position you get because you want to be popular. It's a position you get because you want to do a good job at it," Miller said.

Achieving this position is no easy feat. It takes at least eight weeks of tryouts, giving speeches, learning about dog training -- even dog psychology -- among many other facts and training. Miller said those vying for the position spend a week studying every Reveille there ever was.

"You learn about the history of Reveille and her role her on campus throughout the course of the tradition, which started all the way back in 1931," Lowe said.

Reveille was just a stray in 1931, picked up by a couple of cadets. The dog found her home and then created her legacy.

"She's definitely treated like royalty," Miller laughed.

Like Reveille, Miller is making history as the first female handler. Women were integrated into E-2 last year.

"The upperclassmen ... since it was just integrated, they said, 'We think you'd be a really good candidate,'" Miller said.

Trailblazing a new era in the Corps of Cadets' historically masculine history, Miller is leaving her mark.

"It was super exciting. It was one of the coolest days ever," Miller said.

Miller and Reveille IX frequently make it to many events a week. Dozens of people stop by the collie wherever she is to get a picture. The dog, a symbol of Aggieland's values, is well cared for by the school's veterinary resources. Miller takes Miss Rev wherever she needs to go. Likewise, Reveille goes wherever Miller goes to class.

"They'll be for different events around campus like the Aggie Mothers Club ... She goes to class with me ... Dinner ... Reveille will be with us in formation," Miller said.

And, of course, there is game time.

"That's like one of the coolest experiences. You just sprint across the field with Rev, and she's just so excited -- she's like a ball of energy," Miller said.

The two have shared precious moments together, such as this:

 

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Even Miss Rev celebrated the 100th anniversary of the Aggie War Hymn by singing with her handler Mia Miller ‘21 and 100,000 of her friends at Kyle Field!

Posted by Texas A&M University on Monday, November 12, 2018

 

Miss Rev celebrating the 100th Anniversary of the Aggie War Hymn by singing with Miller and 100,000 others on Kyle Field. Cadets said the two have great chemistry and that Miller showed a great appreciation for Aggie history.

"Mia's done a fantastic job ... Girl or boy it doesn't matter -- it's whoever will be able to give the most time and devote themselves to the position," Lowe said.

After all, being Reveille's handler is a nonstop job.

"I would say it's like basically like having another class," Miller laughed. "I sometimes work harder for Rev than, like, I did for some of my classes."

However, it wasn't for sure that the pair would be best buds.

"I'm actually a cat person, so that's funny when I got Rev. Now, I'm a dog person, but she's kind of a big cat with her personality. She likes to sleep and take naps and, yeah, she's just kind of a goofy girl," Miller laughed.

A goofy first lady, and now, woman's best friend.

Here is some more information on Reveille:

Mascot history

How current Reveille was selected and where she came from

Miss Rev celebrates 100th anniversary of the Aggie War Hymn