Midway graduate Mia Miller made history at Texas A&M University this year by becoming the first female handler for the mascot Reveille.
Company E-2, the Corps of Cadet’s mascot company, started to welcome women last year – and Mia was among one of the first. Now she has a big responsibility at Texas A&M.
While trying to maintain straight A’s, Mia takes care of Reveille IX – the highest ranking member of the Texas A&M Corp of Cadets.
As Texas Tech alumni, Mia’s parents pushed her in this direction, but joining the Corp of Cadets was her dream.
“It’s something that’s really important, I feel like, for development. Helps you stay on track on everything, really,” Mia says.
“A&M has been really good to her, so we are pretty proud of her even though she’s an Aggie,” says her dad Randy Miller.
She chased another dream while becoming Reveille’s handler at A&M. Mia had to face seven other cadets for the honor.
“She was pushing a 4.0. She had the public appearance that everyone was looking for. Out of all the qualities, she was the highest ranked out of all of them,” says Corps of Cadets 2nd Regiment Cadet Training Officer Chad Parker.
The tryout consists of many tasks, including studying and knowing everything about Texas A&M.
“We’ll basically study the history of the Revs, give practice speeches, essays you learn about traditions, so you have more respect of what it really means to the university,” Mia explains.
“The last thing they do through the whole entire process is that they sit in an auditorium for public speaking and get graded on it among their peers,” Parker continues.
They get chosen spring semester of their freshman year.
A couple of days before Mia was selected, her parents got a call saying she was chosen and had to keep the secret from her until they handed over Reveille to her during Parent’s Weekend.
“They asked us to walk out, so as soon as she saw us walk out, she started crying. So we kind of pulled her over, and she was like. ‘I can’t cry, I can’t cry,'” says her mom Rachel Miller.
Ever since that day, Mia’s life has changed in a big way.
“It’s a lot more responsibility to take on, but it also has made me appreciate the tradition a lot more. It’s like a big tradition to take pictures with Rev,” Mia explains. “When you go out, everyone wants to take a picture. And at the time you’re like, ‘Okay, yes. You can take a picture. Yes, you can take her picture.’ And then the good feeling is when you’re on social media later and you look at Rev’s account, and all these people posted, ‘Oh my God, my day was made because I got to take a picture with the Queen of Aggieland!'”
Even though Reveille is fully trained and the official mascot of the university, she is no different than any other dog.
“She’s crazy. She’s crazy. She has a really funny personality because she has a little sass to her, but she’s also a pretty sleepy girl. When she gets wild, she gets wild. She likes chasing people around because she has herding instincts,” Mia describes.
Especially on game days when Reveille leads the team out on Kyle Field.
“Just running across is crazy because before you start, you are thinking, ‘Oh, please don’t trip me!’ and ‘I hope I don’t trip myself!’ and ‘I hope she doesn’t jump up!’ and stuff,” Mia says.
No matter how wild or crazy Reveille gets, she creates new fans everyday. Even Red Raiders like Mia’s parents.
“Rev has kind of become part of the family,” Randy says, “I have told Mia that should she decide when Rev retires if she wants to adopt her. We would be happy to take care of Rev until she gets out of the Marines, wherever she gets stationed.”
Watching Mia take care of Reveille has really shown her parents what an incredible woman Mia has become.
“Amazingly proud. She’s really been a gift from God. She’s just amazing. It’s been amazing watching her grow,” Rachel says.
Mia is a sophomore and plans to join the Marines after graduation.
Reveille IX turns five years old on November 22, and every year Texas A&M holds a birthday party for her at the Vice President’s House.
If you ever see the two in Waco, make sure you stop and say hi!