For over 100 years, the Yell Leaders have embodied the unique Aggie Spirit for which Texas A&M is so well known. The Yell Leaders are comprised of five students that are elected by the student body. They are the official spirit organization of the university and they lead Aggie fans in “yells” during athletic and other university events. Unlike cheerleaders, the Yell Leaders do not perform gymnastic feats. Instead they use a variety of hand signals, called “pass backs”, to direct and intensify the crowd. The Texas Aggie Yell Leaders represent the 12th Man at Aggie athletic events, serve as campus ambassadors to A&M and Aggie Mother’s Clubs across Texas and the U.S., and regularly make appearances at campus-wide events for current, new, and prospective students, former students, campus administrators, visitors, and dignitaries. Midnight Yell Practice has been dubbed a “College Football Bucket List” item and is one of Texas A&M’s most well-known traditions.
When A&M was an all-male military college in 1907, students often invited guests from Texas Women’s University to take the train to College Station and attend Aggie football games. Then as now, only a certain number of guest tickets were available, and these would be handed out based on seniority, so freshmen were rarely able to bring guests to the games.
According to legend, the Aggies were being out-scored so badly during one football game that the ladies were threatening to leave the game due to boredom. To prevent this, the upperclassmen ordered the freshmen, or “fish,” to find a way to entertain their bored guests. The freshmen raided a janitor’s closet and changed into the white coveralls they found there and began leading the crowd in yells from the track area in front of the stands. The freshmen got so much attention from the ladies that it was decided that only upperclassmen would be allowed to participate in this entertainment in the future.
Today, the Texas Aggie Yell Leaders have evolved into a team of five upperclassmen, three seniors and two juniors. Student body elections to choose the Aggie Yell Leaders are held annually, and it is not uncommon for more than twice as many students to vote for yell leader candidates than to vote in the Student Body President elections.
The Yell Leaders attend all home and away football games, all home basketball games, all home volleyball games, all home soccer matches, and post-season football, basketball, and volleyball. They can always be found on the sidelines of the playing field in front of the student section. Additionally, the Yell Leaders can be seen annually at the Texas A&M Coach’s Nights, all new student conferences, all Fish Camp sessions, and numerous campus events hosted by student organizations and university departments.
Conner Joseph ’19
Howdy! I am an Agribusiness major from College Station, Texas and a member of the Corps of Cadets in Squadron 17. I am a third generation Aggie, and a love for this university has been instilled in me since birth.Through the community I have found in Fish Aides, the Brotherhood of Christian Aggies, and Squadron 17, I have realized that our Core Values and the Spirit of the 12th Man foster an atmosphere of family and togetherness. These moments of unity are manifested in events like Silver Taps, Muster, Bonfire Remembrance, The Big Event, and standing together in Kyle Field. My prayer for my time as a Yell Leader is that I love people well, honor my faith and my family, and share my love for Texas A&M University.
Ken Belden ’18
Howdy! I’m an Agricultural Economics Major from Austin, TX. I’m a first-generation Aggie and a member of Squadron “Gator” 2 in the Corps of Cadets. After evaluating a few separate options on where to attend school, I was nudged in the direction of Texas A&M. I visited the campus as a Junior in high school and was immediately sold. I would come to learn that Texas A&M is the only place on this Earth where I could feel at home without my family close-by. The Aggie students and community have consistently proven their unending dedication and passion to working hard and being a family– and that is an ideal that I strive to embody and spread to every person I come into contact with along the way. Getting to serve this University in such a capacity as this is an opportunity that I do not take lightly – and I cannot wait to pour my heart and soul into this place and this community.
Ian Moss ’18*
Howdy! I am a Construction Science major from Southlake, Texas. I am a member of the Corps of Cadets, Company E-2, and had the tremendous honor of being entrusted with Miss Reveille Ma’am (as her handler in 2015-16). I can happily admit that both my Aggie parents shaped what my family looks like, and I’ve had a natural passion for this University from the day I started walking. That passion has never grown dim; instead it continues on and has developed into the present love that I possess for this University. I joined the Corps to learn the true meaning of brotherhood and to be a part of a team that understands hard work, dedication, and selfless service to each other. As a Yell Leader, I can help stand for the traditions, passion, and unique community that this University possesses.
*Head Yell Leader
Cooper Cox ’18
Howdy! I am a Construction Science major from Houston, Texas, and a member of the Corps of Cadets in Squadron 17. I was not raised an Aggie, but the moment I stepped foot on campus, the values and traditions immediately resonated with me. My family and my faith are two things I value most. Since becoming an Aggie, I have had the privilege to be involved with and serve in several capacities through Squadron 17 and the Freshman Leadership Organization ASSIST. Each has provided me with unique opportunities to serve, lead, and foster my Aggie Family. My desire for each and every student is for them to make the most of their time while at Texas A&M.
Gavin Suel ’19
Howdy! I’m a Kinesiology major from College Station, Texas and a member of the Corps of Cadets in Company E-2. I was born in College Station and practically raised on campus; I grew up going to Aggie Football games and watching the Corps march into Kyle Field on game days. Needless to say, I always knew my place would one day be here at A&M! When I was eleven years old, my family moved to Kenya, Africa to do mission work, where I grew in my faith and maturity in ways I never imagined, but even living half way across the world did nothing to diminish my desire to be an Aggie! This past year I was blessed with the incredible honor and privilege of being Miss Reveille’s handler. Getting to watch Reveille embody the Aggie Spirit and seeing the effect it had on everyone she encountered only increased my passion for this university, its traditions, and the people here. It’s my goal to help everyone experience that same Aggie Spirit that I’ve been so impacted by.