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Fish Drill Team

Fish Drill Team
Texas A&M University
College Station, Texas

Following World War II in 1946, as the war veterans were returning to campus, freshmen were housed near the retired Bryan Air Force Base, the present day RELLIS campus, to combat hazing and overcrowding. They were feeling a bit isolated but decided either out of a need to feel relevent or out of sheer boredom to form a freshmen-only armed rifle drill team. As the freshmen were referred to as "fish", the Fish Drill Team was formed with little fanfare.

Self-training in the early days, the team got very good rather quickly as the military history and traditions of this entire campus gave the Fish Drill Team an advantage. This special unit remains very unique in the fact that it has always been and always will be the only program nationally that offers ONLY freshmen the chance at leadership such as commander, executive officer, or guidon. And at the end of the year, freshmen earn the coveted FDT cord to wear with their uniforms for the rest of their time in the Corps.

Trained by Marine advisors, the FDT members learn about drill and life where the six core values of Texas A&M - respect, excellence, leadership, loyalty, integrity and selfless service - are reinforced in everything they do. Aggieland takes great pride in this team and they rightfully should as what they do has no parallel or equals.

Fish Drill Team

Over its six decades of existence, the Fish Drill Team has now won numerous state and national championships at the Tulane NROTC National Drill Competition, making it one of the most highly decorated and recognized organizations in the Corps of Cadets. Their distinction went Hollywood in 1992 when the movie entitled, "A Few Good Men" starring Jack Nicholson, Tom Cruise and Demi Moore, debuted in U.S. theaters. The Texas A&M Fish Drill Team portrayed the U.S. Marine Corps Silent Drill Platoon during the opening segment of the military drama. Technically, it was The Association of Former Fish Drill Team Members, if you look at the credits. This was not the actual team as it existed on campus, but rather the best of the best from a 3-4 year span. Still pretty amazing to watch. Along with the distinctive "yo, HUT!" command, FDT uses Springfield 1903s, while the Marine Silent Drill Team uses M1 Garands. Due to the portrayal of Marines in the movie, the USMC did not authorize any Marines to participate. The producers then found the next best thing. INSPIRING!

The Fish Drill Team competed in the original Military Exhibition Drill World Championships (MEDWC) competition hosted by Sports Network International in Daytona Beach, Florida in May in the early 1990's. The Citadel, the Naval Academy, Florida and other high profile teams proliferated the competition roster. The FDT distinctive style played very well and only the King's Guard from Honolulu, JHawaii (another DHoF inclusion) could top these young kids. They were certainly something special to watch and what an honor to have them on the floor!

Fish Drill Team

In the early Spring of 2024, for the 14th consecutive year, the Fish Drill Team of the Texas A&M University claimed the first place overall title at Tulane University's NROTC Mardi Gras Drill Meet, one of the largest drill meets in the nation. Again what makes this run unparalleled is they are competing against teams with cadets maintaining 2-3 years more experience. Yet their training, talent and discipline are hard to match.

Well deserved HOWDY goes out to the boys and girls from Texas A&M. Competing against men and women from across the nation and still kicking butts and taking names for almost 80 years, the Fish Drill Team makes a solid entry into the annuls of drill history. It is the honor of the National DHoF to include the unparalleled Fish Drill Team!

Take a look at this fantastic video made about this illustrious unit!

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