THE SAM HOUSTON RIFLES
HISTORY OF THE SAM HOUSTON RIFLES
Within every member of the Sam Houston
Rifles, also known as "Jodies", is a profound
loyalty and respect for his unit. This example of
esprit de corps is not an accident, but rather an
indication of a trust, which is maintained by every
member of the unit. An understanding of what this
trust means is not easily conveyed by words, but must
be felt by association with fellow Jodies. The story
of this trust may, in part, be told by a review of
the past achievements of the Sam Houston Rifles.
The "Crack Platoon" was formed
in the fall of 1924 out of the Cadet Corps of North Texas
Agricultural College. The team was later to provide competition
for John Tarleton State College at the Fort Worth Stock Show
and Exposition. It was during this competition, in 1933, that
the team took its first trophy. In 1935, following their third
straight defeat, Tarleton withdrew from competition. The Crack
Platoon now had to settle for exhibition drills, which were
not infrequent as the teams fame spread. In March of 1937,
the name Sam Houston Rifles was adopted, and their typical
drill schedule included parades and honor guards throughout
northern Texas and exhibition drills at the State Fair of
Texas and the Fort Worth Stock Show.
The members of this team became more than
just cadets - they became living examples of the guiding principles
of the ROTC program. The name Sam Houston Rifles exemplified
the principles of patriotism, citizenship, and military bearing.
In 1942, when the United States was plunged into World War
II, the Sam Houston Rifles Drill Team was disbanded by unanimous
vote of the members, to take up arms to preserve the very
thing that its name represented. It was a long war and many
died to maintain what they believed.
In 1947 the war was over and those who returned re-established
the old Sam Houston Rifles. More than ever it was up to them
to fulfill and pass on to their successors the same spirit
shared by many of their members who now slept under the rows
of white crosses. The Sam Houston Rifles have carried on this
spirit throughout the years.
In 1950, remembering the sacrifices and ideals
of their forerunners, the Sam Houston Rifles Constitution
was drafted by the team. Also that year, the Houston family
shield with crossed rifles was adopted as the official crest,
and the nickname "Jodies" was attached to the popular
unit. The team performed in Fort Worth, Dallas, and other
cities in northern Texas.
Since then the Jodies have performed at the
Presidential Inaugural of 1957, the Junior Rose Bowl in Pasadena,
California, the Mardi Gras in New Orleans, the Cotton Bowl
Parade in Dallas, the Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington
D.C. and such Texas cities as Laredo, Galveston, San Antonio,
Tyler, Corpus Christi, and Lubbock.
Throughout this time the Sam Houston Rifles
have maintained a winning average of over 91%. Nevertheless,
the Sam Houston Rifles are more than just a drill team. They
are an exclusive fraternity made possible by their forerunners
sacrifices. Their fellow Jodies, past, present, and future,
continue to maintain the spirit, drive, and ideals that characterize
the trust assumed by every man when he becomes a member of
the Sam Houston Rifles.
Col. Mike Parker was elected president of
the Sam Houston Rifles after the Hall of Honor Ceremony at
the annual meeting of the SHRAA on February 20th, 2003. The
president serves for a year and is either reelected or a new
president is elected at that time. Col. Parker replaced Jerry
Bob Houston as president, another in a long line of dedicated
selfless gentlemen who have served in that capacity and other
positions of leadership and responsibility.
Former members of the Sam Houston Rifles,
of which there are hundreds, established the SHRAA in the
early 1970s. All former members are members of the association.
There are also several lifetime members. One of the association's
goals is to heighten awareness of the association, especially
among members, and to get it up and running again.
From the President of the Sam Houston Rifles:
For decades it has been
a normal sight to find the leadership in the corps of cadets
proudly wearing the black and gold cord of the SHR. Today
is no exception. There is a long and distinguished line of
those who have earned membership in the leadership laboratory
that is the "Jodies". It was through building high
performing organizations like the SHR, the Rifle and Pistol
Teams, the Insurgent Team, and others that cadets learned
about leadership, character, and how to build high performing
organizations. These "teams" provided a lasting
foundation of leadership skills that endured in an ever-changing
environment. For those of us who selected the military as
a career, we found organizational change and evolving doctrine
and tactics the norm. The constant in all of this was leadership
and the requirement to build a winning team of teams. This
same skill set proved invaluable to those both in and out
For over thirty years the
alumni of the SHR have worked to sustain the bonds that were
developed during those formative years while on the team.
They have worked to sustain the organization that is the Jodies
for the contribution it can continue to make in the lives
of young leaders. The reputation of "winning" is
the difference between the good and the great. The corps of
cadets and the university need organizations like the SHR
to help develop the leaders of character who know what it
means to be a member of and build high performing organizations.
That is the continuing role of the SHR Alumni Association
working with and as a part of the CCAC.
MIKE PARKER, President, SHRAA
Col. Parker's goals as president of
the Sam Houston Rifles:
* Leave it better than you found it.
* Support the Sam Houston Rifles continued legacy.
* Support the Corps of Cadets in development of leaders
for our nation and communities.
* Support the Corps of Cadet Alumni Chapter in its goals.
* SHRAA survive and thrive with active membership involvement,
informed members, and active member participation
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