CAMP AGUINALDO, QUEZON CITY – With only a few days remaining before Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Chief of Staff General Ricardo R Visaya bows out of the military service, the Philippine Military Academy (PMA), his Alma Mater, paid him a tribute.

On 03 December 2016 at Fort Gregorio Del Pilar, Baguio City, the Officers, soldiers, sailors, marines and airmen, of the PMA and the Cadet Corps Armed Forces of the Philippines led by the PMA Superintendent Major General Donato San Juan II bid him farewell in a manner every alumnus of the Academy would wish.

“To be tendered a Testimonial Parade and Review by PMA—which the outgoing Chief of Staff, General Visaya deems the cradle of his youth— is a fitting salute to a son who has given more than half of his life in the service of country and people,” AFP Public Affairs Office Chief Marine Colonel Edgard Arevalo said.

Prior to his ascent to the highest military post, General Visaya held several key positions in the AFP. He was the former Brigade Commander of two prestigious Brigades – the 104th Brigade in Sultan Kudarat, Maguindanao, Lanao Provinces and Basilan, and 901st Brigade in Bicol Region. He was also designated as Commander of the 4th Infantry Division in Cagayan de Oro City.

Before becoming AFP Chief of Staff in 01 July 2016, General Visaya was the 28th Commander of the Southern Luzon Command.

In his speech, General Visaya expressed his gratitude to the entire PMA saying that “This is where it all started. This is where we all realized our dreams to serve our nation through the noble profession of arms.”

“The PMA is where we were honed to be the best that we can be, to live the honorable way, and to be leaders of courage, integrity and loyalty,” General Visaya added.

Looking back, General Visaya said his strong desire to be part of change drove him to finish what he started in PMA and his entire military career.

Colonel Arevalo further relates that General Visaya admonished the Cadets, especially the graduating PMA SALAKNIB Class of 2017, that they are soon to join the noble profession of arms where challenges are part of their daily grind.

Their mettle as Cavaliers will be put in the crucible. That with the virtues of Courage, Integrity, and Loyalty, while made their beacon lights, are the pillars of soldiery they should endeavor to keep upright.

That they, the Cadets, should be the military professional they were called to serve God, country, and people. That they should never fail the Long Grey Line, Arevalo recounts.

“We must act and conduct ourselves with the highest level of excellence and competence expected of us. Just do your job to the best of your ability and you will be surprised that what you will receive is actually more than what you aimed for,” General Visaya continued.

General Visaya reaches the retirement age of 56 on Thursday, 08 December 2016 after 37 years of military service.

General Visaya is a member of the PMA “Matikas” Class of 1983 that has thus produced three AFP Chiefs of Staff.