CAMP AGUINALDO, Quezon City – The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) officially welcomed 194 new Probationary 2nd Lieutenants and Ensigns from the Officer Candidate School in a joint graduation ceremony held Tuesday, 13 December 2016, here at the AFP Theater, AFP Public Affairs Chief Marine Colonel Edgard A Arevalo disclosed.
“After a year of rigorous training in their respective Officer Candidate Course (OCC), 68 officer candidates from the Philippine Army, 63 from the Philippine Air Force, and 63 from the Philippine Navy will now join the regular force of the AFP,” said Colonel Arevalo.
The Secretary of National Defense Delfin N Lorenzana, LtGen Salvador Melchor B Mison Jr, the AFP Deputy Chief of Staff, Major Service Commanders and other officers personally welcomed the graduates and presented the awards to the top three students from each Major Service.
Leading the Army’s OCC “Kadasig” Class 47-2016 were P/2Lt Phil Jun D Ocumen who received the Presidential Saber, P/2Lt Kimberly Jean W Lappao, who was awarded the Secretary of National Defense (SND) Saber, and P2Lt Armie B Macapinlac, recipient of the Chief of Staff AFP (CSAFP) Saber.
For the Air Force’s “Siklabtala” Class 2016, P/2Lt Iris Q Eugenio received the Presidential Saber followed by P/2Lt Nathaniel D Diaz with the SND Saber and P/2Lt Argie Clarence C Torralba with the CSAFP Saber.
The Navy’s “Madangpanan” Class 28 were led by Marine P/2Lt Mark Andrew S Badilla who was awarded the Presidential Saber, P/Ens Ricky T Degutierrez with the SND Saber, and P/Ens Jesus Hell C Carballo with the CSAFP Saber.
“The conclusion of your course is as important to you as it is to us in the AFP. We wholeheartedly receive you not only to the camp but also to the organization that only the brave and the patriotic enough dare join,” said LtGen Mison.
Secretary Lorenzana on the other hand advised the graduates to take responsibility in the new positions that they will be holding. He further assured the graduates that the Department of National Defense will continue to support the modernization program of the Armed Forces.
“I thank you for volunteering to serve our country. You will be in the forefront; you will be putting your lives on the line, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. I wish you good luck to your new career and I hope that all of you will reach the pinnacle of your respective military careers,” Secretary Lorenzana concluded.
The new officers will be granted a month of academic leave before reporting to their training commands where they will be given their unit assignments.
The officer candidate schools established in the three Major Services train civilians and enlisted personnel who are baccalaureate degree holders to be future members of the AFP regular force.
The one-year course prepares an officer candidate with a rank of Probationary Second Lieutenant or Probationary Ensign to be mentally, physically, and emotionally fit to the AFP’s Corps of Officers in the regular force.