CAMP AGUINALDO, Quezon City – After 38 years of service, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Vice Chief of Staff, Vice Admiral Gaudencio Collado Jr. formally retired from the military in a joint change of chief of office and retirement ceremony on Saturday, November 21.

The AFP Chief of Staff, General Gilbert Gapay, presided over the activity via virtual teleconference at his office while the ceremonies were held on-site at Tejeros Hall, AFP Commissioned Officers Country. Vice Admiral Collado turned over his post to the Commander of Western Command (WESCOM), Lieutenant General Erickson Gloria.

“This time-honored military tradition of the formal passing of responsibility and accountability from one leadership to another is a testament of how the AFP values the importance of undertaking the continuity of command, and the necessity to adapt to change. Thus we remain adept and relevant in fulfilling our sworn mandate to the nation and the people,” General Gapay said.

The dynamism in the military profession is important in carrying out its missions especially now that the AFP is conducting non-stop humanitarian assistance and relief operations to citizens affected by recent calamities.

The outgoing Vice Chief of Staff, Vice Admiral Collado, who assumed the position on June 20, 2019 supervised the AFP-wide service support and separate units as well as the different boards and organizations within the military. He actively worked on policy formulation, implementation, and oversight on the overall conduct of AFP operations to achieve operational effectiveness.

The accomplished Navy officer also championed the attainment of organizational excellence related to the current reform initiatives under the AFP’s modernization program, transformation roadmap, and other development and reform efforts.

“As I culminate my career, I take pride in the thought that i have made my humble contributions in elevating the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the service that we have selflessly given to achieve its current stature,” he said.

Vice Admiral Collado is a member of the Philippine Military Academy “Sinagtala” Class of 1986 and has served as AFP Deputy Chief of Staff, Commander of the Philippine Fleet, and Chief of Naval Staff. He is a Surface Warfare Officer who, during his sea tour, commanded several types of Philippine navy vessels, including the Presidential Yacht, BRP Ang Pangulo, BRP Dagupan City, BRP Florencio Iñigo, and BRP Jose Andrada.

He is also a recipient of various medals, recognitions and commendations; among which are five Distinguished Service Stars, Gawad sa Kaunlaran, Bronze Cross Medal, numerous Military Merit and Commendation Medals.

During the ceremony, he was presented with the Philippine Legion of Honor with the Degree of Commander for meritorious and exceptional service rendered to the country and the Filipino people.

“On behalf of the men and women of AFP, we thank you for the service you have selflessly rendered for more than three decades,” General Gapay expressed his gratitude to Vice Admiral Collado.

His successor, Lieutenant General Gloria, assumed as WESCOM Commander on May 26, 2020 after a successful stint as AFP Deputy Chief of Staff.

With him at the helm of WESCOM, all approaches of the Provincial Task Force on Ending Local Communist Armed Conflict were magnified resulting to the neutralization of key personalities and surrender of communist terrorist group members, supporters and contacts.

He previously held positions as the Deputy Chief of Staff for Personnel, Wing Commander of the 205th Tactical Helicopter Wing, Deputy Commander of the Air Mobility Command, and Deputy Commander of the Air Logistics Command.

A tactical and rescue pilot, Lieutenant General Gloria holds a command pilot rating in the Philippine Air Force. He is a member of the PMA “Maringal” Class of 1988 and is a recipient of different aircrew qualifications.

“I give my trust and confidence to Lieutenant General Gloria in upholding the same exceptional standard of leadership and commitment to service. He is no stranger to the grit and grind of the AFP leadership being a former Deputy Chief of Staff, so I know we can count on him. He has my support,” General Gapay said./// (Photos by SN1 Donald Viluan PN/PAOAFP)