AFTER a year of rigorous training in their respective Officer Candidate Courses (OCCs), a total of 194 new probationary 2nd Lieutenants and ensigns are set to join the regular force of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).
Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, Lt. Gen Salvador Melchor Mison Jr. (AFP deputy chief of staff), major service commanders and other officers welcomed the new officers after their graduation held at the AFP Theater in Camp Aguinaldo in Quezon City on Tuesday.
Of the OCC graduates 68 are officer candidates from the Philippine Army, 63 from the Philippine Air Force and 63 from the Philippine Navy.
Top defense and AFP officials also presented the awards to the top three students from each Major Service.
Leading the Army’s OCC “Kadasig” Class 47-2016 were Probationary/2nd Lt. Phil Jun Ocumen who received the Presidential Saber, P/2nd Lt. Kimberly Jean Lappao, awarded the Secretary of National Defense (SND) Saber, and P/2nd Lt. Armie Macapinlac, recipient of the Chief of Staff AFP (CSAFP) Saber.
For the Air Force’s “Siklabtala” Class 2016, P/2nd Lt. Iris Eugenio received the Presidential Saber followed by P/2nd Lt. Nathaniel Diaz with the SND Saber and P/2nd Lt. Argie Clarence Torralba with the CSAFP Saber.
The Navy’s “Madangpanan” Class 28 was led by Marine P/2nd Lt. Mark Andrew Badilla, who was awarded the Presidential Saber, P/Ensign Ricky Degutierrez with the SND Saber and P/Ensign Jesus Hell 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,” Mison told the probationary officers.
Lorenzana advised the graduates to take responsibility in the new positions that they will be holding.
He assured the graduates that the Department of National Defense will continue to support the modernization program of the AFP.
“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 in your new career and I hope that all of you will reach the pinnacle of your respective military careers,” Lorenzana said.