United States Ambassador to the Philippines Sung Kim bestowed the Major General Albert Jones Memorial Award on Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana for his steadfast commitment and invaluable contributions to the alliance of the US and the Philippines.
The awarding ceremony took place during the Joint US Military Assistance Group’s (Jusmag) 70th anniversary celebration at the US Chief of Mission’s residence.
The Major General Albert Jones Memorial Award recognizes a US or Philippine government official who has made significant contributions to the bilateral defense partnership.
General Jones first commanded the 51st Division of the Philippine Army in 1940, and then commanded the 1st Philippine Corps until his capture in Bataan in 1942.
Of the 76,000 Filipino and American soldiers, Jones was the only general officer on the infamous death march. He was held as a prisoner of war for over two years, and was among the many who endured torture and starvation.
In testament to his grit, tenacity, and courage, Jones returned to the Philippines in 1946 to lead the US military advisory mission in Manila, which evolved into Jusmag a year later.
Jusmag’s initial mission was to advise and assist with training and equipping the Armed Forces of the Philippines. Since then, the group has evolved to develop all US-Philippine military training activities.