Philippine Military Academy
HistoryMalolos, Bulacan. The Academia was established by General Emilio Aguinaldo, the first president of the young Philippine republic and the school was meant as a training ground for future officers of the armed forces. It was forced to close down on January 20, 1899 however, as hostilities broke out between the Americans and Filipinos.
An Officer's School of the Philippine Constabulary was established on February 17, 1905 within the walls of Intramuros in Manila. This school was later to be relocated to Baguio on September 01, [[1908. After the Philippine Legislature passed Act No. 3496 on September 08, 1926, the school was renamed the Philippine Constabulary Academy and courses were lengthened from nine months to three years.
When the National Defense Act was passed on December 21, 1936, the Philippine Military Academy was formally created and it was permitted to grant its graduates Bachelor of Science degrees after completion of their four-year courses.
With the outbreak of World War II, training was disrupted at the PMA with Classes 1942 and 1943 being graduated prematurely and assigned to combat units in Bataan and other parts of the country. Many of these young officers perished in the war.
After the war, the Academy was reopened on May 05, 1947, at Camp Henry T. Allen. But due to its increasing need for wider grounds, it was soon moved to its present location at Fort Del Pilar, Loakan, some ten kilometers from downtown Baguio.  During the 1960s, since a need for more well-rounded individuals was found to be desirable, socio-humanistic courses were added to the school's curriculum.
1993 proved a momentous year for the PMA as its first female cadets were admitted and specialization based on branch-of-service was introduced into the curriculum.
The PMA Curriculum
A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE PMA CURRICULUM
Commonwealth Act Number One, also known as the National Defense Act, which formally established the Philippine Military Academy in 1935, also empowered PMA to confer upon its graduates a Bachelor of Science degree. The academic curriculum of PMA, along with its system of military training, was patterned after those of the United States Military Academy. For many years, PMA’s four-year program of instruction was heavy in the mathematics, engineering, and the sciences, reflecting West Point’s heritage of having trained many of the civil and railroad engineers who opened up the American west.
The secessionist movement in the Southern Philippines in the 1970s led to the rise of the cadet population from around 300 to close to a thousand cadets. This coincided with the strengthening of the social sciences and the humanities in the curriculum, with the introduction of a few courses in these disciplines. However, the techno-scientific leaning of the academic program remained.
The first major change in the PMA curriculum occurred in 1993, with the introduction of the tri-service curriculum. This initiative was a compromise to preempt the clamor to establish separate academies for the Navy and the Air Force. Prior to the tri-service curriculum, PMA training was essentially Army training. The tri-service curriculum aimed to graduate officers who were immediately deployable after graduation to the three major branches of service: the Army, the Navy, and the Air Force. This objective was best realized by the Navy, which found the Naval Officers’ Qualification Course ‘A’ that prepared infantry-trained PMA graduates for naval duties, no longer necessary. The Air Force also reported that PMA graduates joining the Air Force were better prepared for flight training due to flight simulator training at the Academy. The Army, on the other hand, enhanced infantry training with various modules such as the Scout Ranger Orientation Course, C3I, leadership, and management.
Initially, three majors were offered under the tri-service curriculum: Management for Army cadets, Naval Systems Engineering for Navy midshipmen, and Aeronautical Maintenance Engineering for the Air Force. The Classes of 1995 and 1996 graduated with these degrees. The rationale for offering majors was to prepare PMA graduates for advanced studies, as well as to allow cadets to study along their natural inclinations. The wisdom of the delineation of majors was later questioned; no satisfactory reason could be offered why, for instance, Navy and Air Force cadets could not major in management. This paved the way for the further rationalization of the academic program into three components: core courses, which were required of all cadets; service core courses, which all cadets joining a particular service had to take; and major area electives, which led to an academic major. Effectively, academic majors were made independent of the tri-service curriculum. Any cadet regardless of branch of service had a choice of three academic majors: Management, Computer Science, and General Engineering. The classes of 1997 to 2000 graduated with these degrees.
THE CORE CURRICULUM
A Core Program, which contains the elements of a broad, general education designed to give the cadets a fundamental knowledge in the arts and sciences
A Major Area Elective (MAE) Program which gives the cadets the option to focus on areas in which they may have a special interest or aptitude;
A Professional Courses Program, which provides the cadets with the basic military training needed to become functional junior officers in their selected major service.
The core curriculum, when combined the Major Area Electives, Professional Courses, Physical Education, Military Science and Leadership courses, compose the Academy's curriculum. The Major Area Electives Program allows the cadet a choice of three areas, initially Management, General Engineering and Information Systems.
The core curriculum consists of 29 courses designed to provide an essential base of knowledge in the arts and sciences. The broad intellectual perspective provided by the core curriculum establishes the foundation for Major Area Electives (MAE) that permit cadets to explore in greater depth a desired field of study in order to lay the educational foundation necessary as future officers in the AFP.
LIST OF SUBJECTS
- Core Subjects
- Engineering Major
- Information Systems *Major
- Management Major
The life of PMA cadets revolves around strict adherence to the honor code. It is a must for all cadets not only to know the code but to practice and practice and make it a way of life. The Cadet Honor Code is what distinguishes a PMA cadet from students of other institutions.
THE HONOR CODE
"WE, THE CADETS DO NOT LIE, CHEAT, STEAL NOR TOLERATE THOSE WHO DO."
1. A cadet does not lie. In his dealing with others, a cadet tells the truth, regardless of the consequences. He does not quibble. He does not make evasive statements.
2. A cadet does not cheat. A cadet does not defraud others nor does he take undue advantage of them.
3. A cadet does not steal. A cadet does not take any personal property of another without the latter’s consent. He does not keep for himself anything that he finds which does not belong to him.
4. A cadet does not tolerate any violation of the Code. A cadet is bound to report any breach of the Code that comes to his attention. He does not countenance by inaction honor violations; if he does, he becomes party to such a violation and he himself is as guilty as the violator.
Training to become an officer in the regular force of the Armed Forces of the Philippines in the Academy is challenging. It is good for the tough, well motivated, and gifted individual. The bottom line is that the training regimen will bring out the best in individuals who successfully hurdle it.
Most cadets agree that their daily activities make them too busy. However aside from breaks, weekends are usually free. Some cadets leave camp to enjoy a movie, visit friends, or dine out in Baguio City. Some prefer to stay inside camp and receive visitors and enjoy the recreational facilities available.
A weekly military ceremony at Fort Del Pilar consists of a regular Saturday Inspection (SI) and parade. Occasionally, silent drills are also held, wherein the performers, selected from the yearlings or the thirdclass cadets execute drills and marches which include precise manual of arms and fancy formations, all done without commands. Visiting the Academy and witnessing these activities are events the Baguio tourist or vacationers look forward to.
The Cadet Corps goes down to Manila to participate in several parades and ceremonies. These occasions are much anticipated by the cadets, as they give them a chance to display their ‘wares’. The annual schedule of cadet parades in the Greater Manila Area includes the following:
1. The Independence Day Parade - held in the morning of June 12 in Manila.
2. Armed Forces of the Philippines Day Parade - celebrated every 21st day of December.
INTRAMURALS.The intramural athletic competition is administered by the Department of Physical Education, and its main objective is to ensure a broad sports education for each cadet, to include basic sports skills, coaching, officiating, sportsmanship, and administration and supervision of athletic programs. The intramural year is divided into two intramural seasons distinguished by the sports played:
a. First Intramural Season - badminton, volleyball, basketball, table tennis, chess, wrestling, cross country, swimming, karate, and fencing. b. Second Intramural Season - boxing, judo, taekwondo, lawn tennis, gymnastics, track and field, soccer, baseball, decathlon, archery, shooting.
Each Company is represented by a team in each sport. The Cadet Corps also participates in dual meets and collegiate athletic competition with other colleges/universities/institutions in various sports.
Cadet life is not composed of academic and military training exclusively. To fully develop the personality of the cadets, they have social gatherings and affairs such as the cadet hops (dances). Here they have the opportunity to interact with civilians.
Aside from those activities sponsored by the Hop Committee, cadets may also attend dances and private parties outside the Academy.
Other Cadet Activities
a. Reception. The first exposure of the new cadets to the upperclass cadets starts when the Plebe Detail, consisting of secondclass (third year) cadets, receives the new plebes (freshmen) on April 01.
b. Orientation tour comes immediately after plebe year. The yearlings (second year cadets) visit the various units of the different major services (Army, Navy, Air Force).
c. Field Training Exercise. This is the culmination of the summer military training, designed to give the cadets an opportunity to apply what they have learned in the classroom. Cadets simulate various combat situations, including ambuscades, raids, patrols, heliborne operations, civil relations and other practical application of tactics and strategy.
2. Recognition Day. This day marks the end of plebehood, and promotion as upperclassmen.
3. The 100th Nite Show. An annual cultural presentation of the Cadet Corps, sponsored by the Dialectic Society, that is traditionally held before the Christmas break, to mark 100 days before graduation. An exhibition of the cadets’ artistic, dramatic and musical talents, the 100th Nite Show is produced, supervised, managed and participated solely by the cadets.
a. Ring Hop - A formal dance in which the cadets’ sweetheart or parent slips the graduation ring on his finger.
b. Awarding Ceremonies - Presentation of awards and trophies to cadets who excelled in academics, sports and other competitions. Alumni, officers, and personnel of the Philippine Military Academy who have distinguished themselves are also recognized.
c. Graduation Parade - The graduating class’s last parade and review as cadets.
d. Graduation Exercise - During this ceremony, graduating cadets receive their Bachelor of Science diplomas from the President of the Philippines.
6. Religious Services - Attendance in religious services is a duty for all cadets. Cadets belonging to the Roman Catholic Church and other Christian denominations attend Masses and religious services on Sundays and holidays of obligation like Christmas and Holy Week. Muslims conduct their Congregation Prayer on Fridays at noon with an Imam. Ramadan is also observed as well as the Eid holidays. Islamic dietary restrictions are also being observed and respected.
Cadet Corps Traditions
Notwithstanding this fact, cadetship is hardly boring nor mundane. Even as the rains start pouring and the academic grind pushes the cadets into full "combat" mode, life for the men in gray is far from repetitive. It is a routine that is not. Understandably so, it is simply because a cadet is never a plebe twice, never a raring yearling twice; never an amateur cow nor a tentative commander twice over that life in the barracks - city or barrio - is exciting. It is because at each rotation, each cadet finds himself in different positions, different responsibilities, that he never fails to learn, to re-socialize and to grow, day by day, into a better, more mature and more deliberate individual.
It is because each experience is not the totality of cadetship but merely a stepping stone, that the cadet strives on, persevering-often on his own-to reach his own graduation parade during which time his act of tossing his shako puts an exclamation on the fact that he has finally become a 100 percent cadet- a PMAyer. It is only then that the cycle ends. It is only then that the cycle ends. It is only then that the PMAyer can walk away from the barracks as a whole being-completely equipped for life beyond Loakan. /excerpt from Completing the Cycle, The Whys of Cadetship RECEPTION RITES - Many have been mistaken to look forward to this event, dreaming of the sumptuous spread of food and drink to welcome them to the country's premiere military institution. PMA reception, one soon finds out, has nothing to do with the warm welcome, save perhaps for the heat of the summer sun. For any cadet, reception marks 30 minutes of his life. Overseen by no less than the superintendent, reception rites are characterized by a lot of shouting and confusion, all aimed at breaking the spirit of him who is not ready, much less fit, for the hard life in the military. Shocking the new cadet, reception is the final moment of an individual to realize whether or not he is meant of the noble profession of arms. INCORPORATION - After the seemingly endless days of Summer Camp, the plebe’s fortitude and perseverance finally pay off. The first challenge has been hurdled. Now he is truly a cadet, regular member of the Cadet Corps. RANKS INSPECTION - It is not only during Saturdays that cadets undergo ranks inspection. Depending upon the Tactical Officers, cadets can have ranks inspection during morning, noon and even evening mess formations. Just as with the Police Call, this activity seeks to train the cadet to constantly keep his person as well as his uniform in order if only to avoid the unwanted demerits. Furthermore, it instills in him the importance of anticipating any eventuality such that he is never caught by surprise. On the other hand, inspections do not only instill in the cadets the need to be focused and attentive but also teaches the future leaders of the importance of checking on their men and their equipment prior to sending them off to their missions.
INITIATION RITES - Performed a day prior to Recognition with the parents and the PMA officers in attendance, the Pre-Recognition Rites are the last of the many authorized practices that the plebes had to go through as part of their followership training. Comprising a set of exercises, the tradition puts the plebes’ physical, mental and psychological stamina to a test. At the receiving end the plebes take the activity as the way of proving to their parents, to the officers, and most especially to their upperclassmen, that they have conquered the difficulties and challenges of plebe training and are ready to be recognized as responsible and mature cadets.
HOP - Due perhaps to the rigid training and perceived isolation, cadets are often seen as brutes who have no sense of civility and good manners. On the contrary, cadets do have special instructions on Military Etiquette which include proper table manners and social graces. Interestingly, they also have special lessons in ballroom dancing. Social functions such as hops, interactions and dine-ins are but a few of the wide range of activities that cadets undergo in order to put to practice their learned knowledge and skills in good social conduct. Of course, for the cadets, these activities do not only prepare them for the finer things in life which they will eventually find themselves in as officers, but also are a form of respite from the demands of their training.
FOOT MARCH - Footmarches are very common in the military. They are conducted both in times of war and peace as commanders deem it necessary to move troops from one position to another. ln PMA, this activity, which most often than not finds cadets traversing steep slopes and rough terrain, not only gives the cadets a taste of field conditions and activities but also aims to develop stamina, endurance, discipline and the determination to finish what has been started even when the greatest thought and biggest temptation is for them to just stop on their tracks and give up.
100TH NITE SHOW - The 100th Nite Show is a yearly stage production which highlights the cadets' talents in singing, dancing, acting and directing. Staged in December, the show commemorates the remaining 100 days of the graduating class in the Academy. It is for this reason that most of the "stars" of the show are Immaculates. When the On-the-job-training of the Tri-Service Curriculum necessitates the absence of the Firsties from the Academy, the underclassmen are left with the burden of putting up the show. As such, the underclassmen volunteer to be part of the show for they now see it as a tribute to their Firstclassmen. GRADUATION DAY - As the saying goes, there are many ways of leaving the Academy, graduation being the most difficult, but infinitely most fulfilling. Finally after years of sacrifice and hardships, a cadet closes his chapter of cadetship and opens up to a higher level, becoming officers of the AFP and servants of the people.
One of the salient qualities of our character, the plebe, is his ability to memorize. Mr. Ducrot is presumed to be a walking encyclopedia, a Webster, a Bergerac and a newscaster rolled into one. He knows the day's menu, the latest news and virtually everything about his upperclassmen -from their serial numbers to the names of their pets. Dumbguard stores in his memory chips a wealth. of verse, poetry and round-the-bush blubberings of wisdom known as plebe knowledge.
Cadet Corps Organization
The Cadet Corps is a composite body of cadets organized in a regiment The Corps is led by the Brigade Commander, under him are the four battalions composed of two companies each from Alfa to Hawk.
Cadets are subjected to multi-pronged training in order to be honed as responsible leaders of the country. To achieve the Academy’s mission of training the cadets in leadership, they are appointed to several positions in the CCAFP to provide them the exposure and experience in leading men. Each Battalion and companies are lead by the Battalion Commanders and Company Commanders, respectively, where companies being considered as the core unit where each cadet is assigned where he/she will be identified, trained, honed and be developed into young leaders.
Processing of applicants for cadetship begin from the filling-up and submission of Cadetship Application Forms to the Office of Cadet Admissions. On examination day, the applicant proceeds directly to the examination center that he or she has selected, undergoes Limited Physical Examination, and receives instructions in the morning prior to the actual examinations in the afternoon. Successful examinees will be notified by telegram and their names published in a national daily. They will then receive a notice to report on dates designated to the Armed Forces of the Philippines Medical Center (formerly V. Luna Hospital) in Quezon City to undergo thorough medical, dental, and neuropsychiatric examinations. The examination, quartering, and transportation fare from the applicants’ address to the AFP Medical Center and back are free. The examination is highly competitive. Applicants who passed both written and medical examinations are ranked according to their standing in the entrance examination. From that list will be drawn the first 300 applicants (average number of yearly appointees) who will receive their appointment as first year cadets by the President of the Republic of the Philippines. The appointed cadets will again be notified and their names published in a newspaper of general circulation.
Endorsements or backers are not necessary to gain appointment as a cadet at PMA.
- Natural Born Filipino Citizen
- Of Good Moral Character
- Single and never been married
- Have never sired (male) nor given birth (female) to a child
- 5 feet 4 inches tall if male; 5 feet 2 inches tall if female
- Not a day older than 22 years old and not a day younger than 17 years old on 01 April of the year following the date of the examination taken
- At least High School graduate with a general average of 85% or higher; for 4th year High School students, 3rd year general average of 85% or higher
- Able to perform the minimum requirements for Physical Fitness Test (PFT)
- ^ The new site of the Academy was named by Raymundo Luna (President Fidel Ramos' colleague) as Fort Del Pilar.
- Philippine Military Academy Official website
- Philippine Military Academy Masikhay Class of 1999 Official Website
- Official website of Baguio City