University of the Philippines ROTC Unit

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UP ROTC Unit
200px
Active 1912-Present Day
Country Republic of the Philippines
Branch Philippine Army (Reserve)
Type Reserve Officer Training Corps Unit
Role Training
Size 3,000+
Part of 1302nd Community Defense Group (Main)
University of the Philippines Quezon City, Philippines
Nickname Rayadillo, UP Vanguards
Equipment M14 Dummy Rifle, M16A1 Assault Rifle

The University of the Philippines ROTC Unit or the UP Vanguards is one the pioneers of the Reserve Officer Training Corps in the Philippines. One of the brainchilds of at that time with an unusual rank of Field Marshall Douglas MacArthur, the conception of the very first citizen army was made through the creation of Commonwealth Act No. 1, also known as the "National Defense Act".

With the activation of the UP ROTC Unit, several State and Private Universities-Colleges soon followed, activating various ROTC units under the Army of the Philippine Commonwealth.

Contents

History

Duty well performed, Honor untarnished, and Country above-self has been the shibboleth and clarion call of the UP Vanguard since its inception 78 years ago.

Early Years

The UP Vanguard tradition begins with the UP ROTC Cadet and the academic system and military program under which he is developed. It is a tradition incepted from the time he enters the Corps as a humble but dignified member in search of truth and knowledge. It is the tradition engendered through the years even after he graduates from the ranks of the Corps and the University; a tradition that marks him not only for service but also for leadership in his chosen field of endeavor. It binds him to his brethren and his Alma Mater; and keeps him forever tied to the development of succeeding generations in the Corps.

Organized military training in the University of the Philippines started in 1912 at the old Padre Faura Campus when it was made a required subject for all able-bodied male students in all colleges, institutes, and schools of the University.

During the early years after its inception, military training in the University was mainly in infantry and the use of the rifle. Captain Silvino Gallardo of the Philippine Constabulary was named first military instructor and assumed office during the first semester of 1912.

Although the Philippines had no significant military involvement during World War I, the conflagration made the Philippine Government realize the need for a good reserve force of able-bodied Filipinos trained in the art of war capable of resisting foreign aggression.

With the formal organization of the UP DMST on March 17, 1922, military drill was superseded by the term "military science and tactics". Together with this, the objectives and purposes of the Department were announced:

  • 1st. To develop patriotic, physically sound, upright and disciplined citizens;
  • 2nd. To create a Corps of Trained Officers for the Reserve Force; and
  • 3rd. To take the lead in fostering the University Spirit.

Studies in Military Science and Tactics in the University of the Philippines are curricular activities, much as the DMST is a curricular department. Since the opening of the Department in 1922, the basic course in infantry has been compulsory and a prerequisite for graduation in the academic courses.

On March 5, 1925, the UP Board of Regents in their 273rd meeting approved the granting of University Certificates to those students who have completed the advanced course, thus making these students alumni of the University even though they might not have yet finished their academic courses.

The field artillery unit was established on October 26, 1929 with the issuance of 75 mm field guns. In 1935, a mounted battery unit was organized equipped with 2.95 inch guns.

With the support given by both the Government and the University at that time, greater impetus was given to military training with the then DMST more than able to live up to its avowed objectives. Such that during the 1930's, other than the now defunct Philippine Constabulary Academy, the UP ROTC produced most of the leaders who were destined to distinguish themselves in the Defense of the Philippines in 1941 to 1942, and the succeeding resistance war against the Japanese aggressor.

With the formal establishment of the Department of Military Science and Tactics as a curricular unit of the University in 1922, the military fraternity spirit had its modest but significant beginnings. Though informally called under various names, the apt choice of UP Vanguard Fraternity came about with the class of 1934 as a fraternity of the Corps, with the alumni also carrying on with the organization after graduation.

World War II

War in the Philippines came in the ear!y morning of December 8, 1941. Cadets in the advanced courses were mobilized and joined the Philippine Army, many of them going on to fight in Bataan and Corregidor.

In December 25, 1941, Manila was declared an open city. Together with this, the UP DMST was officially closed for the duration of the war, its mission of preparing a good part of the citizen army leadership had been accomplished, its history to be written in the blood of the enemy and its own.

The Vanguard brotherhood was subjected to severe tests during World War II and the resistance warfare against Japan. Despite the chaos and resultant disorganization brought by the war, the fraternal bonds kept the members together. Many Vanguards distinguished themselves during the war-and it became corollary that the UP Vanguard would be the Nation's vanguard.

Some of the Vanguards who excelled in the field of battle during World War lI include Major Alfredo M. Santos and Captain Adamin Tallow who drew first blood from the Japanese invader in the beach defense of Mauban and Atimonan in December 1941. The two were likewise charged with the delaying actions as the Southern Luzon Force withdrew to Bataan. Major Santos would later on rise to become the first four star general of the AFP in 1963.

Even with the fall of Bataan on April 9,1942, the UP Vanguards remained dauntless. Major Macario Peralta Jr. carried on with gorilla warfare in the island of Panay. His methodical and scientific manner of warfare earned him the respect of many of his peers and placed him among the ranks of the best gorilla leaders during the war.

Captain Salvador Abcede, Class '36 led the resistance fighters in the island of Negros. Lt Col. Salipada Pendatun, also of Class '36 was the leading gorilla leader in southern Mindanao.

Brig Gen Carlos P Romulo, on the other hand, was in charge of the famous "Voice On the other hand, while the Vanguard of Freedom".

Post World War II

After the war, the UP DMST immediately reorganized and activated as part of the Manila ROTC on August I,1946. Military training resumed at the Diliman campus during the school year 1949-50. By then, the communist insurgency in the Philippines gained headway and the Korean War had begun. Once again, manyVanguards answered the call to the colors. Among those who served in the Korean war were 2nd Lt. Rodolfo Villarica, '48; 2nd Lt Bienvenido R Castro ' 49; 2nd Lt Dionisio de Leon, '49; 2nd Lt Jose D Drilon Jr ('51); 2nd Lt Alfredo de la Cruz ('50); 2nd Lt Baltazar Aguirre ('51); and 2nd Lt Benjamin R Vallejo, '52.

On the other hand, while the Vanguard Fraternity of the Corps of Cadets continued after the war, the alumni organization remained informal. In 1952, a move spearheaded by Gen. Macario Peralta Jr., then Senator, Colonel Joaquin Hidalgo, then UP Commandant of Cadets and then AFP Judge Advocate General, later on Supreme Court Chief Justice,Fred Ruiz Castro was initiated to revitalize the alumni organization. On the 30th anniversary of the organization of the DMST on 29 March 1952, the biggest postwar UP Vanguard Homecoming was effected as more than 500 alumni marched to Diliman. General Peralta became the first National Commander of the UP Vanguard as an alumni organization.

Ten years later, in 1962, during the incumbency of Gen. Alfredo M. Santos as National Commander and during the 40th Anniversary of the DMST, the UP Vanguard was incorporated and has since been known to this day as the UP Vanguard Incorporated.

During the same year, the official seal of the UP Vanguard was likewise adopted. The original seal was designed by then Captain Jaime M. Cortes of class '53. Under the Vanguard constitution existing at that time, the UP Vanguard seal should have been a simple circle bearing the words UP Vanguard. However, in their desire to infuse the UP Spirit into its seal, the Board of Governors then decided to include the UP Eagle and college insignias as shown in the oflicial university seal. The year 1922 was likewise included in the seal as it was during this year when the UP DMST officially became one of the curricular departments of the University-the institution from which all members of the UP Vanguard received their training.

The Vietnam War

The year 1964 marked Philippine involvement in South Vietnam. Once again, this provided the opportunity for UP ROTC Graduates to prove their worth. Captains Agripino R de Guzman and Benjamin Vallejo earned the Silver Star for gallantry in action and the Medal of Honor for civic action duty in Vietnam. Captains Jose P Magno Jr., Constante Quiaoit and Ricardo Octavio were awarded the RVN Medal of Honor. Other Vanguards who served in Vietnam include Major Bienvenido R Castro and Captain Romulo Yap, among others.

1960s

The 60's ushered in the era of student activism. The youth, including cadets were affected by the search for national relevance. On September 15, 1968 upon the insistence of graduates and cadets of the UP ROTC, and under the able leadership of Captain Benjamin Vallejo, the now famous "Sunday Soldiers" came into being. A purely voluntary civic- military undertaking sponsored by the University Chapter and the UP DMST, this program was designed to make participants therein to be Citizen Soldiers - good motivated citizens and effective, loyal soldiers. The volunteer concept became popularly known as the "Rainbow" Ranger training concept. Although the membership spread to other institutions, the leadership remained with the UP ROTC and the UP Vanguard.

In the meantime, the UP Vanguard Inc. continued to grow. During the term of Eng'r.. Donato T. Pangilinan '54 as National Commander in 1967, the organization of chapters all over the country was seriously implemented. Within the metropolis, the Capitol Chapter headed by Eng'r.. Ernesto F. Sanvictores '52 and the Manila Chapter headed by Col Jose D. Regala '38 were immediately organized. In April 1968, a group of young Vanguards still connected with the University as students or faculty members formed the University Chapter, headed by Jesus F. Fuentes Jr. '66. This was soon followed by the organization of the Makati, Pasig, Metro Manila Los Banos, Los Banos, Los Banos University, Baguio-Northern Luzon, Amianan, Cebu and Davao Chapters of the UP Vanguard Inc.

In November 1971, a whole battalion of Sunday Soldiers and UP Cadet Officers formed the "Liberator Battalion" which policed the elections in the Lanao Provinces under the command of Lt Col Benjamin Vallejo. During its 3-week stint of peacekeeping in Lanao, nine citations for bravery were earned by cadets of the battalion. Cadet Captain Mariano Angeles-was cited for bravery in action against Muslim malefactors in the mountain fastness of Butig, Lanao del Sur on November 9, 1971. Ranger John Fortes of class '70 and Cadet Captain Eustaquio Granadillos also earned citations for bravery at Puala and Malabang respectively.

The early years of the 70's also witnessed Vanguards in action in the field of disaster relief operations. During the floods and disasters of 1972, the men of the UP ROTC again proved their mettle in crisis. Under the initiation of Ranger Virgilio Platon, young volunteers formed disaster, mercy and rescue units. As floodwaters continued to grow, l 00 young UP volunteers operated at the Calumpit-Apalit area where the Pampanga river rampaged. Likewise in the south, Laguna lake flooded the northern Laguna towns. A similar group of 100 volunteers from the UP in Los Banos and the Laguna Institute, all members of the "Rainbow " brigade joined hands in disaster and relief operations.

The period also saw an increase in various civic actions conducted by the Corps of Cadets. In 1972, the UP DMST transferred to its present site after the old DMST was burned down in March 1970.

The 70's also became witness to the so- called "Vallejo decade". Upon his assumption as Commandant of Cadets in 1972, Ben Vallejo stayed on until his retirement in 1982 as a Brigadier General of the AFP His long tenure spelled stability, and with his able leadership coupled with his capture of the post of superintendent, the DMST and the Corps once again rose to glory. At this point in time, all the best instructors, facilities, and logistics were made available to the Corps of Cadets. Moreover, alumni brods became more active in their participation in the various programs and activities of the Corps.

The post Vallejo period however, proved to be a very trying and difficult time. Worse, it coincided with the country's sorry socioeconomic and political state. With the assassination of Sen. Ninoy Aquino and the ensuing snap elections, the country was almost plunged into chaos, thwarted only by the EDSA revolution of 1986. However, the damage was already done. The bad image experienced by the AFP at that time brought about by the long years of martial rule and the series of failed coup attempts after EDSA, together with the Department's lack of resources to properly conduct training as well as the UP studentry's seeming apathy to the program, led to a nose- dive in cadet officer enrollment. To make matters worse, the U P DMST Armory, already depleted by the fire of 1970, was stripped of all its armaments by the Administration of that time.

1990s - Present Day

The 90's proved to be a continuation of the trend started by the post-Vallejo years. Cadet Officer enrollment continued to be low and the necessary resources remained lacking. At one point in time, cadets were constrained to use 2" x 2" wooden stakes to simulate rifles for drills.

Despite all these, the Department and the Corps remained optimistic. Traditions are still maintained-after all, these are the soul of the organization. Programmed activities are done, unprogrammed, but meritorious ones, are inserted. High standards of excellence and discipline are maintained. The corps now has fewer cadet officers and sponsors, but they are the best. Premium is always placed on quality, never on quantity. With the introduction of the expanded ROTC program, and the return of drill rifles to the UP Armory, the Department and the Corps are again back on its track of producing top quality men and women for the country. This may not be the best of times for many, but the Corps of Cadets lives, and exults in living.

Men of the UP Vanguard continue to answer the challenges of the rapidly changing times Vanguard men have occupied the top rungs of leadership in the national scene, whether it be President of the Republic, in Congress, the Judiciary, the Executive Branch and within the Armed Forces establishment.

History is replete with Vanguards who have willingly shed their blood for their country and fellowmen-of Vanguards who gave their lives for dreams stronger than death.

Vanguards have likewise excelled in the various departments and branches of Government and the private sector. Many stand as government executives and captains of commerce so much to national development.

As the UP Vanguard celebrates its 75th anniversary, the organization can proudly say that it has provided service and leadership to the nation-facing undaunted the challenges and hurdling the various obstacles brought by the times. For indeed, Vanguards have decided not to go where the path leads them, but to go where there is no path and lead the way.

Establishment of the UP Manila ROTC Unit

The University of the Philippines Manila ROTC Unit was separated from the UP Diliman ROTC Unit during the incumbency of Dr. Ernesto O. Domingo Jr., then Chancellor of UP Manila, pursuant to General Order Number 85 HMCMTC (Headquarters, Metropolitan Citizen's Military Training Command) dated 26 September 1991 (which is now celebrated as the founding of the UP Manila ROTC Unit). During its infancy, health subjects were integrated into the program of instructions of basic ROTC training, a pilot project undertaken by the school administration and the commanding general of the MCMTC, Brigadier General Jesus A Daclan, AFP. This pilot project, however, did not prosper due to lack of training hours and its non-formal integration in the POI. Although this project did not materialize, the UPM ROTC cadets were not hampered in rendering medical missions, relief operations and community projects.

With the deactivation of MCMTC, the administration of UP Manila ROTC Unit was transferred to the National Capital Regional Community Defense Group (NCRRCDG), RESCOM, PA. This unit was further assigned to the 1304th Community Defense Center (CDC). In its 12 years of existence, this ROTC unit had undergone various changes in establishing its own identity.

The ROTC Unit, despite a small department personnel (only 1 commandant, 1 chief clerk, and one administrative clerk, and sometimes, 1 tactical NCO), had significant achievements, through the initiative of the Corps of Cadet Officers.

Organizational & Command Structure

The UP Manila ROTC Unit is an organization that actually has two faces: a military organization and an academic unit. It is, in itself, a military unit under the National Capital Region Regional Community Defense Group (NCRRCDG), while it is an academic unit within the UP Manila community, a special unit reporting directly to the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs (not passing through college-level units). Because of this, the ROTC unit has dual set of responsibilities - as a military training unit which trains cadets and trainees for the reserve force, and as a department of the University which teaches students. While this maybe the same (since the cadets are the students), the very concept of two "masters" sometimes makes reporting and functioning of responsibilities challenging if not outright conflicting.

Levels and Organizations

There are three main levels in the chain of command in ROTC. These are the following:

  • Headquarters or University Level - This is the level that is immediately above the ROTC Unit or the DMST. On these level are the NCR RCDG and UP Manila Administration.
  • Unit Level - This is the level of the ROTC Unit or the DMST.
  • Corps Level - This level is the level of the Corps of Cadets and Sponsors.

The main organizational units in defining the organization and chain of command of the ROTC unit are the following:

  • UP Manila Administration (via Office of Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, or OVCAA)
  • NCR RCDG (through 1302nd Community Defense Center)
  • DMST, or the ROTC unit itself
  • The Tactics Group
  • The Corps of Cadets and Corps of Sponsors

Department of Military Science & Tactics

The Department of the Military Science and Tactics - the University unit which administers the ROTC program in the University - is a special unit that reports directly to the Chancellor through the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs.

Unlike any regular department, the DMST is not under any college-level unit (e.g., the Department of Physical Education is under the College of Arts and Sciences). Part of the reason is that its student base is from all colleges. Another reason is for its special needs and functions in carrying out its University- and Army-laden responsibilities.

Academic or University Unit

Like any unit of the University, the DMST/ROTC has the following broad responsibilities:

  • Teaching
  • Research
  • Extension Services

Umbrella Organizations

  • UP Vanguard Fraternity, U.P. Vanguard, Inc. and U.P. Vanguard Foundation, Inc.

Notable Alumni

References

  • HISTORY OF THE UP VANGUARD,By ROBERT JOHN S. COSICO;UP Vanguard Class of 1992

Original Source

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