|Army's Concern for Combat Excellence|
|Written by CPT JOHN P ANDRADA (INF) PA|
Combat, in itself, is a word derived from the Anglo-French word combatre which means to attack or to fight, its vulgar form in Latin is *combattere; from Latin com-+ battuere which means to beat. With this derivation, combat has commonly been defined as: a fight; a contest of violence; a struggle for supremacy; to struggle or contend, as with an opposing force; to fight with; to oppose by force, argument, etc.; to contend against; to resist. Combat is something that every soldier of the Philippine Army is truly aware of.
Looking back at history, the Philippine Army, even from the time of its conception, was already engaged in combat. Our early Filipino warriors had, for their opponents, the Colonial Spaniards. Although inferior in number and in weaponry, our brave warriors had prided themselves of numerous combat victories and lessons learned from their debacles as well.
With the passing of time, the Philippine Army had repeatedly been engaged in different combat battles with different opposing forces. From the Spaniards, Americans, Japanese, North Koreans, and Vietnamese; to the HUKs, MNLFs, MILFs, ASGs, and NPA’s. Needless to say, the Philippine Army has always been at the forefront of combat and had repeatedly been engaged in different theatres of war.
With these repeated war exploits, the Philippine Army has never ceased to do the right thing, which is to defend the sovereignty of the Republic. In doing so, it has learned to do away with bad habits and continued to improve on good ones. It has continued to transform into a more relevant defense organization, thus achieving excellence in this aspect.
Combat excellence, though, is not merely achieved with the statistics gained through combat operations. Although we may say that it is a factor, it does not encompass its true and whole essence. For combat, as our leaders of today have started to realize, also encroaches those that lead to the act itself. With this in mind, the present Philippine Army has focused on the most important resource for combat, the individual soldier.
The Army leadership is empowering every individual soldier so that when he is deployed, he is equipped both with the adequate tools, skills, and the right attitude. One of the projects that the leadership has undergone in equipping our soldiers with the right skills is the establishment of the Soldier Development Center (SDC) under the Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC).
The SDC is an offshoot of the concept of having a “one Candidate Soldier factory” for the Philippine Army. Under this concept, the command foresees a standardized method of Candidate Soldier Training under the watchful eye of TRADOC, the premier training institution of the Philippine Army. This “one CS factory” concept is expected to eradicate different standards in CS training, which as what have been experienced in previous practices, also resulted in different attitudes towards the service. Once institutionalized, this center is envisioned to be the center of excellence for NCO Leadership Training. The SDC shall have under ARMY TROOPERS Newsmagazine 14 its umbrella the NCO Academy, which caters to higher military education for our NCOs (except career courses) and, the Candidate Soldier Training Unit (CSTU), which shall cater the training of the candidate soldiers of the Philippine Army.
The Army’s officer corps , likewise, is continuingits developmental transformation into a more relevant, responsive, and committed leaders. Symposiums addressing all levels of leadership are being conducted which are aimed to disseminate the best practices each leaders are conducting on specific aspects of, but not limited to combat. These face to face forum venues equips our officers with a tool to exchange ideas and rid themselves of unfavorable antiques of leadership, thus in so doing, the Philippine Army is assured of leaders who are leading wisely and serving proudly, towards the achievement of excellence.
In providing the right tools for its personnel, the leadership of the Philippine Army has continued to equip its officers and men with up-to- date physical resources for combat. Our soldiers are now being equipped with State-of-the-art communication equipment, satellite navigational tools, top-of-the- line weapons and, modern transport. The HARRIS radios are now being provided up to company levels, giving the cutting edge of our combat operations with a communications tool that is efficient, reliable, and with advance technology. The issuance of updated models of Global Positioning System has allowed our troops to have a faster feedback in gaining pinpoint accuracy during its navigation which allows our combat leaders to get factual information on its geographical location. The modernization of the weaponry of our officers and men has made them a formidable force in combat with the issuance of the Squad Automatic Weapon (saw). With this addition to the arsenal of our troops, their maneuvers during combat are truly enhanced. Our troops have also been equipped with new combat vehicles allowing for the rapid transport of personnel and equipment.
Our war fighters are still being envisioned to be in the frontlines of combat, and they will need to know that they are being taken cared off, them and their family as well. Along this line, the Philippine Army has created projects that show care for the individual soldier. One of these is the Philippine Army’s direct exchange system on Army stores. Under this system, our soldiers can now directly exchange their worn-out and dilapidated issued clothing materials for new ones, making him looking and feeling good. Another project is geared towards the caring of their dependents, the Philippine Army is now opening a larger door for educating their dependents, as a supplement to the scholarships being given by Higher Headquarters, the Philippine Army is now offering scholarship grants to qualified dependents of our personnel, and to shuttle their dependents, free shuttle services are now being offered by all major camps of the Philippine Army.
|Last Updated on Friday, 18 June 2010 00:32|