Security landscape needs a new brand of soldiers, Teodoro tells PMA

October 23, 2023

BAGUIO CITY (October 21, 2023) – As the country’s premiere military education institution celebrated its 125th Founding Anniversary on Saturday, Secretary of National Defense (SND) Gilberto C. Teodoro Jr. laid out the challenge for the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) to develop and cultivate a new brand of soldiers who can effectively face and overcome the current and future challenges to national security.

During the anniversary celebration program held in Fort Del Pilar, Secretary Teodoro recounted how various periods in the history of the Philippines and the PMA itself necessitated responding to rapidly evolving security realities.

Today, he said, the world is in a vulnerable state, “where we see conflicts in the Middle East, we see conflicts in Europe itself. We see challenges in our own society, not merely internally, but more important, the looming challenges to our territorial integrity and sovereignty.”

With this, Secretary Teodoro emphasized that this is the reality that not only the Philippine Military Academy must live up to and face, but the whole establishment both of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Department of National Defense (DND).

“It will need new paradigms, new processes, new systems, and a new brand of soldiers
– both officers and, equally important, our enlisted personnel – and our civilian human resource,” he added, enjoining the members of the PMA to continuously pursue skills development and upgrading of standards, to enable its graduates as future military officers to be competent and excel in the performance of their mandates to the country.

“In the next 125 years, let today be the start once again of reviewing your own isms and dogmas, and facing the new realities of the world – a younger generation probably that doesn’t accept the conventions of the past – asymmetric warfare, threats to national security, internal subversion by foreign elements, economic sabotage and subversion to weaken and undermine our economy,” said Secretary Teodoro.

Despite the constant flux and complexity of the security landscape, the Defense Chief emphasized that as military officers, the role of PMA graduates is clear: to be professional soldiers, to uphold and defend the Constitution of the Republic of the Philippines, to follow the chain of command, and to obey lawful orders.

“However, in the formulation of those orders, naturally, your inputs will count, and those inputs better be relevant, better be cogent, and better be practicable,” he said.

With the theme, “The PMA: Celebrating 125 Years of Producing Principled and Competent Military Leaders for the Nation,” the PMA’s Founding Anniversary celebration highlighted the contribution of the PMA in honing future officers of the AFP.

“And (this is) the case I have laid before you: The goals that you need to meet to be relevant, to be helpful, and to truly help shape this country into what it should be – a resilient, strong, and self-reliant as much as possible Republic of the Philippines, that we can pass on to the future generations, and that they will fight for in the same way as you are ready to do so,” Secretary Teodoro concluded.

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