"Go to college, get the knowledge stay there until you're through.If they can make peniccillin out of molded bread, they sure can make something out of you"

Muhammad Ali

Basic Military Training School (BMTS)

The Basic Military Training School is the Air Force "boot camp." It is where prospective Filipino men and women start their career path in the Philippine Air Force as candidate airmen. It is located in the sprawling acre lands and the "air force summer capital" of Fernando Air Base in Lipa City, Batangas Province south of Manila as part of the Air Education and Training Command.

Applicants must be a natural born Filipino citizen, single, never been married and has no legal obligation to support a child. They must not be less than 18 years and not more than 25 years and 6 months of age upon start of training. They must be physically and mentally fit and of good moral character. A height of 162.5 cms (5'4") for male and 157 cms (5'2") for female applicants is also a requirement. They must also have completed at least two years of college education or has accumulated at least 84 college academic units from any government recognized institution.

Basic Training last for a 6-month period in which the candidate airman will receive the rudiments of training of soldiery and airmanship required for service in the Philippine Air Force. From their ranks will emerge the future aircraft mechanics, security forces, flight crews, air traffic controllers, door gunners, medical and administrative personnel, rescuers and others that will keep the inventory of the Philippine Air Force in the air. After graduation, candidates will be granted the basic rank of Airman and assigned to field specialties prior to assignment to their respective unit. During Training, candidates will benefit a monthly pay and allowances, free board and lodging, initial clothing allowances, free uniforms, training supplies and medical services.

Philippine Military Academy

The Philippine Military Academy is the premier school for future officers of the Armed Forces of the Philippines. Known as the "West Point of Asia", the academy's standard have been patterned from the United States Military Academy. The PMA is located at the resort city of Baguio in the cold and pine-tree claded cordillera mountains north of Manila.

A PMA cadet is a full scholar for whom the government will spend P2.3 million per cadet by the time he graduates. They are provided practically everything during their stay in school, from the 18 sets of uniform they wear to the school supplies they use. From educational and training facilities to board and lodging, from post concessionaires that cater to other particular needs to hospital and dental facilities, to modern living, dining and recreational amenities. Recreational facilities include a swimming pool, tennis court complex, badminton courts, volleyball courts, indoor and outdoor basketball courts, bowling lanes, billiard halls, 8 Cadet Clubrooms, track and field complex and fitness gymnasium.

Instructional facilities include a library, 53 classrooms, six computer laboratories with 21 units of personal computers each, speech laboratories, a PMA Environment Center, the Yuchengco Science and Technology Center, model classrooms, case rooms, court rooms, lecture halls and local area network with access to the Internet.

Military facilities are a Bridge Simulator for the Navy, Flight Simulator for the Air Force, Army Infantry Weapons Effects Simulation System, 1000-inch Pistol Range, Rope Course, Rappelling Tower, Army Detachment, Firing Range and Combat Assault Course.

Applicants must be a natural born Filipino citizens with good moral character, single, never been married and have never sired a child for male nor given birth to the same, for female. He/she should have at least general average of 80% or higher for high school graduates and 80% or higher in 3rd year if graduating in high school this year. He/she should also be able to perform the following requirements for the Physical Fitness Test (PTF): 100-meter dash, sit up, sit and reach, standing long jump, 1-mile run, pull up and push up for males and flexed arm hang and bench push up for females.

During the entire four years of training, the cadets get the experience to fire selected armaments in the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) arsenal, tour key cities of the Philippines and selected countries in Asia and for selected deserving cadets, a chance to travel to foreign countries. They train with the respective branches of service just before they graduate to assimilate the practices, customs and tradition of their chosen branch of service. They also receive a baccalaureate degree in three fields namely Management, Computer Science and Engineering. And under the Tri-Service curriculum, graduates will be prepared to be ‘field-ready’, ‘fleet-ready’ or ‘squadron-ready’ immediately upon graduation.

After graduation, the cadets are commissioned as regular officers in the AFP joining any of the three branches of service of their choice. Fifty Percent will join the Philippine Army (PA), twenty five percent each for Philippine Navy (PN) including the Marines (PN-M) and the Philippine Air Force (PAF). They also assume positions in the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG). They at once assume the role of direct leaders in the field as platoon commanders for the PA, Marine 2nd Lieutenants, mess, supply and bridge Officers for the Navy Ensigns and for the Air Force 2nd Lts., they report to the PAF Flying School for Pilot Training. Indeed, PMA graduates get ready employment.

Philippine Air Force Flying School

The Philippine Air Force Flying School is the "Air Force Academy of the Philippines". Located at the pine-tree claded Fernando Air Base in Lipa City Batangas province. It is also the home of the 100th Training Wing, the unit responsible in training all future Philippine Air Force personell. Officers and enlisted men alike.

Unlike the PMA, the PAFFS is composed of two types of student body. The student/officers and the Corps of Aviation Cadets. All "top gun" dreamers. Like the PMA it too went coed when 2 female student/officers graduated from the country's premier school for military aviation.

Aviation cadets are trained for 26 months under the Undergraduate Pilot Training (UPT). They will then undergo Basic Military Training (BMT) on the first 5 months and are dubbed as "dodo" cadets, similar to the PMA plebe. There they will first taste the rudiments of military life. After which they will go on and learn more about airmanship. Ab initio training is undertaken under the guidance of the 101st Training Squadron on the Cessna T-41D Mescarelo where students will undergo 70 hours of flying training before proceeding to the 102nd Training Squadron for a further 130 hours on the SAIA-Marchetti SF.260TP. Aviation cadets will then graduate and earned a commission as a a regular officer of the Armed Forces of the Philippines - Philippine Air Force with the golden wings pinned in their chest.

Prior to admission to the Aviation Cadet Program (ACP), prospective flight cadets male or female must be a natural born citizen of the Philippines, not be more than twenty-three (23) years of age at the opening date of training, single, have neither been married, nor pregnant for female or have a legal obligation to support a child and of good moral character. A height of at least 162.5 centimeters (5’4”)and physically and mentally fit. He/she Must have obtained a bachelor's degree of four or more years of college work from any government recognized institution on or before the date of filling of his or her application for admission.

All candidates must undergo a preliminary physical examination and must have vision of 20/20 in each eye and pass the color vision test. Any medical officer of the AFP may conduct the preliminary physical examination of applicants. Mental examination will require the Candidate to pass a special IQ / Aptitude examination given by 100th Training Wing. Thereafter, A test battery shall be administered on the successful examinee by the PAF Personnel Testing Center. Only the candidates who passed the test will be considered for further processing. Candidates who pass the special IQ / aptitude examination shall undergo a final physical examination in accordance with the standards prescribed at the PAF General Hospital, Villamor Air Base, Pasay City or at the Fernando Air Base Hospital in Lipa City.

In 1997 the ACP was temporarily phased out due to lack of funds and the dwindling number of active aircraft in the PAF inventory. However, in May 2003 - six years after graduating the last batch of the Aviation Cadets, a class of 30 (thirty) college graduates composed of twenty eight (28) males and two (2) females were inducted as Aviation Cadets to be trained by officer-pilots of the Philippine Air Force. They were received by their military training instructors who will serve as their MTIs in the absence of upperclassmen.

Candidates are selected from thousands of applicants nationwide through a series of examinations given in September of every year.

Aviation Cadets are degree holders who are subjected to a two-year Officer-Pilot Training and are commissioned as Second Lieutenants in the regular force of the Armed Forces of the Philippines following the completion of their training as military pilots.

Philippine Air Force Aviation Officer Candidate School

It was in 1997, when the Philippine Air Force Flying School graduated their last batch of aviation cadets as higher headquarters of the Armed Forces of the Philippines temporarily "shelved" the aviation cadet program (ACP) due to lack of funds and probably the dwindling number of active aircraft available.

It was through this that the Philippine Air Force Aviation Officer's Candidate School was established. Officially opening in 1999, it has the same objective as that of the ACP but unlike it, PAFAOCS graduates do not automatically become military pilots upon completion of their training. The school is located at the pine-tree claded Fernando Air Base in Lipa City Batangas province as part of the PAF Air Education and Training Command (AETC). The PAFAOCS trains candidate officers for appointment as Second Lieutenant in the regular Philippine Air Force.

An annual entrance examination is conducted in fifteen testing centers across the country for aspiring Filipino air force aviation officers. Requirements for appointment include that an officer candidate be a Filipino citizen, at least 20 years old and not more than 25 years of age at the opening date of the training. He/she must be single, never been married nor pregnant (for females) and has no legal obligation to support a child. Must have a height of 162.5cms (5'4") for male and 157.5cms (5'2") for female, physically and mentally fit, have good moral character and must be a baccalaureate degree holder of four or more years from any government recognized institution or complete his/her college degree program prior to start of officer training.

Training last for one year and candidate officers receive benefits unmatch from civilian institutions. They include monthly pay and allowances, free in-base board and lodging, clothing allowance, free hospitalization to include dependents and when qualified the candidate officer has a chance to undergo the coveted Military Pilot Training (MPT) program after graduation.

United States Air Force Academy

A few, a proud, a happy few filipinos and may be filipinas one day will have the rare opportunity to attend the premier "aerospace university" in the west, the United States Air Force Academy. Nestled along the eastern slope of the Colorado rockies, 8 miles north of Colorado Springs, it was established in 1954 and is the newest of the United States service academies. The first class graduated in 1959, women were admitted in 1976.

Filipinos chosen to attend the USAFA are invited by the US Department of Defense and must be nominated to the academy by an appropriate official of the Philippine government. The applicant should exhibit potential for success and with the request of nomination made at least a year prior to admission to be received by the academy by December 31. Those "few good filipinos" upon acceptance will become part of the annual student crop of 4,000 cadets representing all the states and territories of the United States and from foreign countries, a maximum of 40(international students) allowed by US law at any one time. They will undergo a 4-year training starting as a "doolie" as the fourth classmen is called similar to the plebe and upon completion will received a Bachelor of Science degree majoring in 1 of the 30 offered courses, however like any other foreign cadet, a filipino graduate can not be commissioned as an officer of the United States Air Force but will be the country's air force that he or she represents. A graduate of the USAAF do not become a pilot and acceptance to flight school is the means of receiving their "wings".

Candidates for appointment must be citizens of the United States, of good moral character, at least 17 and not have reached their 23rd birthday on July 1 of the year they would enter the academy, be unmarried and has no dependents. Cadets receive free tuition fees, board and lodging, meals, medical and dental care. They also receive a monthly salary of more than $500 for uniforms, books and personal needs. An entrance deposit of approximately $2,500 is required to help offset the initial cost of uniforms and personal equipment.

Cadets enjoy an extended summer vacation period following their first year, All will receive leave for Christmas plus shorter leave period during the academic year.


Part of the country's future of military power depends on its leaders. The Reserve Officer's Training Corps (ROTC) helps support this role by preparing young men and women for military leadership. Armed services are in need of platoon leaders in the field, billet officers aboard naval vessels and squadron officers in the air force every year as graduates from Philippine Military Schools and officer training schools are not enough to fill the required quota. And not only that ROTC graduates provide field officers but also positions in administration, management, engineering, medical, scientific and personnel positions as needed in the Armed Forces of the Philippines.

The Philippine ROTC program started in July 3, 1912 at the University of the Philippines when the Philippine Constabulary started conducting military instruction in the campus. Military instruction however started on July 3, 1922. Later on other Manila universities like the Ateneo de Manila, Letran College, University of Santo Tomas started to form their own units. In 1936, the Philippine Army Office of Superintendent of ROTC units assumed the responsibility to administer the ROTC training program all over the country and in 1939, the program became a compulsory course at all colleges and universities in the Philippines. In 1941, there were 33 institutions nationwide that conducted the ROTC program within their campus.

It was during World War II that the fruits of ROTC training was seen when ROTC'ians saw action for the first time. They took part in the defense of Bataan and joined the guerilla movement against the Japanese when Bataan and Corregidor fell. Others took part in the Visayan theater wherein cadets of Siliman University made up 45% of the US Armed Forces in the Far East (USAFFE) 75th Infantry Regiment. There was also the famous Hunter's ROTC guerilla unit consisting of former cadets from the PMA and ROTC that made up the main underground resistance in the country. In Manila, ROTC units were so involved that one school, the Far Eastern University (FEU) made up of its alumni and students mobilized the largest ROTC contingent in the nation to fight in the war.

In 1967, President Ferdinand Marcos, a former battalion commander of the UP ROTC detachment made again ROTC a mandatory course in all institutions with an enrollment of 250 male students.

The ROTC program in more than just a college program, It's a tradition. For many years, it has been training people to do a civilian like profession and that as an officer in the Armed Forces of the Philippines. Today, ROTC program are available in the country's 12 regions divided in three categories providing officers not only for the Philippine Army but also the air force and navy as well. The Philippine Constabulary ROTC detachment was abolished when the PC was integrated to form the Philippine National Police.

Prospective ROTC cadets must be a full time college student usually in the school where his unit belongs. Cross training also exist when the cadet's school does not have an ROTC program. They must be Filipino citizens, be in good physical and mental condition, of good moral character and at least 17 years old. Students who aspires to become a cadet officer will undergo the Cadet Officers Candidate Course sponsored by the ROTC unit.

The ROTC program consist of two parts: the Basic Course and the Advance Course. The Basic Course is usually taken during the first two years of college and it is mandatory for all males to complete this course as a prerequisite for college graduation. Further training will lead to the Advance Course which will be taken usually during the last two years of college. Graduates from the Advance Course will then undergo the AFP sponsored 3-month Probitionary Officer's Training Course (POTC) the summer after graduating in the ROTC Advance program to be eligible for commission. After their POTC they are then commissioned as 2nd Lieutenants either in the reserve of active armed forces. Cadets in the ROTC program are not government scholars therefore they have to assume expenses to some of their needs during their training. Some schools however sponsor scholarships to deserving cadets.

In 2002, the National Service Training Program (NTSP) was signed into law and made the ROTC program no longer a prerequisite for graduation for all male college students in the Philippines. Furthermore, females were no longer exempt from national service. The Program provided all students with two options to ROTC; Literacy Training Services and Civic Welfare Service. The NTSP was created to accomodate the graduates of these programs and ROTC graduates went to the become members of the Citizen's Armed Forces and the Armed Forces of the Philippines.

Today more than 70% of the AFP officer corps, male and female is composed of ROTC graduates. They have honored names in the history of the Philippine Military. Names like Ferdinand Marcos, the only recipient on the Medal of Valor and the most decorated Filipino soldier during World War II, his division, the famed Philippine Army 21st Infantry was commanded by Gen. Mateo Capinpin, also an ROTC'ian. Others include Philippine Statesman and general Carlos P. Romulo, former Philippine Navy chief Admirals Vicente Hingco and Hilario Ruiz, General Romeo Espino, the longest serving AFP Chief of Staff, former Philippine Army Commading General Rafael Zagala and General Alfredo Santos who became the first 4-star general in the AFP. Other prominent ROTC'ians includes Philippine Central Bank governor, Rafael Buenaventura and Philippine Senator Ramon Magsaysay Jr.

Air Force ROTC'ians who wants to pursue a flying career will have to attend the PAFFS either as student/officers or aviation cadets.

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