Major Edgardo V Talaroc Jr PA currently the Commandant of the Armed Forces of the Philippines Civil Military Operations School (AFPCMOS), is a distinguished field officer who spent a significant number of years in military service protecting the country from insurgents as well as contributing his skills and acumen in various units in Mindanao before moving on to other phases of his military service in other parts of the country. The vast field experience, lessons learned and knowledge gained from his mentors in all those years substantially prepared him for his position today.
Aside from being the top 8 of Masikhay Class 1999 of the Philippine Military Academy – AFP’s prime institution that develops distinguished officers and gentlemen to be the countries defenders of democracy – Major Talaroc obtained a Masters degree in Crime Prevention from the University of Wollongong in Australia in 2012. Prior to his assumption of the post, Major Talaroc delved deeply into the intricacies and distinct ways of the Civil-Military Operations (CMO) as a member of CMO Correspondence Course Class 06-14 offered by the AFPCMOS and topped his class.
Major Talaroc began to gain his field battle experience as a young officer, several months after graduating from the PMA, when he was assigned in the First Infantry Division, where he served for three years from 1999 to 2003, as platoon leader and then company commander. In 2004 until the summer of 2010, he held various field and office positions in the Fourth Infantry Division also in the southern part of the country. Apart from the field experience, the years in the division trained and groomed him into becoming a well-rounded military officer who was hands-on in combat and internal security operations.
The Mindanao assignments were followed by a brief stint in the Northern Luzon Command before being assigned to the Headquarters of the AFP in the National Capital Region, specifically at the Office of the Chief of Staff – an appointment that was short but very meaningful, having worked directly for the top leader whose position is the highest that a graduate of the PMA like himself could aspire for.
In 2011, Major Talaroc was detailed as the Executive Assistant to the Commissioner of the Bureau of Immigration – a position that allowed him to be more familiar with civilian and government work ethics. After two years, in 2013, he reported back in the Headquarters of the AFP as part of the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Personnel, OJ1 working on the morale and welfare of personnel in the organization. He is also a certified gender-sensitive officer, having been appointed as Gender and Development Officer in the OJ1, AFP.
Major Talaroc’s outstanding performance in the service has earned him awards and recognition that attest to his all-out commitment to his profession. The decorations bestowed on him are testaments of how dedicated he is to his chosen profession.
Continuous education and learning is a very significant aspect of career practice for Major Talaroc, so, simultaneous with some of his assignments, he eagerly pursued various courses where his brilliance came to light; and it is no wonder, since he graduated salutatorian in elementary at Lugait Central School in Misamis Oriental where he hails from, and number 8 at the PMA. During his Infantry Officer Advance Course at the 4th Army Training Group, Training and Doctrines Command, Philippine Army, he graduated second place. In the Scout Ranger Course at the First Scout Ranger Regiment, Special Operations Command, Philippine Army he was the top 10 and in the Infantry Officer Basic Course, he was ranked number 11.
Among the other noteworthy achievements Major Talaroc is being the co-author of the book “Community Organizing for Peace and Development: The 4ID Model” – a handbook on how to effectively and efficiently deal with insurgency by enjoining all government agencies, NGOs and other stakeholders by working together to address important issues. He also contributes articles to the Philippine Army News Magazine.
Being a role model to the youth in his hometown, he was awarded the “Outstanding Lugaitnon” and recognized by civilian agencies for his participation in civic-military actions.
A scuba diver, bike enthusiast, runner and shooter, Major Talaroc is bringing to the CMO institution a firm belief that it is just as important as the other components of military operations such as intelligence and combat. He has a clear vision of utilizing CMO to continue to build stronger civil relations and getting the populace to work hand in hand with the military to achieve unity and peace through more relevant approaches. He intends to promote CMO as essential mechanism in achieving the mission and vision of its mother unit, the Civil Relations Service, AFP. To accomplish this, he points toward creating a harmonious balance of the Internal Support Affairs (ISA) Civil Affairs (CA) and Public Affairs (PA).
As the commandant of the CMO School, Major Talaroc is earnestly committed to moulding military and civilian personnel of the AFP and other government and non-government agencies into an effective CMO practitioner. Every day he keeps on reminding himself of a quote in one of his trainings in Fort Magsaysay: “Kung gusto, Maraming paraan, Kung ayaw, Maraming dahilan”.