Beating the Hourglass

The closing ceremony of the Strategic Civil-Military Operations Officers’ Online Course (SCMOOOC) Class 19-20 of the AFP Civil-Military Operations School, Civil Relations Service, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFPCMOS-CRSAFP) was held thru videoteleconference on 29 October 2020 at Silid Florendo, CRSAFP, Camp General Emilio Aguinaldo, Quezon City, with a token attendance of five (5) students representing their class.

“The Salute is the highest form of courtesy.” Shown in photo are two (2) of the graduates rendering the salute as the National Anthem is sung. They are the student representatives of the members of the class from the Technical and Administrative Services (TAS) of the AFP, and from the allied Philippine Security Forces, specifically the PNP, PCG, and BJMP.

Before the ceremony proper started, a one-minute silence was observed as a prayer for one of the students in the class, LIEUTENANT MACK-AR FERRER PAF, who passed away in a helicopter crash in Basilan last 16 September 2020 while in the line of duty.

“Words can inspire the world.” MGEN TORRES JR PA delivers his Keynote speech and reminds the students of their crucial roles in securing the nation.

The program proper then started with the presentation of students to the School Commandant, COLONEL VENER Y MORGA Philippine Army General Staff Corps, who officially declared the students graduates, and congratulated them for completing the course after three (3) months and five (5) days, successfully doing so despite the challenges of juggling work and studies.

Starting with sixty (60) enrolees when the course opened last 24 July 2020, the forty-four (44) officers from the AFP, PNP, PCG, and BJMP successfully beat the hourglass, and satisfactorily completed this course designed to provide the necessary competencies for Strategic CMO Planners and Operators.

The Keynote Speaker, the Commander, CRSAFP, MAJOR GENERAL ERNESTO C TORRES JR, Philippine Army, encouraged the graduates to practice what they have learned in the training, and to nurture the knowledge they have gained from their CMO education. He also told the graduates to develop their subordinates’ capabilities, emphasizing the value of education as a weapon of members of the security forces in fulfilling their mission to protect our sovereignty, peace, and security.

Citing that the government is already winning in the field against the CPP-NPA and local terrorist groups, MGEN TORRES challenged the students to be another “Parlade” or “Badoy” who strongly advocate and aggressively support the NTF-ELCAC and are serious in helping end to the agenda of the Communist Terrorist Groups.  Closing his speech, he quoted Henry Ford’s famous line, “Coming together is a beginning, staying together is progress, and working together is success”, further stating that together, everyone can achieve the NEDA Ambisyon Natin 2040 of a “Matatag, Maginhawa, at Panatag na Buhay ng bawat Pilipino.”

“With great power comes great responsibility.” The CMO badge is conferred to graduates of the course, which ceremonial pinning is traditionally facilitated by the Keynote Speaker. In keeping with the new normal, however, the students have each donned on themselves their CMO Badges.

The AFP CMO School continuously enhances its capability in training and education in support to the fulfilment of the AFP CMO objectives and to keep responsive to the demands of education especially in the New Normal, where online communication is very important.

The next class of the Strategic CMO Officers’ Online Course will open next year.