GRADUATES’ INSIGHTS AND REFLECTIONS ON THE STRATEGIC CMO NCO COURSE CLASS 21-19

TSg Roberto C Aspiras PAF and PCpl Vicente P Yaccao Jr PNP have shared their reflections during the closing ceremony of the course held on February 28, 2020 at the Bulwagang Reyes, CRSAFP Meanwhile, Four other students Pat Romulo Cleve M Ortenero PNP,  PMSg Fernando H Angeles 169018 PNP, TSg Jose A Puerto Jr  (FA) PA and FC Val G Andres PN(M), have shared their insights on the course through the essays they have written


TSg Roberto C Aspiras PAF

Every end has a new beginning. Today might be the last day for some of us, but I believe our learning will actually start today. Every little encounter and experience gained during the 4 month-long course has been enriching and will remain within our lifelong memories.

Talking from a graduating student’s perspective, I believe the stories created beyond the boundaries of the AFP CMO School have been equally helpful to us. Everyone here has had their own share of excitement and stories that they will carry along their life.

The AFP CMO School became my second home and my classmates became my second family. The bond we were able to build is priceless. We’ve been together for four long months pero parang napaka-iksi. Because despite the hurdles, the stress and the challenges, in-enjoy lang namin. We had so much fun. It makes us wish na katulad sa CPX, sana all may “redo.” Ito yung mga kasama at experience na gugustuhin mo talagang uulit-ulitin.

It was a superb camaraderie; the unity is solidified for 16 long weeks.

The course is unique in its own way as it covers interesting topics, extraordinary immersion experience and especially it built friendship within the circle of students coming from different services of the AFP and PNP.

Yes, we came from different branches of service but we are able to set aside our differences. We are united with common interest and aspiration as champions of peace the way AFPCMO School has molded us.

To my classmates, as I look out at all of you, I will measure my time here in a much different way. I will measure it in all the friendships I’ve enjoyed these last four months. Some were pretty casual and others were much closer, but I’ll remember each one fondly, as I’m sure you all will, too. We’ll ultimately measure the time we spent here, not in days or weeks or months, but in the friendships that we made and the times we shared together.

Lastly, I would like to take this opportunity in behalf of the class to give our heartfelt thanks and genuine appreciation to the Officers and staff of the AFPCMO School not only for sharing our graduation with us today but also for the endless support and guidance you have given us.

Again, congratulations and good luck with the future ahead.


PCpl Vicente P Yaccao Jr PNP

When we started most of us were strangers, just people gathered in one place for the reason of going to a school and try learn something new. Silence and shyness were around hindering us to talk to each other.  But later as the class started, we overcame those hindrances wrapped around us, we broke these barriers and became acquaintances and then friends.

Still we have different purposes in taking up this course.  When we were asked why we were here, some said it was for promotion, some to be able to relax and have a different pace at work and some just to be able to get away from the loads of work waiting at the office. Then, as we were now traversing the road of Civil Military Operations we came to an understanding that we were all on the same page, with the same purpose, and that is to be able to be masters of community organizing to be warrior diplomats. Though some subjects were easy, most of them were hard and new to us. We were clueless at first but then again it was expected of us to keep up with the requirements homeworks needed to pass this course. We helped each other while we had fun doing it, the fun times in the subjects we had and the hardship with the CPX we went through.

It was a great experience having been able to work with the different branches of the AFP and fellow police officers from the different province. Their stories, their practices in the office, and experiences at work. Those sharings gave us alot of perspective on how to see things, it opened us to see beyond our comfort zones. Also it gave us the need to pursue more of this kind of schooling and training.  One message that i remembered stated by one of our mentors is that we must infect others with the thirst of knowledge. And so it happened, each of us tried to teach others of what they did not understand and to always help quenching everyone’s curiosity about how CMO works. It was also incorporated to us, the need to defend our country not by armed conflict but by social understanding and providing rescue to the enemy. The need to help them get back to society and have a better life with us with others.

Now that we are about to graduate from this course, there are a lot that we will miss about this experience, this opportunity, this schooling. Those are our classmates, our instructors, the staff of the CMO School and most especially the bonding and the memories we had with everyone. We may again be separated in geographical location, but within us, we are all in the same place in everyone’s heart and mind. Hope that after sometime we all meet and gather again to have more good memories.

Thank you and good day!


Pat Romulo Cleve M Ortenero PNP

SCMO NCO COURSE REFLECTION

Every closing ceremony is a celebration – a time of looking back on the lessons learned, adventures shared, bright moments filled with special meaning. A farewell- a time for saying goodbye to old friends, to good times you’ve known, a beginning- a time of looking forward, a time to set new goals, to dream new dreams, to try your wings and see what lies beyond.

October 16, 2019 when i got the chance to meet all of the students of the Strategic CMO NCO Course Class 21-19, i realized how lucky I am to be part of this class. I never imagined that i will be sharing my reflection and insights of this 4 month long schooling. It makes me sad that all the memories that we’ve shared will now become a history and that i can no longer go back. So i made sure that every moment will be worthwile, every single day is worth it, I’ll always see to it that i get the chance to make them smile and laugh despite the school requirements, that sometimes we need to finish 1-3 turn-ins with a maximum of 1000 words in a week and for us to go on a weekend pass

At first, i was excited and scared at the same time but deep inside i know that i am prepared to learn to explore, and to make new friends. It had finally occurred to me that i have to leave my comfort zone and face a new environment. But today, i am proud to say that i made the right decision to undergo this course. The good experiences that i got here does not imply that i did not have to face my share of discomfort and challenges, but have made me a stronger and more confident person.

Let us not just keep the friendship within the group study nor group works but help each other build a bilateral trade relations with our respective agencies. So, let’s maximize that purpose, let us use our differences to the benefit of all.

Civil-Military Operations is really satisfying and I am overwhelmed and excited to carry the hard-earned CMO badge from this schooling. Finally, thank you and congratulations to all of us.


PMSg Fernando H Angeles PNP

I took up Strategic CMO NCO Course with the recommendation of my former commander, who is very supportive and even encouraged me to take this up and be among the PNP warrior diplomats.  At first I was hesitant but I was driven by my will to become part of the Police Community Relations Group, now Police Community Affairs and Development Group in Camp Crame.

The course is literally difficult for me. The first few days were awkward, trying to adapt each other’s differences, but not too long, we learned to work as one, amidst the unit, amidst the gender, amidst the rank. Within the 4-months duration of the course and with all the activities we conducted, we were able to develop camaraderie and friendship despite us coming from different major services of AFP and PNP.

The biggest hurdle for us was the almost every day and every weekend 1000 words essay turn-ins given to us. We get to work under pressure and sleep very late just so to finish and submit on time. Those were the “galit-galit muna” moments for us because we were all busy with our own turn-ins. Looking far ahead thinking how to construct our ideas and sentences.

Upon taking this course, we were honed to become CMO planners with the knowledge, skills and attitudes necessary to work in partnership with relevant agencies to pursue organizational objectives in the strategic level. The course also provided us with adequate knowledge on the foundations and fundamentals of strategic civil-military operations, communications and current trends and issues in strategic CMO.

It was hard but it was worth it. The course changes our perspective on winning the war. Winning a battle is not about warfighting. It’s about winning the hearts and minds of the populace. We have gained overwhelming knowledge and understanding on the different ways of winning the battle. We will proudly return to our respective unit, equipped with the knowledge and skills ready to take on challenge to wage a war on a different perspective.

As we go back to our units, the success that we have gained through this once in a lifetime experience will be our best defense and offense towards sustainable peace we all aim for. The knowledge, skills and experience gained and developed during the course will help our unit to achieve its full potential with the highest capability of Civil Military Operations.

We are grateful for the opportunity to have learned new things, and for having the chance to try something new. But the learning doesn’t end here, as learning, I believe, is a life-long journey and it takes constant practice and sincere dedication.

Congratulations, Strategic CMO NCO Course Class 21-19! I pray that our road henceforth will be laden with favour and grace. Thank you and God bless.


TSg Jose A Puerto Jr (FA) PA

I am thankful for this privilege given to me to share a bit of insight into our 4 months schooling on Strategic CMO NCO Course.   As a member of the Special Forces (SF) of the Philippine Army, it has been our mandate to search and crush the enemy force that threatens the peace and order of our country.  We had been operating in identified red areas to fight the infiltration of the enemies.   We successfully made it with our guns and bullets, with our trainings in SF, and with the various programs that we offered in the community to bring awareness to the people not to be influenced in the wrong doctrines of our enemies, which I thought that was enough! I thought I was already a well-trained SF for that operation.

Only to find out that in this schooling that I have now, it has led me realized that the knowledge, skills, and values that I used in my previous operations were good enough for SF operations which challenge was centered on counter terrorism, search and rescue and disturbance management in times of disasters and emergencies for  a  still a manageable environment,  but for a very critical environment which we can say a very inhospitable environment considering strong presence of the enemies fully equipped with strategies and mass based support, this schooling has upgraded  me so much with the three components to attain success in any operation. First, the compliance of the inputs which composed of the in-depth analysis, strategic planning and employing suitable resources needed.  We, the students in this schooling are the inputs because we are the qualified CMO personnel to combat the terrorism who were taught on the nature of our enemies and the in-depth analysis we need to employ to approach our enemies in a peaceful manner.  Second the processes, strategies, and techniques to utilize, which are very difficult to because they involve wide and deep analysis like careful planning in such a way that the target can be hit as planned. For instance, one of the strategies that we learned was on creating photo products for information, advocacies, etc. Third, the outputs which comprise of the materialization of the objectives of a particular operation.  That is how important this schooling is.  It offered me and all of us understanding of our tasks coupled with building our teams, transforming us to become a competent CMO practitioner ready to face the challenge ahead and where from there we achieve satisfaction of what we are doing.

Let me end my insights with a warmest Congratulations to my fellow participants- my classmates for completing this course and for the set of trainers and professors for a wonderful expertise you have shared to us. MABUHAY PO TAYONG LAHAT.


PFC Val G Andres PN(M)

I received a call from our battalion saying “Andres, naalala mo nakaraang buwan na nag pa recommend ka sa schooling?” That was my executive officer speaking. I replied,”Aye ma’am.” “Mag prepare ka, sasabay ka sa barko ng Navy Papuntang Zamboanga, at kumuha ka na agad ticket papuntang Manila dahil 15 October ang inyong convening.” Nag madali agad ako na ligpitin ang mga gamit ko. Habang nagliligpit ay magkahalong saya at kaba ang aking naramdaman, saya kasi kahit konti ay makaka pagpahinga, kaba dahil, alam ko na mauubos lahat nag english na inipon ko.

Noong ako ay nasa barko na ng Navy papuntang Zamboanga ay may tumawag sa akin, “Kayo po ba si  Pfc Andres? Sa AFP CMO school po ito. I-confirm ko lang po sana kung nakakuha na kayo ng ticket ng eroplano dahil wala po kayo sa roster ng mag students.” Kahit wala pa akong ticket ay sinabi kong “Meron na sir at flight ko na mamaya.” sa awa ng Diyos ay naawa naman sa akin ang staff ng AFP CMO school.

Kaya sinabi ko sa sarili ko na nakakahiya na hinatid pa ako ng Navy at  kinunsider ng staff ng school, kung hindi ko lang naman gagalingan sa schooling na ito, kahit alam ko na hindi ako magaling at 4GB lang ang kaya ng utak ko. But one of the School staff told us during our immersion, “do not compare yourself to others, and never downgrade yourself, because you can do a lot and greater things that others cannot.”

As a Pfc of a Marines, trained in amphibious attack and expeditionary warfare, experts in bounce-up and maneuver to left and right to destroying enemy hostile, CMO is very new for us. I thought CMO is just for chicken, for the fish, and for the woods. But the schooling goes on I realize the true essence of CMO and being a CMO practitioner.

Tinanong ako ng isa sa mga instructor, “Bakit ka nandito?” “Nandito ako para matuto papano makatulong sa Marine Corp na ma promote sa tao na hindi lang kami sa gyera nakikita, at kaya din naming makamit ang kapayapaan na hindi gumagamit ng Bounce-up at Maneuver to the left and right.

Before this schooling starts I was only a warrior, who had no knowledge in photo editing, no knowledge about Premier Pro, and had the worst English ever. But now I have learned new skills that can be my asset in this race, I have a goal to be productive and it motivates me, a dedication and willingness to learn and most especially a fighting spirit of a Marine. And now I am a well-equipped CMO practitioner who can contribute to the government in maintaining peace and who can demoralize enemies will to fight.

Sir, Maam, instructors, at sa mga classmate na nag turo sa amin ng iba’t ibang bagay na dapat pa naming malaman sa buhay man, o sa sinumpaang propesyon, hindi po nasayang ang pagsisikap niyo para turuan kami. Matapang at taos puso kong ilalatag sa balikat ko ang katagang Warrior Diplomat sa pag balik ko sa SULU.

At ako po si Pfc Val Andres, PHILIPPINE MARINES!!!