Two graduates share their Impressions on the Strategic CMO Officers Online Course Class 18-20

The Strategic CMO Officers Online Course (SCMOOOC) aims to equip Officers with the competencies expected of Strategic CMO Planners and Operators.  The distance learning mode affords Officers an option for continuous CMO education without compromise to their designated tasks in their respective units.

SCMOOOC Class 18-20 opened last 14 February 2020 and closed on 24 July 2020.  The situation with the COVID-19 Pandemic has compounded the challenges for the students in dealing with the demands of the course while balancing their energies and focus on work and their personal endeavors.  Two (2) graduates of the class share their insights into the course.

 


Police Major Ford B Sudaypan*, PNP-SAF

Graduated Number 1 among the 59-strong SCMOOOC Class 18-20

Below is his impression on the course as he has shared during the Closing Ceremony of SCMOOOC Class 18-20

 

In February 14, 2020, when lovers, married couples, those in a relationship and even those in a complicated status were celebrating the valentine’s day, 69 aspiring officers from the different uniformed services and government agencies chose to start a challenging yet very important journey of their career, that is, to be part of the Strategic CMO Officers Online Course Class 18-20. After 5 long months, here we are, 59 strong, who were able to overcome different obstacles and challenges, and ready and proud to wear the CMO badge on our chest.

This CMO badge does not only mean that we are graduates of the course. This symbolizes the many sacrifices and sleepless nights that we had endured, just to finish our TMAs, of waiting for the Main Discussions, best reactions and interactions from our classmates so that we can also provide our own; of doing our requirements even while driving, or rendering duties in our respective posts.

But all these sacrifices are nothing compared to what we gained. Aside from learning from our instructors, we learned a lot from each other, especially from our sharing of experiences and best practices in our own fields. In addition, nothing can compare to the friendship that we have established from each other. I hope that this is not the end, but just the start of a lifetime communication and collaboration amongst us, especially in terms of improving our services to our country.

My salute to the AFP CMO School, and the rest of the leadership of the AFP. This is a kind of course which is very flexible and adaptive even during times of crisis like the pandemic that we are battling right now. Based on my experience, this course teaches us to argue yet respect and help each other. There is no competition, and more of collaboration. May you continue to produce more warrior diplomats from the different services and agencies, for they shall serve as light in their respective agencies, especially in enlightening their colleagues and the leadership of their organizations, about the vital role of CMO in our goal to win the peace.

Congratulations to all of us for making it this day. Let us wear our CMO badge with great pride but with a humble heart, never forgetting the huge responsibility of leading our respective organizations towards the attainment of our goals, leading to the realization of our country’s long term objectives.

Thank you for the opportunity, and may God bless and protect you and your family, and may He use our lives as instruments of blessings, especially this time of pandemic.

To God be all the glory!

 


Geronimo C Suliguin Jr

As a Foreign Service Officer and a former Director of Media and Public Affairs, I found it only proper and important that I learn how the AFP trains its warrior-diplomats. The AFP remains a highly regarded institution by the Filipino public and CMO has a lot to do with this perception and appreciation.

I must admit that I knew close to nothing about CMO, its history, philosophy, the theories behind it, joint operations, and the volumes of military documents and programs related to the conduct of CMO when SCMOOOC CL 18-20 started. It did not deter me. The situation gave me the right motivation to pick up the pace considering the time allotted for each TMA and online discussions were relatively short for a non-CMO practitioner.

As an added challenge, the class opening coincided with the Covid-19 repatriation activities of the Department of Foreign Affairs. Luckily, I was able to find a balance between the demands of work and the rigors of the program. I did submit a couple of late TMAs along the way, and skipped at least one scheduled integration activity. It could not be helped: I was out in the field in full PPE.

While the class was online, the designed discussions provided a lot of opportunities to get to know my uniformed classmates from the Philippine Army (PA), Philippine Navy (PN), Philippine Airforce (PAF), Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC). It was an enriching experience as far as backgrounds are concerned and opened glimpses on how operators from the uniformed branches see specific issues and problems. The discussions were candid which I appreciate very much and afforded me valuable learning experiences from tactical, operational, and strategic practitioners.

The integration phase, curtailed by the current pandemic, also presented its own challenges. Pressed by time on one hand, WIFI connection on another, the groups marched on and succeeded. CL 19-20 “TIKASLINGAP” has the highest survival rate in the history of SCMOOOC.

In the process of learning about CMO, I grew to understand our AFP, the role it plays, and the importance it has on interagency decision-making. This importance of the AFP in inter-agency decision making is upon us right now as the country battles Covid-19. I am certain that inter-agency decision making will figure more and more as the country faces future security challenges, underscoring the need for both civilian and uniformed personnel to integrate and share best practices on a regular basis. I see SMOOOC as one of the platforms for civilian government-military integration.

Lastly, SCMOOOC was an opportunity to appreciate the work of BGEN HONESTO M ISLETA AFP “who was an exemplar of success in the field of civil-military operations during his stint as the 8th Commander of Civil Relations Service, Armed Forces of the Philippines (CRSAFP).” I was surprised that the AFPCMOS buildings were named in his honor. The late BGEN Isleta and I are members of the Tau Alpha Fraternity from UP. I hope I made him proud.

Mabuhay ang AFPCMOS! Mabuhay ang SCMOOOC CL 18-20!