One of the most prestigious military schools in Asia is the Philippine Military Academy or PMA. It has been in existence for several decades now. It is the training ground for the officers of the Armed Forces of the Philippines. To be a graduate of this honorable military academy is a prestige and honor.
Here are some of the most important and interesting things you need to know about the Philippine Military Academy.
1. The Philippine Military Academy was established as the Academia Militar in Malolos, Bulacan on October 25, 1898.
2. Academia Militar existed only for a short period of time because of the Filipino-American War that erupted in January 1899.
3. In 1905, after 6 years, a military school for officers of the Philippine Constabulary was established in Intramuros, Manila.
4. After 3 years, this military academy was transferred in Camp Henry T. Allen in Baguio City and then later moved to Teachers Camp.
5. The length of schooling and training on this military academy, which was established by the Americans, was barely nine months.
6. In 1926, the military school was renamed “Philippine Constabulary Academy” and the length of course was extended to 3 years from 9 months.
7. In December 1936, the institution was renamed “Philippine Military Academy”. The military course, in order to become a military officer, was extended to 4 years thereby granting a bachelor’s degree to the graduates.
8. The academy closed in 1941 due to the outbreak of World War II. It was reopened at its former location – Camp Allen, in 1947.
9. The present location of the academy, with an area of 373 hectares, is located at Loakan Road, Fort Gregorio Del Pilar, Baguio City.
10. Philippine Military Academy was established exclusively for male but in 1993, females were finally allowed and accepted.
11. The student body of the PMA is officially called the Cadet Corps Armed Forces of the Philippines or CCAFP. This student body has 4 distinct classes – 1st, 2nd 3rd and 4th class.
12. The 1st class occupies the major positions of responsibility in the cadet chain of command. In comparison to high school or college, they are the seniors.
13. In addition, 1st class cadets are designated the chairmen and cadet-in-charge of the various committees, clubs and corps squads.
14. The 2nd class or cows that act as squad leaders start specialized which branch of service (Army, Navy or Air Force) he or she’ll join.
15. In comparison, they are the juniors in high school and college – they are the ones who are next in line.
16. The 3rd class or sophomores in the academy are called the “yearlings” while the 4th class are or the freshmen and are known as “plebes” – they are the lowest in rank.
17. Not all who passed the entrance examinations of the PMA will graduate. A few were unable to do so for some reasons.
18. The most common reasons for attrition include academic deficiency, deficiency in conduct, personal aptitude and personal reasons.
19. Failing the same academic subject twice, failing twice in Physical Education and attaining a grade point average or GPA of less than 7.00 at the end of a term will lead to the cadet’s attrition.
20. Do you know that freshmen/4th class or fourth class must have their haircuts before Wednesday of every week?
21. Plebes or 4th class eat "square meals" at order of an upper classman.
22. Plebes or freshmen cadets are not allowed to own jewelries and watches and only allowed to own a clock.
23. The number of female cadets to be accepted in the academy should not exceed more than 5% of the total number of cadets entering the Academy at any one time.
24. Plebes do not smoke and Plebes don’t say I don’t know but instead say I will find out.
25. Did you know that Plebes are not allowed to talk to each other outside their rooms and may not go to the toilet rooms until ten minutes after breakfast except in an emergency?
26. Plebes are not allowed at Cadet Hops except during the Christmas holidays. They may attend the Graduation Ball, their first cadet hop on their last day of plebehood.
27. The minimum height for a female in order to be accepted in the Philippine Military Academy is five (5) feet and two (2) inches.
28. The minimum height requirement for male to be accepted in the Philippine Military Academy is five (5) and four (4) inches.
29. The first female cadets graduated in 1997 and the first female cadet to hold the distinction of graduating at the top of her class is Arlene A. Dela Cruz of batch 1999.
30. For every cadet that enters the academy, one of the most memorable days is April 1. This day has been set aside for his/her reception as a cadet – his/her first day of a military career and the last day of his/her civilian live.
31. The Philippine Military Academy is composed of 8 companies making up the Cadet Corps.
32. Among the most prominent rites and recognitions of the cadet corpse include reception, incorporation, recognition, 100th Nite Show, Graduation, Ring Hop and Graduation Hop.
33. The motto of the Philippine military Academy is – Courage, Integrity, Loyalty!
34. One of the most notable graduates of PMA is MGen. Paulino Santos the AFP Chief of Staff from May 6 to December 31, 1936. General Santos City was named in his honor.
35. Another distinguish graduate of PMA is Brig.Gen. Ruperto Kangleon. He became the 6th Secretary of National Defense and a Senator of the Philippine Republic. He was the AFP Chief of Staff from 1946 to 1948.
36. Other notable PMA products include Fortunato Abat, Renato de Villa, Rodolfo Biazon, Gregorio Honassan, Panfilo Lacson, Hermogenes Ebdane, Antonio Trillanes IV and many others.