Interesting Facts About the Armed Forces of the Philippines
The Armed Forces of the Philippines (together with the Philippine national Police) is the major institution that is in-charge of protecting and keeping peace and order in the Philippines. It is the defender of democracy and the protector of invaders. This volunteer force is composed of 125,000 active soldiers and over 130,000 reservists.
Here are some of the most important and interesting things about the AFP or Armed Forces of the Philippines.
1. The head of the Armed Forces of the Philippines is the Commander in Chief which is the President of the Philippine Republic. Currently, Benigno Aquino III is the Philippine President therefore he is the Commander in Chief.
2. In the Filipino language, Armed Forces of the Philippines is Sandatahang Lakas ng Pilipinas. It has three major branches namely; Philippine Army, Philippine Navy and Philippine Air Force.
3. Philippine Army in Filipino is Hukbong Katihan ng Pilipinas, Philippine Navy is Hukbong Dagat ng Pilipinas and Philippine Air Force is Hukbong Himpapawid ng Pilipinas.
4. Philippine Marine Corps, which is under Philippine Navy, is Hukbong Kawal Pandagat ng Pilipinas.
5. All the branches of the Armed Forces of the Philippines are part of the Department of National Defense which is headed by a Secretary.
6. Each of the 3 major AFP branches, which are headed by an officer, is under the unified leadership of the Chief of Staff with the usual rank of a full-pledged general.
7. The highest military commander in the Philippines is the Commander in Chief (Philippine President) followed by the Chief of Staff.
8. Historically, the AFP was founded in March 1897. Its headquarters is Camp Emilio Aguinaldo located along the historic EDSA or Epifanio Delos Santos Avenue in Quezon City.
9. General Artemio Ricarte, the first Captain General of the Philippine Revolutionary Army, is regarded as the father of Philippine Army
10. It was President Manuel L. Quezon who renamed the Philippine Army to Armed Forces of the Philippines with Gen Douglas McArthur as its first chief of staff.
11. McArthur was the only foreigner to hold a rank in the AFP. He held the rank of Field Marshal, a rank no other person has since held in the AFP.