By Francis Wakefield
The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) sent on Sunday a contingent of top Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC) cadets to Guam to participate in the five-day ROTC Cultural Understanding and Language Program (CULP) Exchange 2018.
According to Rear Adm. Samuel Felix, Deputy Chief of Staff for Reservist and Retiree Affairs, OJ9 AFP, the 22 ROTC cadets will work side by side with the cadets from the University of Guam (UOG) ROTC in the planning and execution of a field training exercise from October 15 to 19..
The Filipino cadets who came from various ROTC programs nationwide were selected through a set of stringent criteria and parameters through the office of the Manpower Development and Administration Division led by Capt. Pedro Samson Jr.
These include academic performance and their overall standing in the program. The delegates are third and fourth year college students who are mostly corps commanders or deputy commanders of their respective units.
The contingent is led by Col. Kennedy C. Saguindang from the OJ9 AFP. He is assisted by three other officers and two enlisted prsonnel from the AFP who will act as cadres to direct and monitor the AFP ROTC cadets during the CULP.
According to the AFP-Public Affairs Office, this year’s CULP Exchange is hosted by the Guam National Guard (GUNG) UOG Army ROTC program. It aims to enhance cultural and leadership awareness of AFP ROTC cadets as well strengthen the partnership between the AFP and United States Armed Forces.
As a territory of the United States, Guam seeks to familiarize the participants of the role of the GUNG and its senior ROTC cadets in supporting the US military.
CULP is one of the state partnership programs of Guam and Philippines under the PH-US Mutual Defense Treaty. It is one of the training activities approved under the Mutual Defense Board and Security Engagement Board (MDB-SEB) meeting held last year.
The exchange program is an opportunity for the AFP to assess and evaluate the UOG’s ROTC program that will serve as benchmark for the enhancement of its own reserve force’s education and training.