Philippine Army

Philippine Army

Infobox Military Unit
unit_name= Philippine Army
"Hukbong Katihan ng Pilipinas"

caption= Philippine Army Emblem
start_date= March 22, 1897
established= January 11, 1936
country= Republic of the Philippines
type= Army
size= approximately 68,000 regular
approximately 120,000 reserve
command_structure= Armed Forces of the Philippines
garrison= Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City, Metro Manila
motto= "At your service, across the land"
core values=
battles= Philippine Revolution
Spanish-American War
Philippine-American War
World War II
Korean War
Vietnam War
Persian Gulf War [Citation
title=Gulf War
Iraq War [Citation
title=Death Toll For U.S.-Led Coalition in Iraq
Communist Insurgencies
Islamic Insurgencies
anniversaries= March 22
current_commander= Lieutenant General Victor Ibrado
current_commander_label= Commander of the Philippine Army
The Philippine Army (PA) is the ground arm of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP). Its official name in Filipino is "Hukbong Katihan ng Pilipinas". As of 2008, General Hermogenes Esperon Jr. served as Chief of Staff of the AFP.cite web |url= |title=ADROTH Project: Star Tracker |accessdate=2008-02-03 |format= |work= ] Lieutenant General Victor Ibrado replaced Lieutenant General Alexander Yano, former commanding general of the Philippine Army, who took over from Hermogenes Esperon on May 12, 2008. Ibrado is the former chief of the Armed Forces Central Command (Centcom), Visayas. [ [, New Army chief named] ]


The Philippine Army does not have a strong collective military tradition. In earlier times, Spain and the United States had been ruling the Philippine Islands. Neither allowed the Filipino troops to gain control of responsibility.

The official birth of the Philippine Army is the passage of Commonwealth Act No. 1, Executive Order No. 11 on January 11, 1936 effecting the organization of Head Quarters, Philippine Army. It was also during this time that the Philippine Constabulary was transferred to the Philippine Army and became part of the regular force. However, the foundation of the Philippine Army can be traced back to 1892, when Andrés Bonifacio founded the Katipunan organization, which aimed to prepare his band of Filipino patriots for armed revolt against Spanish colonial rule. It was therefore the Katipunan that first formed the nucleus of the Philippine Army.

Almost a year after the outbreak of hostilities between the Katipuneros and the Spanish Army, the Philippine Revolutionary Government and its Army were born on March 22, 1897 at Tejeros, San Francisco de Malabon in Cavite. General Artemio Ricarte was named Captain General of the Ejercito en la Republica de las Islas Filipinas or the revolutionary Philippine Army. This date marks the founding day of the modern day Philippine Army.

On June 12, 1898, Emilio Aguinaldo declared Philippine Independence from Spain and formed the first Philippine Republic, in which he sat as its President. The Filipino troops were to enjoy only a brief respite from combat when American forces came in to establish rule in the islands by virtue of the Treaty of Paris, which Spain co-signed with the United States on December 10, 1898. The treaty ceded the Philippines, Puerto Rico and Guam to the United States.

On February 4, 1899, the Philippine-American War erupted due to Filipino political struggle against U.S. annexation of the Islands. The Filipinos fell from one position to another until they were forced to disband. Even after the official cessation of hostilities and as the Americans have established government in 1901, the Filipino revolutionaries continued their struggle for independence. The Philippine Constabulary was established on August 8, 1901, by authority of Act. No. 175 of the Philippine Commission, to assist the United States military in combating the remaining Filipino revolutionaries. Between that time until 1935, the revolutionary army lost many of its cohorts in sporadic engagements with U.S. troops, but never lost its cause.

With the establishment of the Philippine Commonwealth on 1935-11-15, President Manuel L. Quezon sought the services of General Douglas MacArthur to evolve a national defense plan.

The Philippine Commonwealth Army was created by Philippine Commonwealth Act Number 1, approved 1935-12-21. With the threat of war with Japan imminent, on 1941-07-26, a new command in the Far East was created, known as the United States Army Forces Far East (USAFFE). On the same date, President of the United States Franklin D. Roosevelt, issued Presidential Order (6 Fed. Reg. 3825) which called the Philippine Commonwealth Army into the service of the Armed Forces of the United States [| The National Archives; National Personnel Records Center, St. Louis: Philippine Army and Guerrilla Records] ] . With an annual appropriation of 16 million pesos, it trained new Filipino members in defending the nation and protecting its people.

The Presidential Order of July 26, 1941 did not order all the military forces of the Philippine government into the service of the United States Armed Forces. Only those units and personnel indicated in orders issued by a general officer of the United States Army were mobilized and made an integral part of the United States Army Forces Far East (USAFFE). Only those members of a unit who physically reported for duty were inducted. (Inductions were not automatic, nor were personnel inducted into the Army of the United States) .

When World War II broke out in 1941, two regular and ten reserve divisions of the Philippine Army undertook the defense of the Philippines. These divisions were incorporated into the United States Army Forces in the Far East (USAFFE) under the command of General Douglas MacArthur. The equipment of these units included: Canon de 155mm GPF; Ordnance QF 18 pounder; 2.95 inch QF Mountain gun [] ; Stokes Mortar; Brandt mle 27/31; M2 Browning machine gun; M1917 Browning machine gun; M1919 Browning machine gun; M1918 Browning Automatic Rifle; M1917 Enfield rifle; M1903 Springfield rifle; Thompson submachine gun; and the M1911 pistol.

After the surrender of the Filipino and American forces in the Philippines in May 1942, independent guerrilla groups, composed of both civilian and military personnel, began to form throughout the Islands. Many of these groups worked under the control of General Douglas MacArthur's General Headquarters, Southwest Pacific Area. A recognized military force is defined as a force under a commander who has been appointed, designated or recognized by a general officer of the United States Army.

Service of the Philippine Commonwealth Army in the service of the United States Armed Forces terminated as of midnight, 1947-06-30, by authority of General Order #168, Army Forces Western Pacific.

After the war, four military areas were activated to take the place of military districts. The Armed Forces was reorganized which gave birth to the four major services of the Armed Forces.

Headquarters National Defense Forces was renamed General Headquarters Armed Forces of the Philippines.

In the early fifties and the mid-sixties, the Philippine government extended a helping hand to war-torn countries as part of its commitment as member of the United Nations. The army spared five battalions which comprised the Philippine Expeditionary Forces to Korea (PEFTOK) to fulfill its pledge to uphold the struggle for democracy. The Philippine Civic Action Group to Vietnam (PhilCAGV) was sent to South Vietnam on a mission of peace, where army engineers helped build communities and army doctors and nurses provided medical services to the people.

Under the leadership of Brigadier General Leoncio S. Tan the Philippine Army established its separate headquarters on July 10, 1957. The onset of the sixties ushered an expansion of the army's roles, which include participation in the socio-economic programs of the country, among others.

To achieve greater flexibility and effectiveness, infantry divisions took the place of the military areas in the seventies. On September 21, 1972, the Martial Law era began. During the decade, military operations supported by civic action blocked the escalation of insurgency.

The onset of the eighties saw the birth of the Special Operations Team (SOT) strategy which is aimed to isolate the insurgents from the civilian population, and dismantle the communist political organizations, neutralizing and denying them control of barangays all over the country.

Aside from counterinsurgency campaigns, the SOT plays an additional role in national development. Together with local government officials, SOT identifies problems and helps provide assistance in areas that lack needed vital facilities and service like roads, bridges, schools, health and sanitation, livelihood, etc. Because of its effectiveness in quelling insurgency, this strategy is being adopted not only by the Army but by the entire Armed Forces of the Philippines.

Major Equipment


The functions of the Philippine Army are to:

*Organize, train and equip Army forces for the conduct of prompt and sustained combat operations on land;

*Prepare such units as may be necessary for the effective prosecution of national defense plans and programs and Armed Forces mission, including the expansion of the peacetime ARMY component to meet any emergency;

*Develop, in accordance with the other Major Services, tactics, techniques and equipment of interest to the Army on field operations;

*Train, organize and equip all ARMY reserve units; and

*Perform such functions as the higher authorities may direct.

Regular Units

The Philippine Army has several regular units dedicated to counter-insurgency and conventional army operations.


*1st Infantry Division
*2nd Infantry Division
*3rd Infantry Division
*4th Infantry Division
*5th Infantry Division
*6th Infantry Division
*7th Infantry Division
*8th Infantry Division
*9th Infantry Division
*10th Infantry Division
*11th Infantry Division

Armor & Cavalry

*Light Armor Division

Combat Support Units

* Army Engineering Brigade, PA
* Signal Group, PA
* Intelligence Security Group, PA

ervice Support Units

*Philippine Army Reserve Command

pecial Units

The Philippine Army has a number of units dedicated to special operations. These units report directly to the Philippine Army Special Operations Command

* 1st Scout Ranger Regiment
* 1st Special Forces Regiment (Airborne)
* Light Reaction Battalion



* 53rd PC Anniversary Yearbook, 1954 Edition

See also

* Army
* Philippine Navy
* Philippine Marine Corps
* Philippine Air Force
* Armed Forces of the Philippines
* Philippine Constabulary
* Military History of the Philippines

External links

* [ Official Web Site]
* [ About the Army]
* [ Philippine Army Order of Battle]
* [ Philippine Defense Forum]

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