President Benigno S. Aquino III leads the commemoration of the 80th founding anniversary of the Armed Forces of the Philippines on December 21, 2015. He will also preside over the awarding ceremonies recognizing distinguished members of the AFP.
History of the Armed Forces of the Philippines Day
On November 15, 1935, the newly elected President Manuel L. Quezon issued Executive Order No. 2, s.1935, assuming command of military forces, thereby sending the signal that a Filipino chief executive had assumed the role of Commander-in-Chief, the power once held by Spanish and American governor-generals. The next day, President Quezon appointed Douglas MacArthur as military adviser to the Commonwealth, and established the Council of National Defense (Executive Order No. 3, s. 1935). The importance of national defense was emphasized by Quezon calling the National Assembly to a Special Session.
In his first State of the Nation Address, Quezon pointed out that the special session was called for the sole purpose of deliberating upon, and passing, a national defense legislation, authorizing a national mobilization in the face of impending threat or aggression.
Hence, on December 21, 1935, the National Assembly enacted the first of the Commonwealth Acts, the Commonwealth Act No. 1, known as the National Defense Act. It established the Council of National Defense, with the President as the chairman. It also put emphasis on the supremacy of civil authority over military force—to strengthen constitutional principles of democracy to keep the armed forces subordinate to civilian authority. The Act viewed the formation of a citizen-army composed of reservists, with the core of Philippine land defense that it established resting on a small professional army of some 350 officers and 5,000 enlisted men, with a permanent army headquarters and staff. Henceforth, the day of the enactment of the law became known as the foundation day of the Armed Forces of the Philippines or AFP Day.
List of AFP awards
- Philippine Legion of Honor (PLOH)
- Awarded for meritorious service in military or defense affairs or for contributions to the preservation of the honor of the Republic of the Philippines. It is conferred upon civilians for military or defense service or for life achievement in public service. In the military it is conferred upon personnel who have performed exceptionally in the conduct of their duties. It is awarded by the President, but may also be awarded by the SND on behalf of the President.
- Distinguished Conduct Star (DCS)
- Awarded to military personnel of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and friendly allied armed forces for conspicuous courage and gallantry in the face of an armed enemy. To warrant an award, a person must perform an extremely notable act of heroism involving an extraordinary risk of life as to set him apart from his comrades.
- Gold Cross Medal (GCM)
- Awarded to military personnel of the Armed Forces of the Philippines for gallantry in action not warranting the award of the Distinguished Conduct Star.
- Meritorious Achievement Medal (MAM)
- Awarded to members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines or any citizen of the Philippines and of friendly foreign nations by the Chief of Staff, AFP and Unified/Major Service Commanders for valuable and revered achievements in the advancement of science or socio-economic, technical/or military fields related to national defense, or public service that merit recognition to a lesser degree than Outstanding Achievement Medal.
- Bronze Cross Medal (BCM)
- Awarded for acts of heroism involving risk of life under conditions other than those of conflict with the enemy. To receive the award must involve heroism not involving actual conflict with the enemy and performance or acts of heroism involving risk of life under conditions other than those of conflict with the enemy (i.e. risk of life saving another individual from drowning, burning building, burning/sinking ship).
- Kagitingan sa Barangay (KSB) (Maginoo)
- Awarded to any Integrated Civilian Home Defense Force (ICHDF) member or Civilian Official or CAFGU. To receive the award personnel there must be a participation in action involving actual conflict with an enemy.
- Enlisted Personnel of the Year
- Awarded to enlisted personnel for having an outstanding achievement and performance of duties and possessing good traits and characteristics to be determined by a board.
- Model Civilian Supervisor of the Year
- Awarded to any Armed Forces of the Philippines civilian supervisor rendering at least five years continuous service with the nominative agency on the following basis: efficiency, achievement, resourcefulness, and creativity, length of service, and traits and characteristics.
- Model Civilian Employee of the Year
- Awarded to any Armed Forces of the Philippines civilian personnel rendering at least five years continuous service with the nominative agency on the following basis: efficiency, achievement, resourcefulness, and creativity, length of service, and traits and characteristics.
- Male Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) Cadet of the Year
- Awarded to ROTC cadet of the year for outstanding achievement for the year as student, cadet/cadette for the last three semesters, to include 4th year high school, and with traits and characteristics on personal appearance, oral communicative ability, and general knowledge.
- Female ROTC Cadet of the Year
- Awarded to ROTC cadette of the year for outstanding achievement for the year as student, cadet/cadette for the last three semesters, to include 4th year high school, and with traits and characteristics on personal appearance, oral communicative ability, and general knowledge.
- AFP Bayanihan Awards
- Awarded to AFPs active partner stakeholders, both from the government and non-government agencies, who have helped the AFP in achieving its goals through the spirit of Bayanihan.