Philippine Marine Corps
On 30 September 2012, the Philippine Marine Corps deployed 800 personnel comprising 2 battalions to Palawan Province facing the South China Sea. The mission of the Marines, controlled by a brigade headquarters established in Palawan, would be to patrol and otherwise enforce Filipino claims in the Spratly island chain.
The Philippine Marine Corps was conceived in 1950 by President Ramon Magsaysay when he was the Secretary of the National Defense. He envisioned a Marine force that was light, hard hitting, highly mobile, and composed of disciplined and dedicated officers and men capable of aggressively and persistently pursing seagoing smugglers, pirates and other lawless elements throughout the archipelago. The Philippine Marine Corps has always measured up to the standard of professional excellence set by President Magsaysay. In its almost five decades of dedicated service to the country, it has served as an effective and indispensable tool of the government for nation building.
The order creating the Philippine Marine Corps was AFP General Order No. 319 dated November 2, 1950. Pursuant to this order, "A" company of the authorized Marine Battalion was activated that same day at Cavite Naval Base, Cavite City. The company consisted of six volunteer officers and eight NCO's from the Philippine Navy, as well as 230 new civilian recruits. Most of the original officers and NCO's who served as drill instructors in the fledgling Marine Corps were veterans of World War II and were former members of the famed Philippine Scouts.
Lt. Manuel A. Gomez, an outstanding member of the Philippine Military Academy Class 1941, served as the first Commanding Officer of the Marine "A" Company. In his speech during the oath-taking ceremony of the first batch of Marine recruits, Lt. Gomez prophesied this regarding the future role of the Marine Corps in the Armed Forces of the Philippines: "The task of turning these young men into Marines rests upon us. Today as we start the training of these 230 volunteers, we will be striking the first hammer blow in forging the Cutting Edge of the Armed Forces "
Through the years, the Philippine Marine Corps has remained the nation's true force-in-readiness. Today, the corps consists of Headquarters and Headquarters Service Group, Combat Service Support Brigade (CSSB), Marine Corps Training Center (MCTC), three Marine Brigade Headquarters with eleven Marine Battalions under their operational control. To meet the growing combat support requirements of the unit, the Combat Service Support Brigade has absorbed the Assault Armored Battalion (AAB) and Field Artillery Battalion composed of three howitzer batteries placed under the operational control of the three Marine Brigades deployed in operational areas. The Corps also activated the Inshore Boat Company and upgraded the Reconnaissance Company into a Force Reconnaissance Battalion. In 1990, the Marine Guard Battalion was activated to perform security duties at the Senate and the House of Representatives.
For its reserve component, the Corps in 1996 activated the 4th Marine Brigade (reserve), the 202nd and 602nd Marine Reserve Battalions and Marine Mobile Medical and Surgical Company, manned by Marine Reservists from all over the country.
At present, about 87 percent of the total strength of the officers and men of the Philippine Marine Corps are deployed in the Luzon, Mindanao, Sulu and the Palawan regions. These Marines are actively participating in the government's effort to maintain National Security and to assist the local governments in these areas with development.
Today as the Philippine Marine Corps forges its almost five decades of service to country and people its officers and men have constantly time-honored motto of "KARANGALAN, KATUNGKULAN AND KABAYANIHAN." Marines in every assignment have always strived to live up to the renowned standard of excellence of the Corps and have proven their effectiveness in any mission they are tasked to perform. In recognition of the Organization's faithfulness to its mission, the Philippine Marine Corps today proudly bears the following on its standard: five Presidential Unit Citation Streamers: an AFP Chief of Staff Streamer: The Anti-Dissidence Campaign, Luzon Campaign, Jolo Campaign, Mindanao-Sulo Campaign, Visayas Campaign Streamer; COMELEC Citation Streamer; and the Disaster, Relief and Rehabilitation Operation Streamer.
|Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list|