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Saturday, December 11, 2021

Philippine Army Chief, Maj. Gen. Romeo Brawner Jr. all-out support for Army Troops to Curb Insurgency

Philippine Army Chief, Maj. Gen. Romeo Brawner Jr. all-out support for Army Troops to Curb Insurgency


Philippine Army (PA) chief, Maj. Gen. Romeo Brawner Jr. vowed to enhance the competencies and skills of Filipino troops to ensure that they are well-trained, equipped, and prepared for the challenges of fighting the "enemies of the state" and protecting the people.

During his assumption as the new Army chief at the PA headquarters in Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City on Friday, Brawner pledged to provide the necessary resources to units in the field all over the country so that they are capacitated to do their assigned tasks effectively and efficiently.

He also vowed to continue the programs and accomplishments, implemented by his predecessor, Lt. Gen. Andres Centino, now the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief-of-staff.

"It is imperative that we pursue this thrust so that we be able to accomplish the mission that was ordered by no less than the Commander-in-Chief (President Rodrigo R. Duterte) which is to end the local communist armed conflict by the end of his term," he added.

Once this is achieved, PA units will be deployed to help the Commission on Elections in ensuring that the coming local and national elections this May 2022 are credible, peaceful, and orderly.

"In the long term, this thrust will help propel the PA towards modernization and towards achieving our vision stated in the Army Transformation Roadmap to be a World-Class Army by the year 2028," Brawner said.

Brawner also vowed to focus more efforts on ensuring that troops and their families are well taken care of.

"We will make sure that the Army soldier and his family (are) well taken care of. A soldier is, after all, the most important resource of the Army. We will make sure he is healthy physically, more importantly mentally," he said.

He said ensuring the well-being of troops under his command has been his advocacy since he started his military career shortly after graduation from the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) in 1989.

"Kita ko po rin kasi during the Marawi Siege (in 2017), nung natapos na yun Marawi Siege na biglang nag-uwian yun mga sundalo natin without the benefit of a proper mental, psychological debriefing. Meron naman pero, it wasn't really enough. Not everybody will do that(I saw that shortly after the Marawi Siege, participating troops went home without the benefit of proper mental and psychological debriefing. There (were) some, but it wasn't really enough. Not everybody will do that)," he added.

Brawner also said during his term as commandant of cadets in the PMA, improving mental health is among his advocacies. This came after he learned that some of the cadets then had "suicidal tendencies".

"I will continue with that advocacy here in the Philippine Army because no matter how good you are, no matter how competent and skilled you are, there are times you get too much affected by personal problems," Brawner said.

"We will also protect the soldier and his family from the wrath of this Covid-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) pandemic," he added, noting that the health crisis is still far from being over.

Before his appointment as PA chief last December 7, Brawner commanded the Cagayan De Oro-based 4th Infantry Division which was responsible for neutralizing high-ranking communist terrorist group personalities in Northern Mindanao and Caraga regions, including the head of the New People's Army (NPA) National Operations Command Jorge "Ka Oris" Madlos.

This feat demoralized the NPA nationwide, resulting in the mass surrender of communist rebels.

Brawner held various key positions in the AFP such as 2nd Special Forces Battalion commanding officer, 6th Infantry Division chief-of-staff, spokesperson of the PA and the AFP, and Civil-Military Operations Regiment commander.

During the Marawi siege, he was designated as Task Group Ranao deputy commander and Task Force Marawi spokesperson. Later on, Brawner assumed command of the 103rd Infantry Brigade based in Marawi City.

Aside from this, he also became the PMA commandant of cadets where he considers the eradication of hazing his most significant contribution. Brawner was also the first AFP deputy chief-of-staff for financial management or J-10.

He is a member of PMA Class of 1989 where he graduated salutatorian and was a "Baron" or Regiment Commander of the Cadet Corps.

Brawner acquired three master’s degrees - Master of Science in Information Management from the Ateneo de Manila University, Master of Business Administration (Management of Technology) from the Asian Institute of Technology in Thailand, and the European School of Management in Oxford, the United Kingdom, and a Master in Strategic Studies from the United States Army War College. (PNA)

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