Republic of the Philippines

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Philippine Army Officer graduates from the 55th Advanced Command and Staff Course of the New Zealand Defence Force Command and Staff College

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Lt. Col. Emil Cruz of the Philippine Army, was among the foreign participants who graduated from the 55th Advanced Command and Staff Course (Joint) conducted by the New Zealand Defence Force Command and Staff College on 11 December 2014 at the Derby Room, Trentham Race Course. He joined 35 participants composed of 23 New Zealanders and 12 international students from Saudi Arabia, United States, Malaysia, Thailand, Papua New Guinea, Viet Nam, India, Australia, Singapore, Canada and the Republic of Korea in a 37-week course which is intended to provide an advanced level of professional and military education in preparation for a higher and more senior command positions and staff appointments. The wide ranging course which included study tours within and outside New Zealand provided a broad spectrum of theoretical and practical aspects of study to further hone their analytical, communication skills, research and analysis of the strategic, security and operational environment. The course was attended by personnel from the Defence Force and other agencies of New Zealand and officers from other partner countries under the Mutual Assistance Programme (MAP). Since its inception in 2001, the MAP has advanced Philippines-New Zealand military cooperation through capacity-building as well as skills and knowledge enhancements in strategic studies, engineering, personnel, aircraft operations and maintenance, and logistics, among others. From 2005 to 2014, more than forty Armed Forces of the Philippines officers have availed of courses offered by New Zealand.

Philippine Ambassador Virginia H. Benavidez attended the graduation ceremony and congratulated Col. Cruz who “demonstrated the Filipino’s exemplary traits of dedication, hard work, determination, professionalism and commitment. He will undoubtedly continue to be a valuable military officer in service to our country and people.” Col. Cruz said that he gained much from the course as “it enhanced and raised the level of my critical thinking on wide array of security issues (local and international) which essentially prepared my mind to be able to formulate strategic and operational inputs and options to the different challenges in the 21st security environment. It equipped me with the capability to handle command and staff positions in the higher grade particularly in the strategic and operational headquarters or units. It will definitely boost my career as a military officer as the course raised my confidence and skill to perform in different spaces and in higher capacities. More so, the knowledge that I gained will help me to contribute effectively to Armed Forces of the Philippines’ efforts towards territorial defense. The course is also one of the mandatory requirements for promotion to the rank of Colonel.”

Upon his return to the Philippines, Col. Cruz is assigned at the Armed Forces of the Philippines Command and General Staff College (AFP CGSC) in Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City as one of the Directing Staffs to be able to re-echo the knowledge and skills that he gained from the 55th Advanced Command and Staff Course (Joint) to the students of the said College.

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