Sunday, February 26, 2012

I Was an AeroSpaceCadet of the Philippines

Ever since I graduated from college, I was always fascinated with the military.  The discipline and suave moves that they do during silent drills always earned my nod.  So immediately after graduating from the primary school, one of the first things that captured my awe were the junior and senior students who are training to become 'officers' for the national reserves (part of the curriculum back then).  Yes, I was a freshman but I stay late at school because I was watching them.  So when the opportunity came for me to try-out via the COCC program (traineeship) on the summer after my sophomore year, I signed up.  

I passed as one of the top of my batch (I believe so, ehe) and eventually ranked 2nd in my senior years.  I was then the deputy corps commander with a rank of Cadet Lieutenant Colonel (C/Lt Col.).  I was also lucky to have been sent to the Aerospace Cadets of the Philippines' (ACP) 1999 Encampment where we stayed and lived the 'military life' for almost a week.  After which, the REAL military guys ranked us and opened the opportunity to also send us abroad for an exchange program.  I think (if my memory serves me right) that I was on the top 30 (not sure here) and was accepted to join the exchange program in Hong Kong.  I learned the basic parts of various airplanes as well as learned how to assemble and disassemble an M16 riffle (in record time, then hehee).

A good 'ol batch mate of mine from this encampment was able to create a Facebook account and uploaded some of the photos she had of this event.  I haven't digitized those that i have but plan on doing so in the near future.  Here are some of the shots (warning.. uber dated camera = not so good photos):

We fired real mean guns...ehe...
We had study time because... there is an exam after all the training
Rode a helicopter too..
Each meal was a SQUARE meal... arrggghhh
Daily morning march in our gala uniform
Boodle fight (feast?),,, it was fun
That's me on the far left (don't laugh).. was burned from the training

Happy Batch we were..

Aerospace Cadets of the Philippines

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The Aerospace Cadets of the Philippines or ACP program is a co-educational youth program oriented in aerospace technology, whose aim is to promote national enthusiasm in aviation among the youth and to train them to meet the requirements for leadership and civic service through aerospace education and military training.


In March 1969, the Aerospace Association of the Philippines created the Aerospace Cadets of the Philippines. It was for young men and women who have a predilection towards aviation-related industries.
On December 28, 1977, the Department of Education, Culture and Sports (presently the Department of Education) established the ACP program as a substitute for Citizen Army Training requirements.
By 1983, five schools were affiliated with the ACP program, making it a requirement in their curriculum for all students whose citizenship is Filipino, and today, male and female Filipino students of the five ACP-affiliated schools take ACP as one of their subjects.

ACP insignia

The official logo of the Aerospace Cadets of the Philippines consists of two triangles, one inside the other, with "AEROSPACE CADETS OF THE PHILIPPINES" written in between both triangles fringed with three stars. The inside triangle is blue with a white silhouette of the Philippines and a spaceship superimposed on it.


  • Triangle - this represents the 'holistic' personality of the youth, bred for courage, honor, loyalty, integrity, and purity to serve God, country and others.
  • Three Sides - represent the three domains in the total formation of the youth: knowledge, skills and values.
  • Three Stars - The three geographical divisions of the Philippines: Luzon, the Visayas and Mindanao.
  • The Spaceship at the center of the Philippine map - The desire to stimulate the youth's dreams and aspirations to promote the aviation industry, hand-in-hand with the country's economic development and industrialization.


  • White - honor, integrity, purity.
  • Blue - patriotism, loyalty.
  • Red - courage, bravery.
  • Yellow - charity, truth, love.
  • Green - justice, hope and awareness


The ACP motto is Study, Decide, Act. Some schools have also adopted mottos specific to their ACP wing, such as Learn and Serve for the ACP wing of Colegio San Agustin-Makati


The current program of instruction for ACP is 40% Aviation Education, and 60% Leadership, Citizenship and Military training.

Aviation education

Under Aviation Education, students learn about the history of Aviation and current advancements in the field of Aviation technology. It also covers Philippine Aviation, and Philippine Air Force heroes (i.e. Jesús Villamor, Danilo Atienza, César Basa and Antonio Bautista)


Students learn to value leadership by respecting their commanding officers, majority of which are students themselves who have earned their rank through training after school hours. Officers, likewise, have to learn not to abuse their power and learn humility, as well as leading by example.
These are the ranks of ACP, from highest to lowest:
  • Cadet Lieutenant Colonel (C/Lt Col.)
  • Cadet Major (C/MAJ)
  • Cadet Captain (C/CPT)
  • Cadet First Lieutenant (C/1LT)
  • Cadet Second Lieutenant (C/2LT)
  • Cadet Probationary Second Lieutenant (C/P2LT)
  • Cadet Master Sergeant (C/MSG)
  • Cadet Technical Sergeant (C/TSG)
  • Cadet Staff Sergeant (C/SSG)
  • Cadet Sergeant (C/SGT)
  • Cadet Airman/Airwoman First Class (C/A1C, C/AW1C)
  • Cadet Airman/Airwoman Second Class (C/A2C, C/AW2C)
  • Cadet Airman/Airwoman (C/AM, C/AW)
  • Cadet New Recruit (C/NR)
However, it is also possible to become a medic, flag bearer (also known as a guidon bearer), or member of the air police or marching band of the ACP. Most students begin at the lowest rank, Cadet New Recruit, when they begin ACP at their school. It is possible for a Cadet to ascend in ranks if the Cadet’s performance is excellent, and it is also possible to receive demotions and lower the rank of a Cadet if he performs poorly or disrespects his commanding officer.


Cadets in the ACP learn patriotism and pride in their nationality, and are punished for disrespecting their homeland, the Philippines. For example, Cadets are punished if they run during the playing or singing of the Philippine National Anthem. Cadets are likewise punished even more severely for disrespecting the Philippine Flag (Letting any portion of the flag touch the ground is worthy of a demotion). Cadets are encouraged to sing the National Anthem with pride. Cadets are also encouraged to recite the Panatang Makabayan and the Panunumpa ng Katapatan sa Watawat, as well as sing their school's alma mater song with zest and valor.

Military training

Being an extension of the Philippine Air Force, ACP requires students to learn military commands, drills, punishments, the military alphabet, and obedience to the commanding officer. Commands are mostly in Tagalog, such as ‘Manumbalik', 'Humanay', 'Tikas', 'Paluwag', 'Pasulong', "Lihis pakanan/pakaliwa", 'Liko pakanan/pakaliwa', 'Kaliwang/ Kanang panig'. Cadets also learn how to handle an M16 rifle (However, guns are forbidden in schools, so replicas of M16 rifles are used instead), and the proper use of sabers. ACP requires students to wear a military uniform (Known in some schools as General Officers Attire or GOA, and in others as General Officers Uniform or GOU), which is inspected every training day (this includes the proper military haircut of the boys and hair do for girls). Also, ACP cadets have their own Cadet Oath and Honor Code, which must be memorized.
This form of military training is said to give a sense of nationalism and instill self-discipline (the highest form of discipline) in the youth. It is currently so that the youth can be of service to the Philippines.



  1. i was once an ACP officer when I was in High School - 2nd Air Group Commander cadette major at La Consolacion College-Caloocan..

    1. kaninong batch po kau mam? :)
      -stephen martinez batch masidlahi 09-10 Wing Commander