(SOC TECSON OC-2405 PA)
he story of the Officer Candidate School began during the formation of the School for Reserve Commission in 1937. Three Schools were set up, two for the Infantry in Tarlac and Lanao, and one for the Field Artillery at Dau, Mabalacat, Pampanga. These schools were active until the Second World War reached our shores in 1941.
After the war, the school was reactivated and transferred to Fort McKinley under the Philippine Army School Center, Philippine Army Training Command. For the Philippine Air Force, they produced three classes of officer candidates at Nichols Air Base before the PA SRC was reestablished. Three classes were held during April 1951 to May 1953. Graduates of the said program subsequently earned their commissions in the AFP Reserve Force. Following this, the Ground Combat School, PASC took over the training in Fort McKinley. SRC Classes 7 to 25 were trained during the period of September 1954 to April 1959 until it was stopped. The school was then transferred to Fort Magsaysay in Nueva Ecija, and the SRC was directed by higher headquarters to conduct instead a Non-commissioned Officer Course. NCOC courses 1 to 3 were completed from April 1959 to January 1960.
The SRC resumed its training courses when it was transferred to Camp Tinio in Bangad, Cabanatuan City in 1975. After its first class (CL 1-75), the name SRC was changed to the AFP Officer Candidate School (AFPOCS) while still continuing the SRC program of instruction. Before being deactivated once again in 1979, the AFPOCS completed seven classes while one SRC class in 1975 was conducted exclusively for the Philippine Air Force. The next reincarnation of AFPOCS was at Camp Capinpin, Tanay, Rizal in 1987. Seventeen classes, including the four pioneer members of the Women’s Auxillary Corps (WAC)of OCS Cl 02-89 were produced by the AFPOCS.
Upon the deactivation of the AFP Training Command, the OCS transferred to the control of TRADOC, PA. In October 1996, 105 former members of the MNLF graduated as officers of the Philippine Army pursuant to the 1996 peace agreement between the MNLF and the Government.
Some noteworthy members who made star ranks include BGenerals Leandro N Lonzame and Ruso T Sabalones of the pre-WW2 SRC. Brigadier Generals Alexander Felix, Armando Mateo and Rogelio Martin were products of SRC classes in Fort McKinley. Notable SRC Bangad graduates include J/Director Arturo W Alit. OCS class 02-89 pride themselves with including in their ranks MAJ DAHLIA O NOGRALES WAC (PN) and MAJ ESTER S BAUTISTA WAC (PN), the 1st skipper and executive officer of the 1st all-female crewed PN vessel.
Some notable adopted members include, among others, LT GEN Alberto Braganza, GEN Azumi of the Royal Malaysian Army, COLl Chris Brins of the Australian Army, MGEN Edwin Vargas and Lieutenant Generals Roy Kyamko and Alfonzo Dagudag.
Since its creation, more than 3,000 officers have graduated from the Officer Candidate School. The school’s motto VALOR, INTEGRITY and DUTY still remains strong and relevant despite changes in the society and government. B
SOC TECSON is a graduate of Bachelor of Arts in Consular and Diplomatic Affairs
at De La Salle – College of Saint Benilde.