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Army aspirants hope to become instrument of peace in Mindanao

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Maguindanao – There’s no slowing down for those aspiring to become infantrymen and infantrywomen who are willing to serve the country and its people.

This is as far as the Army’s 6th Infantry “Kampilan” Division is concerned.

Thousands of young men and women took the Philippine Army Battery Tests (PAATB) at the division’s recruitment office.

The examinations were conducted by the Army Recruitment Center located in this camp in two days.

Maj. Gen. Rey Ardo, 6th ID division commander, said more than 3,000 young men and women took the physical and mental examinations for this year’s recruits.

PAATB was the first step of the long and tedious process that every soldier candidate should undergo to be qualified and admitted to the military training in the Philippine Army, Ardo said.

He explained that the series of examinations was just part of the process in the Army training to maintain standards and quality future soldiers.

Those who were allowed to take the battery tests were college graduates, college students, and high school intellectuals.

“We are producing highly qualified, responsible and dedicated soldiers for the 6th ID area of responsibility,” Ardo said.

The J-1, or the office of the deputy division commander for personnel, is always flooded with young men and women who wanted to enlist and serve the Philippine Army.

Most visible in the roads leading to the Camp Siongco headquarters are able-bodied aspirants with folders and clean shaved heads.

"I want to serve the Army, I want to be an instrument for peace as the Philippine Army today has shifted from warfare to peace building," Antonio Cabalida, 21, of Datu Odin Sinsuat, Maguindanao, told reporters.

A Bachelor of Science in Education graduate, Cabalida said he is joining the military because he would like to be a soldier-trainor of peace building and peace advocacy.

Asked why he would not join the Philippine Military Academy, Cabalida said his family is financially not capable of sending him to Baguio where the premier military school is located.

Prexy Anne Buenaventura, 20, who dropped out of college due to financial problems, said she would like to serve in the Philippine Army women peace corps and be assigned in her troubled province of Maguindanao.

Various reasons bring these young men and women to the 6th ID training camp, hoping to help build a better nation for the next generation.

By PNA/PIA9-ZBST




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