Managing Special Operations Forces Nationwide: a Cursory View of Recruitment for the Philippine Army's Special Operations Command

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1. Introduction
“Noble Warriors ng Hukbong Katihan, kami ay nagpupugay
Kilala sa kapuluan, masigasig, maaasahan…
…Kami’y bihasa at mahuhusay, sa larangan dala ay tagumpay…” From: Ang Awit SOCOM
There is always a lift to my spirit every time the “Awit SOCOM” is played and it comes from knowing that I am part of an organization that is respected by my peers and feared by the enemy. Truly, having this certain pride stems from the knowledge that I and my fellow SOCOM warriors are among the most trained, most skilled and most motivated soldiers in the Philippine Army and has gone through the crucible of selection, recruitment and training unparalleled in our Armed Forces. The Special Operations Command (SOCOM) is a unique and often misunderstood Major Subordinate Unit (MSU) of our Philippine Army (PA) that requires personnel who are adaptive, motivated and possesses a high degree of professionalism that is fit for a dynamic organization. This matter holds especially true in the implementation of the Army Transformation Roadmap that envisions a world class army that is a source of national pride by the year 2028. With this roadmap, SOCOM is envisioned to evolve further into a force that can execute missions on a moment’s notice whenever and wherever it is needed. In the light of this evolution, the Special Operations Command requires that it should be able to attract and recruit the best and brightest soldiers who can cope with the requirements of organizational change and help maintain SOCOM’s position as the Philippine Army’s cutting-edge for combat operations nationwide. 2. Scope and Limitation

This paper limits itself to the recruitment and hiring system for enlisted personnel currently being practiced by Headquarters, Special Operations Command. Recruitment and hiring for officers, the recruitment and hiring of enlisted women, Technical Administrative Service personnel and special enlistments will, likewise, not be tackled. 3. Definition of Terms

a. Special Operations Command – The Special Operations Command (SOCOM) is a Philippine Army Major Subordinate Unit that is tasked to organize, equip, support and sustain Special Operations Forces (SOF) in support of the AFP’s mission. b. Special Operations – Operations conducted by Special Operations Forces. Operations that are not within the limited scope of regular infantry, cavalry or artillery troops who do not have the training and equipment required for special operations. c. Major Subordinate Unit – Units of the Philippine Army that are immediately under Headquarters Philippine Army in the PA organizational structure. These are the 10 Infantry Divisions, the Light Armored Division, the Special Operations Command, the Army Support Command, and the Training and Doctrines Command. d. Technical Administrative Service (TAS) – Branch of service comprising: Medical Administrative Corps, Medical Corps, Dental Corps, Judge Advocate Service, Veterinary Service and Nurse Corps. 4. Philippine Army Recruitment System in General

The Philippine Army is a force-provider tasked to develop, organize, equip and sustain Philippine Army units nationwide so that these units could be able to support and accomplish the mission given to them by regional force employers. Basically, the PA ensures that the troops it lends to other commands that are tasked to conduct peace and stability operations, would be able to perform tasks efficiently and effectively. This entails that the army should be able to procure men and materiel that are up-to standards. The right war materiel can be easy to come by with many suppliers vying to be chosen as the PA’s source of firearms and equipment – and with modern manufacturing techniques – these items are sure to be standardized with no single piece of equipment of the same make and manufacturer being inferior to another. Men, on the other hand, are a different matter. Each applicant for enlistment is a unique...
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