Asian Military Officers Opt to Study Civil-Military Operations in the Philippines

Fort Andres Bonifacio, Metro Manila

FORT BONIFACIO, Taguig City – Unknown to many, a small school of the Philippine Army is doing its share in establishing regional security for Southeast Asia. The Civil-Military Operations School (CMOS), which is under the administration and supervision of the Civil-Military Operations Group (CMOG), Philippine Army, has been sharing its expertise on the field of civil-military operations by accepting foreign military officers as CMO exchange students.
Five military officers, all Asian, have set their feet in Philippine soil to undertake CMO courses at CMOS. Of the five, two came from Malaysian Armed Forces, two from Tentara Nasional Indonesia, and one from Cambodian Armed Forces, which is sending its military officer for the first time.
Said officers identified as Cpt Dody Arief Setianto, 1Lt Dimas Ramchi Hidayat (both from Indonesian Army), Cpt Mohamad Bin Mohamad Jamil Hariz and 1Lt Mohd Faliq Bin Zainin (both from Malaysian Army) and1Lt Meas Sameth from Cambodia Army were in unison in saying they are very much interested to take up courses in Information Support Affairs (ISA), Public Affairs (PA) and Civil Affairs (CA), at said learning institution. ISA, PA and CA are the three pillars of CMO.
These officers are here in the country in time for the opening of the 2ndTraining Cycle of said CMO courses on June 1, 2015 to be held at Ricarte Hall, Philippine Army Officers Clubhouse. They will be staying in the country for the next three months. Aside from the three regular courses, two additional courses will also open namely: Civil-Military Operations Officer Correspondence Course Class 12-2015 and Information Support Affairs Correspondence Course Class 16-2015 which are being offered online.
Their interest to study the CMO Doctrines being used by the Philippine Army is the result of the word of mouth advertisements made by fellow officers from their respective countries who were able to experience the joys and hardships of being CMO students at the CMO School yet graduated with flying colors.
The sending of exchange students between the Asian nations is the result of alliance, partnership, cooperation and interoperability between and among nations within the Southeast Asian region.
According to Maj Enrico Gil Ileto, the school commandant, “The CMO School has been accepting foreign military students since 2006 and has thus far graduated a total of nine student officers who are now considered CMO operators and practitioners. Their names are in the list of CMO graduates, along with the Filipino soldiers who graduated from the same courses, making it really a world-class training institution in the field of CMO.” Even the Philippine Navy, Philippine Air Force, Philippine National Police, and Bureau of Jail Management and Penology, as well as reservists, have been sending their selected personnel to undergo aforementioned CMO courses.
Aside from Indonesia and Malaysia, the armed forces of Brunei had also availed the opportunity to send its representative to undergo the ISA (then called Psychological Operations Course) in 2009. Major Ileto has been receiving clamor to accept more foreign students to avail of these CMO courses.
With foreign students opting to send their military officers to study at CMO School, the latter is exerting its best efforts to level up the course curriculum, program of instructions, school facilities, faculty and training staff, to be at par with other military institutions in the country and to be in step with the vision of the Philippine Army to be a world class Army that is a source of national pride..

CMOS has been established since 1985 by the Philippine Army command as a way of giving priority on the importance of civil-military operations. For the past 30 years, the CMO School has registered a total of4,182 graduates where in 3,487 came from the Philippine Army; 139 from the Philippine Air Force; 68 from the Philippine Navy; 270 from the Philippine Marines; 35 from PNP, 169 reservists, five from BJMP and nine foreign military officers.

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