A total of 20 cadets of the Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC) will participate in a leadership training program hosted by the ROTC unit and National Guard of Guam, USA from November 17 to 24.

“They were selected from various ROTC units all over the archipelago based on criteria such as leadership potentials, aptitude, performance, and excellence,” Lt. Col. Harold Cabunoc, staff officer of the Office of the Philippine Army Reservists and Retirees Affairs, told the Philippine News Agency (PNA) on Tuesday.

The cadets, he said, as representatives of the country, are required to act as diplomats.

“I reminded them to maximize their learning through personal engagements with counterparts, honest observations of culture and traditions, and the military culture of the US armed forces,” Cabunoc added.

Of the 20 member-delegation, eight are ROTC cadets handpicked by the Philippine Army. The others are from the Air Force and Navy.

Cadet First Class Jennifer Gavero, 21, of Buruun town in Iligan City, said she looks forward to upgrade her skills in the event.

“I am very proud to represent the ROTC cadets from my school in this prestigious event. I will try my best to develop my leadership skills a notch higher,” said Gavero, a daughter of a non-commissioned officer of an artillery unit in Marawi City.

Cadet First Class Destinee Noor, of Cebu City, on the other hand, said she feels excited to learn more about the Western culture and their practice.

“I want to learn more about the western culture of multi-racial Armed Forces. I am very grateful to the Philippine Army leadership for this unique opportunity to learn through interactions with our American counterparts,” the 20-year-old Noor said.

For two weeks, the Filipino ROTC cadets will engage their American counterparts in a learning experience that will be highlighted by educational tours, cultural events, military training activities, and exposure to American communities.

Dubbed as the Cultural Understanding and Leadership Program (CULP), the event is one of the partnership programs of Guam and the Philippines under the PH-US Mutual Defense Treaty.

The Philippine Army trains and develops future Army leaders through the ROTC program.

“Those who do not pass the Army recruitment requirements can opt to serve the reserve force through the Ready Reserve Units under the Regional Community Defense Group,” Cabunoc said.

Recently, ROTC cadets contributed to the government’s humanitarian assistance and disaster response operations in earthquake-affected areas in Davao del Sur and North Cotabato. (Christine Cudis, PNA)

Top photo: FUTURE LEADERS. A total of 20 best performing cadets from the Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC) are handpicked to attend the leadership training program in Guam this November 17 to 24. Photo shows eight ROTC cadets from the Philippine Army visiting the Office of the Philippine Army Reservists in Taguig City. (Photo courtesy of Lt. Col. Harold Cabunoc)