PH military adopting new titles: Chief of staff now Joint Chiefs Chair

MANILA, Philippines—Some key positions in the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) have been renamed “to keep in step” with the practice of armed forces of other countries, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said.

The defense chief said he recently signed an order for the new titles to be used.

“That has long been the plan before,” Lorenzana told over the weekend.

For example, he said, the title “chief of staff,” referring to the highest ranking officer of the AFP, “harks back to the time after the war when the AFP was a small organization.”

The chief of staff, said Lorenzana, “actually presides over the other chief and area commanders on behalf of the commander-in-chief, the President.”

“Hence, the change,” he said.

The AFP chief of staff, who will also have a new designation, will also be called Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, similar to titles being used in the US armed forces.

As joint chiefs chair, the head of the AFP will supervise and control the Joint Force Commanders of the Unified Commands who are the “force employers,” said Maj. Gen. Edgard Arevalo in a separate statement on Monday (July 13).

The unified commands are Northern Luzon Command, Southern Luzon Command, Western Command, Central Command, Eastern Mindanao Command, Western Mindanao Command and Joint Task Force NCR.

The renaming and designation of the key positions is for “effective command, control, and supervision,” he said.

“This will entail no added personnel, remuneration, or powers bestowed,” Arevalo said.

Under the orders dated June 19, which was seen by, the AFP Joint Chiefs would be composed of the following:

a. Chief of staff/ Chairman of Joint Chiefs

b. Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs (AFP vice chief)

c. Chief of the Joint Staff (Deputy chief of staff)

d. Chief of the Army (Army commanding general)

e. Chief of the Air Force (Air Force commanding general)

f. Chief of the Navy (Flag Officer in Command)

The AFP Joint Chiefs shall advice the President/ Commander-in-chief and the Secretary of National Defense on military concerns, as well as matters on future medium to long-term strategic direction and capability plans relating to the organization, training, equipment, maintenance and development of the AFP and its personnel, part of the order read.

The additional designation of the AFP chief and the renaming of key AFP positions were in line with the Department of National Defense’s thrust “to instill a culture of jointness” in the AFP.

It was also meant to strictly implement the “force provider, force employer” concept between the major services and unified commands.

The changes are also seen to pave the way for the implementation of the AFP Future Force Structure, which will make the military more responsive to current and future non-conventional threats, it added.


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