Mandatory military training in Ph schools needed to toughen up ‘temperamental’ millennials

I had an epiphany today. I found out that ROTC (a.k.a. Citizen’s Military Training or CMT or Citizen’s Army Training or CAT) hasn’t been mandatory in Philippine schools since 2001. And so I thought, holy shit, that explains a lot about the quality of Filipino “millennials” today!

I realise now that mixed into the cocktail of 21st Century circumstances that is slowly (if not already) turning the Filipino youth into a bunch of pussies is a lack of the basic military training our generation took for granted. The strongest nations in the world were built on the back of citizen militias and military reservists. In countries like South Korea and Singapore, full military service over a certain period is mandatory for all males.

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In his seminal book From Third World to First World the late Singapore Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew cited the importance of a citizenry fully engaged in efforts to keep their country in fighting form and ready for war…

We had to re-orientate people’s minds to accept the need for a people’s army and overcome their traditional dislike for soldiering. . . we set up a national cadet corps and national police cadet corps in all secondary schools so that parents would identify the army and police with their sons and daughters. Only if we changed people’s thinking and attitudes could we raise a large citizen army like Switzerland or Israel.

Recent developments have shown that Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte is making good on his campaign promise to reinstate mandatory military training in Philippine schools.

Not surprisingly, the country’s hipsters are up in arms over this prospect. “Mandatory ROTC? How about no?” shrieks Rappler writer Marjohara Tucay. Tucay argues…

What the framers of the Constitution envision is not only an army of young reservists, but a generation of youth ready to battle against society’s ills, including poverty, hunger, illiteracy, and to a higher level, foreign domination in our country’s economic affairs.

What we need is a better path for the socio-civic involvement of the youth, a path that is congruent to the challenges of the changing times.

That path simply does not lead to ROTC. For how can a program that the AFP once used to install “student intelligence networks” meant to infiltrate and spy on student organizations and advocacy groups lead to active socio-civic engagement of the youth? How can a program that still cannot rid itself of its violent past post as a solution to apathy?

Ok na sana except that Tucay reverts to that shrill tabloideque fear mongering over imagined military conspiracies that supposedly come with the re-imposition of citizen’s military training Duterte proposes. Perhaps such fears are warranted. But there is, suffice to say, something to be said about how people like Tucay are so paralysed by such unfounded fears at such a young age. You’d expect a bit more from the youth — like a willingness to try stuff, experiment, and test limits.

So, yeah. Pussies.

We can’t expect the Philippines to become a great country if courage is in abject absence amongst the sector of society where one would reasonably expect it to exist by the bucket loads. The youth.

Something about this “youth” was lost when they started to refer to themselves as “millennials” it seems.

According to Tucay, there are other paths to explore other than military training. Most of those paths however will have to contend with the 21st Century Condition — kiddie boys and girls addicted to social media and Starbucks lattes who can’t survive a minute without having a selfie break. Nothing like big men in boots kicking their soft rear-ends to cure that condition.

16 Replies to “Mandatory military training in Ph schools needed to toughen up ‘temperamental’ millennials”

  1. Yep, we need to get back the ROTC/CAT in Philippine education in the name of national security, discipline & awakeness for as long as there’ll be a transparency, accountability & respect within the ROTC/CAT system in our country. The Duterte version of ROTC/CAT will be much better than the predecessor, trust me. 🙂

  2. Small countries like The Philippines need to have mandatory military training so that in case of an invasion by some other country (China seems most likely here), a rapid response citizen army can be raised.

    One thing that must be included in that training are self discipline when it comes to social media, cell phones and the like. In addition, because THIS country has an abjectly poor and woefully ill equipped farce of a military, the youth need to be trained not only in conventional warfare, but also in the guerilla tactics that will need to be employed.

    I don’t think the combined might of the entire Philippine armed forces could defeat, subjugate and rule my hometown of Oil City, Pennsylvania which has only 8000 residents.

  3. In singapore, military training is a right of passage for all the men.
    In the ph, unfortunately, it is a hotbed for bullying and hazing. It goes with the crab culture. a lot of students choose to become officers not because they want to serve the country, but think of it as a method of attaining some sort of power over others. some schools even offered bribery as an alternative to sweating it out under the hot sun during weekends, thus greatly tarnishing the military’s integrity in exchange for petty cash. the cycle continues when new recruits succeed their seniors. But it isnt all negative. I do remember my CMT days fondly, mostly because of the camaraderie forged between people thrown into a similarly unpleasant situation, sharing food, agonies (unexpected hiarcuts during inspection) and victories (pasa masid), as well as colorful stories from the reserve military men assigned to teach the unit basic first aid (rule numba wan: istap da bleeding!). I definitely enjoyed CMT more than going to church! (luckily our training days were on sunday)
    Hopefully the void between 2001 and the reinstatement of mandatory CAT would not give rise to these obvious problems again. And the military outta think of more interesting programs rather than marching pasa masid formations all morning.

  4. I like how you describe the “millennials” today who doesn’t like Mandatory CAT as Pussies. Well, as for me they are all pussies specially to those young folks who keeps on complaining on something they don’t feel doing or doesn’t like at all.
    Anyway, this is my first time to comment here even though I’ve been a reader of this blog for almost a year now.

  5. The removal of the ROTC, is one of the strategy of the Aquino Cojuangco political axis, to weaken the youth in the Philippines.

    Military training instill discipline, courage, responsibility and strength. They removed it, to easily sway the young to their political agendas.

    It is imperative to bring back the ROTC !

  6. NROTC/CAT mandatory training was removed due to strings of hazing and sexual assault cases which stained its reputation. Nobody was accounted for and responsibility was absent, which should be taught in military. We need to convince these higher ups to change the culture setting and give incentives to students if they perform above standards. I will always hated PH military and will never restore faith to them because when I was in NROTC, corruption and discrepancies were everywhere. I just did my time with them and I was done to deal with these swine and rats. But now I’m in the US military, and culture was different and still have the tough mentality and discipline at the same time.

    If they don’t make changes soon, millennials will not have what we were taught and will miss the value of unity, strength, and courage thru knowledge. God, I hate youths who think they know more from these shitty local media and dumb politics.

    1. I come from Army ROTC and I can say, from an insider’s perspective, that unfortunately there were indeed a lot of corruption going on at various levels.
      As with sexual assault, although there were women who voluntarily joined the officers’ training (ROTC was mandatory only for male students), I can confidently say that no sexual assault or even harassment happened in our unit. But I do not comment though on the hazing part, as I would not discuss what I went through to become a cadet officer, except that it was all well worth it. I am sure that SERE in the US military must be much tougher than what I went through. In the Special Operations orientation cariño brutal is “normal.”

  7. bring back ROTC. not just this. students in school or out of school should engage in sports. here are my ideas

    ROTC – soldiering
    side benefit
    – students will learn unity
    – learn to trust your comrade
    – physical hardship strengthens mind and body
    – discipline and efficiency
    – iron balls
    – nationalism
    – leadership

    side benefits
    – mind and body are one
    – healthy mind and body
    – discipline
    – they will learn to be a team player
    – leadership
    – confidence
    – children will learn to face challenges in life

    i prefer Football (soccer in usa)
    – children will learn to think while physically getting tired. like as in “physically challenged”
    – their character will be strengthened
    – they will learn unity

  8. I strongly agree with the restoration of ROTC.

    However, to make it “appeal” more to millenials, the curriculum should involve more than meaningless marching around and posing with wooden rifles.

    My proposed “New ROTC” must include the ff:
    1) Emergency & disaster readiness (given how many storms hit this country annually)
    2) Ecological stewardship (taking care of our environment, planting trees)
    3) “MacGyver”y (i.e. the skill of building workable tools and implements from scratch)

  9. “OMG another reason to oust Duterte! hashtag Never Forgetti Spaghetti”

    Think of the poor millennials! How could they ever squeeze their hours of whining away on Twitter if they have to contend with a drill officer barking at their limp-wristed selves?

  10. I am a product of the old school: CAT in high school and ROTC in college–cadet officer at that. Military training is one of the best things I had. In retrospect I should have gone as far as MS43.
    But if military training is to be made mandatory again I think it should be modified, different from the way it done before. There should be much less time devoted to ceremonies and more on practical skills–combat training; weapons; map reading and land navigation; survival, escape and evasion; first aid etc. In the past parade and review would garner much points during tactical inspection, resulting to long hours of marching which only drove cadets to utter boredom.

  11. In my opinion, CAT/ROTC is worthless. Why would we even have to do a mandatory military training even though the course we’re getting for college isn’t even related to military? Seriously, for someone like me who’s planning to do I.T., this isn’t even worth my time at all. It also wastes your precious 6 hours of you resting on Saturday because of how tiring school is. Yeah sure… “Today’s millennials who doesn’t like CAT are pussy boys”. Fuck off. Me, and probably a LOT of students in my school HATES this shit. Every CAT is like what you would experience in hell. School is hell and now it’s even more hellish with the addition of CAT. Heck, the officers and teachers of this shit? They’d like to torture us with a fuck ton of push-ups and squats to ‘strengthen’ us up, but the result? Muscles are swollen and it hurts so bad. One time, my classmate one day can’t even walk due to this what-you-call an ‘exercise’ for not following orders properly, and that’s why he didn’t even attend school at that time, is because of CAT. In conclusion, CAT/ROTC should be optional, not mandatory. The benefits of doing CAT if it’s optional is that you’re exempted on MAPEH classes. That’s it. No more bullshit.

    TL;DR: CAT is torture. Just because you don’t like CAT doesn’t mean you’re a pussy. CAT should be optional.

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