TO THE TOP. The Philippine Air Force Officers Candidate School (PAFOCS) Sinaglawin Class of 2020 says it is confident of winning the championship for the first-ever Presidential Silent Drill Competition at the Quirino Grandstand in Manila on Dec. 5, 2019. The school’s lower classmen plan to use the prize money to improve their barracks, among others. (Photo courtesy of 1Lt. Steiger Gonzales, PAF)
MANILA — The Philippine Air Force Officers Candidate School (PAFOCS) is going the extra mile to defeat six other competing service academies in the country for the first Presidential Silent Drill Competition on December 5.
PAFOCS officer-in-charge, 1Lt. Steiger Gonzales, said in an interview that they have begun training a month ago to fully prepare for the drill.
“Now that we have mastered the executions, we are confident to get the top spot,” Gonzales said, adding that they will perform the concentric position as the highlight of their performance.
Gonzales said his team consists of the school’s lower classmen who are practically newbies in military training.
“It is actually a challenge for us to train lower classmen because they are still fresh from civilian life but in fairness to them, they are competitive and very willing to practice,” he added.
In an interview with one of the performers, Officer Candidate Yvette Silva said they have been doing exercises to improve their upper body strength to lift and catch the rifles.
“We know that the other contenders had more time to train for this, especially those from the military schools. So we trained harder so we will have a sure shot at winning,” Silva said.
2Lt. John Paul Bibon, Chief Tactical Officer of the Excellence in Leadership Department (ELD), said they have exerted their “200 percent effort for this event.”
“We have shed massive amounts of blood, sweat, and tears so we would be proficient in handling the very heavy M14 Rifle,” Bibon said. “We always see to it that we are giving our maximum effort and talent in every practice because we represent not only the school but the whole PAF as well.”
The officers are also looking forward to enticing the youth to join the Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC) following the directive of President Rodrigo Duterte to make ROTC mandatory again.
Gonzales said if their team wins, they would use the prize money to improve their barracks. They will allocate PHP200,000 to renovate their fitness gym and basketball court.
“The remaining PHP100,000 will be given to the performers so they can treat their parents this Christmas,” he added.
PAFOCS will be competing against six other service academies — the Philippine Military Academy (PMA), Philippine National Police Academy (PNPA), Philippine Merchant Marine Academy (PMMA), Maritime Academy of Asia and the Pacific (MAAP), Philippine Army Officer Candidate School (PAOCS), and the Philippine Navy Officer Candidate School (PNOCS). (PNA)