P-Noy installs new Army Chief

July 23, 2010 10:43 pm 

MANILA, July 23 — President Benigno Simeon Aquino III installed Major General Arturo B. Ortiz on Friday as the new commanding general of the Philippine Army.

Ortiz, a holder of the Medal for Valor, the highest decoration in the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), replaced Lt. Gen. Reynaldo Mapagu, who was promoted as AFP Vice Chief of Staff. Ortiz is the 53rd chief of the Army, the main force of the AFP.

The President supervised the change of command ceremony at the Army headquarters in Fort Bonifacio.

Military officers, enlisted personnel and civilian employees welcomed Ortiz’s assumption, saying he is highly qualified for the post.

After assuming his post, Ortiz laid out the Army’s essential tasks: the active pursuit of Internal Security Operations (ISO), eradication of terrorist groups, and support to the peace initiatives of the government.

He also committed the Army to non-traditional missions such as disaster relief operations, environmental protection and community development activities.

A member of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) Class of 1979, Ortiz is a bemedalled Army officer. Topping all his military medals and commendations is the Medal for Valor Award, which he received in 1990 from then President Corazon Aquino. The Medal of Valor is the highest military award given by the AFP.

Prior to his assumption as Army chief, Ortiz was the Commander of the Special Operations Command (SOCOM) of the Philippine Army. He also assumed other major posts in the AFP and the Philippine Army such as Regiment Commander of the Special Forces Regiment (Airborne) (SFRA), Chief of the AFP Command Center, Head of the Tactics Group and Commandant of Cadets in the Philippine Military Academy, Commanding Officer of the Security and Escort Battalion of the Philippine Army, and Commanding Officer of the 3rd Special Forces Battalion.

Ortiz hails from Bautista, Pangasinan and was born and raised in Acupan, Itogon, Benguet. (PNA)

scs/OPS/ssc

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