After we graduated from the Philippine Military Academy in 1994, we were immediately sent to the Scout Ranger School to undergo our Ranger tactics orientation training.
As fresh graduates from a 4-year military course, most of us hated being subjected to rigorous training instructions handled by non-commissioned officers (NCOs). However, since the training was a requirement before our actual deployment to the frontlines, we dutifully followed the regulations.
The birth of the Red Panther
Our daily physical training (PT) uniform in the Ranger School was the 'black panther' outfit. This uniform consisted of a black short and shirt.
Every 4:00 am, we were forcibly awakened by our training NCOs to jog around the camp.
One morning, we were surprised to see a classmate in a distinctive shirt. He was wearing a red shirt!
He became an instant celebrity when he unintentionally made himself as the "rose among the thorns".
Everyone was laughing in the formation area including our stern-looking NCO.
We later found out that he was 'sabotaged' by his own tent buddy.
Since then, he was popularly known as the Red Panther.
He is still addressed the same name by some of our mistahs (PMA classmates) until today.