Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Civil Military Operations Group has new Commander

NEW COMMANDER. Col Cirilito Sobejana receives the command symbol from Army chief of staff MGen Max Caro, as outgoing CMO commander Col Felimon Santos Jr looks on. (Photo by Pfc Marlon San Esteban)

FORT BONIFACIO, Taguig City – The Civil Military Operations Group (CMOG) of the Philippine Army welcomes its new commander, Col Cirilito E Sobejana, who assumed command on Tuesday, July 17, a military official said.

Major Harold M Cabunoc, Army spokesperson said that Sobejana replaced Col Felimon T Santos Jr who was also designated as the new commander of the Intelligence Service Group (ISG).

"He is one of the distinguished combat officers who have chosen a new path towards achieving peace. From a warrior in the frontlines, he is now the new face of a CMO operator," he said.

A member of PMA class ’87, Sobejana is one of the recipients of the Medal for Valor Award, the highest combat recognition given to soldiers for their exceptional courage and gallantry beyond the call of duty.

He earned the highly-prestigious medal when he heroically led the troops of the 1st Scout Ranger Company in a bloody encounter with about 150 Abu Sayyaf rebels in Sitio Caro, Barangay Lower Kapayawan, Isabela Basilan on January 13, 1995,  despite the serious wounds he sustained early in the fighting.

Sobejana is also known for excellence in non-combat efforts. In 2010, as CO of the 3rd Scout Ranger Battalion, he engages the public to be knowledgeable on the disastrous effects of landmine explosions.

During his stint in the said unit, he changed the perception of the people on the black-clad Scout Rangers by opening the gates of the camp to civilian visitors during common activities that benefit the populace around the camp.

Through his sterling leadership, his unit was adjudged as the Best Scout Ranger Battalion in 2009.

As the new leader of the Civil-Military Operations Group, he will face the other challenges of IPSP Bayanihan such as community works and stakeholder involvement, to name a few.

"I have seen the ugly face of war during my stint in southern Mindanao's trouble spots. I will never forget the lives lost not only of my soldiers but also of our enemies. Until now, battles are still raging in the countryside, claiming more lives. I believe that 'winning the peace' through Bayanihan is the right solution," he said in his speech.

CMOG is the Army’s operating arm in conducting non-combat activities like engaging civil communities and organizations.

During Brigada Eskwela for example, this unit is  tapped by public schools for their maintenance programs particularly in electrical, carpentry and construction works.

CMOG also responds in disaster relief operations, medical and dental missions, livelihood projects and trainings and other community outreach programs.

Its mission is to produce and sustain a corps of CMO professionals capable of strengthening the soldier’s will to fight, gaining popular support and weakening enemies’ will to resist under the most demanding operational conditions.

 Sobejana is a proud member of TOPSOLDIERS, an organization of soldiers who were given the recognition by Metrobank Foundation and Rotary Club Makati-Metro as The Outstanding Philippine Soldiers (TOPS).

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