Col Charlie Galvez Jr (to my right), is my former commander in the 1st Scout Ranger Battalion during our adventures in Sulu and Basilan. This photo was taken in a media forum during the height of the Al-Barka issues in 2011. (Photo by SSg Cesar Cuenca)
FORT BONIFACIO, Taguig City--The Army has designated a veteran of both Basilan and Sulu to become the Commander of the 104th Infantry Brigade which conducts all military operations in the island province of Basilan .
Major Harold M Cabunoc, the Army Spokesperson, said that in a turn over ceremony at 10:00am today, Colonel Carlito 'Charlie' Galvez Jr. has replaced Colonel Arthur Ang, 52, who will assume a post of higher responsibilities.
The change of command was presided by Major General Ricardo Rainier Cruz, the Commander of the 1st Infantry Division. WESTMINCOM Chief, Lt General Noel Coballes also graced the occasion as a special guest.
Youngest Brigade Commander
At the age of 49, Galvez, a member of PMA 'Sandiwa' Class of 1985, is the youngest military officer to command a brigade.
He was the Chief of the Operations Division, OJ3, AFP, a sensitive post that he held for three years.
He was also assigned at the 2ndInfantry Division as Acting Chief of Staff in the year 2008.
As a young officer, he had already distinguished himself in combat by leading the Scout Rangers in flushing out communist insurgents in Southern Mindanao in the late 1980’s.
He served as Battalion Commander of the Army’s 1stScout Ranger Battalion (1SRBN), First Scout Ranger Regiment (FSRR) in the year 2000 during which time he steered his unit to become the best battalion for two consecutive years.
As a result of his extraordinary feat in combat, he received four Gold Cross Medals and various Military Merit Medals both in combat and administrative functions.
The 1st Scout Ranger Battalion that he commanded in Sulu and Basilan was adjudged as the Best Battalion for two consecutive years.
He was also one of the awardees of Metrobank and Rotary Club Makati Metro's The Outstanding Philippine Soldiers in 2007.
He was likewise awarded with the Distinguished Service Star, the third highest military award of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, for eminently meritorious and valuable service rendered in a position of major responsibility.
A Masters Degree in Project Management graduate from the University of South Wales in Australia, Galvez was a recipient of the prestigious United States Eisenhower, Fellowship Multinational Program in 2006.
Galvez said that aside from security operations to flush out the band of outlaws which disturb the peace, he will launch IPSP Bayanihan activities involving various stakeholders including the local government leaders in the ground.