XAVIER ATENEO. The Armed Forces of the Philippines has awarded Xavier Ateneo’s Cadet Colonel Elvin John M Baal ICL as the “Reserve Officer Training Corps Cadet of the Year 2017” (third from left). Baal is pictured here with XU-NSTP director Edwina Gonzales (leftmost), Xavier Ateneo president Fr Roberto C Yap SJ, Cadet Major Audrey Yu (Cultural Understanding and Language Proficiency program delegate in Guam), Philippine Air Force Commanding Officer Lt Col Ferdinand G Encomienda, and Officer-in-charge Staff Sergeant Dranil B Carnatwo. Supplied photo.

AFP-ROTC Cadet of the Year: ‘Develop a sense of leadership, patriotism’

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) has awarded Xavier Ateneo’s Cadet Colonel Elvin John M Baal ICL as the “Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) Cadet of the Year 2017.”

The Business Administration (major in Financial Management) student officially received his plaque of recognition on December 20 last year during the 82nd AFP Anniversary at Camp General Emilio Aguinaldo in Quezon City.

“It was an honor and privilege for me to receive the award because out of the many cadets out there, I was the one chosen,” said Baal. “I am grateful especially to the people who nurtured and supported me all the way to what I have become.”

He said the award serves as an affirmation of his efforts and an inspiration to continue rendering his duties and responsibilities with zeal.

“As an Advance Officer, my responsibility is to impart my knowledge and attitude, rooted from my training and experiences, not only to fellow cadets but also to those who are unfamiliar with the true essence of ROTC,” he said.

Baal added that he considered himself “fortunate enough” to pass the stringent screening process of the AFP for the said award.

“I complied with the requirements on the stipulated time. [I’m] fortunate enough [that] my efforts were acknowledged and I passed the screening. After that, we were given written exams and underwent deliberation,” he recounted.

“The deliberation was done individually and it followed a set of criteria, including, (1) training and seminar experiences; (2) awards and commendations received during my elementary, high school, and college years; (3) scholastic records; and (4) bearing and behavior,” Baal continued.

The Cadet of the Year also encouraged the upcoming college freshmen to join the ROTC of Xavier Ateneo: “When you are in the program, it is expected that you will be trained in the rudiments of military service to become a reservist. However, you must ensure to enjoy the program as you enhance yourself; build in you the values of integrity, duty, and loyalty; develop a sense of leadership; and above all, to instill patriotism and love for our country.”

Baal’s AFP-ROTC award came on the heels of being hailed as the Air Force Reserve Command (AFRC) Cadet of the Year, given on December 1, 2017, during the 38th Founding Anniversary of the Air Force City of Clark Air Base in Mabalacat, Pampanga. XU’s ROTC as a National Service Training Program (NSTP) is co-managed by the Air Force.

Xavier University was also cited “for its outstanding support being the academic institution of Baal.”

The awards were presented to Xavier Ateneo president Fr Roberto C Yap SJ during a courtesy call in January.

Yap, in his message, considered this as a collective success of the university, its NSTP unit, and the Philippine Air Force – ROTC.

This is the second time that a Xavier Atenean received the AFP Cadet of the Year award, with Cadet Lt Col Jan Rogie G Macandili being the first in 2014.

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