The University of the Philippines ROTC Unit or the UP Vanguards is one the pioneers of the Reserve Officer Training Corps in the Philippines. One of the brainchild of Field Marshall Douglas MacArthur, the conception of the very first citizen army was made through the creation of Commonwealth Act No. 1, also known as the “National Defense Act”. With the activation of the UP ROTC Unit, several State and Private Universities-Colleges soon followed, activating various ROTC units under the Army of the Philippine Commonwealth.
Organizational & Command Structure
The UP ROTC Unit is an organization that actually has two faces: a military organization and an academic unit. It is, in itself, a military unit under the National Capital Region Regional Community Defense Group (NCRRCDG), while it is an academic unit within the UP Community, a special unit reporting directly to the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs (not passing through college-level units). Because of this, the ROTC unit has dual set of responsibilities – as a military training unit which trains cadets and trainees for the reserve force, and as a department of the University which teaches students. While this maybe the same (since the cadets are the students), the very concept of two “masters” sometimes makes reporting and functioning of responsibilities challenging if not outright conflicting.
Levels and Organizations
There are three main levels in the chain of command in ROTC. These are the following:
Department of Military Science & Tactics
The Department of the Military Science and Tactics – the University unit which administers the ROTC program in the University – is a special unit that reports directly to the Chancellor through the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs.
Unlike any regular department, the DMST is not under any college-level unit (e.g., the Department of Physical Education is under the College of Arts and Sciences). Part of the reason is that its student base is from all colleges. Another reason is for its special needs and functions in carrying out its University- and Army-laden responsibilities.
Like any unit of the University, the DMST/ROTC has the following broad responsibilities: