THE Philippine Military Academy (PMA) traces its origins to the establishment of the Academia Militar on October 25, 1898, in Malolos, Bulacan, by virtue of a decree issued by the first President of the young Philippine Republic, General Emilio F. Aguinaldo. The Academia was a school that awarded its graduates regular commissions in the armed forces. It existed up to January 20, 1899, when hostilities between the Americans and Filipinos erupted.

On February 17, 1905, an Officer’s School of the Philippine Constabulary was established in the Walled City of Intramuros in Manila. Three years later, on September 1, 1908, the school was relocated to Baguio City, initially at Camp Henry T. Allen, later to Teacher’s Camp. On September 8, 1926, the Philippine Legislature passed Act No. 3496 which renamed the school the “Philippine Constabulary Academy’’ and lengthened its course from nine months to three years with provisions to strengthen the faculty and revise its curriculum. On December 21, 1936, Commonwealth Act No. 1, the National Defense Act, was passed. The law formally created the Philippine Military Academy and authorized it to confer a Bachelor of Science degree on its graduates after they complete a four-year course.

The outbreak of World War II in December, 1941, disrupted training at the academy. Classes 1942 and 1943 were graduated ahead of schedule, and its members were assigned to combat units in Bataan and other parts of the country. Many perished in the war. On May 5, 1947, the Academy reopened at Camp Henry T. Allen. Due to the need for wider grounds, the Academy moved later to its present site at Fort Del Pilar in Loakan, some 10 kilometers from downtown Baguio City.

Fort Del Pilar, named after the young hero of the battle of Tirad Pass, Gen. Gregorio del Pilar, was developed into a military training institution with facilities and infrastructure required by a growing academy. Its pre-war, technically oriented curriculum (patterned after that of the US Military Academy at West Point) was restored. In the 1960s, the curriculum underwent major changes, as socio-humanistic courses were added or strengthened to balance the techno-scientific disciplines, with a view to providing a well-rounded education relevant to the needs of the growing AFP.

In 1993, the Philippine Military Academy was transformed into a “Tri-Service Academy’’ which introduced specialized, branch-of-service-specific courses in the last two years of training, thus eliminating or reducing the in-service training required to prepare fresh PMA graduates for their specific branch of service. The motivation for the tri-service concept was for PMA graduates to be “field-ready,’’ “fleet-ready’’ or “squadron-ready’’ immediately upon graduation. In the same year, the first female cadets were admitted into the Academy in accordance with Republic Act 7192.

Today, the Academy strives to epitomize the finest traditions of the service. It bears the standards of character founded on honor and fortified by discipline. It is a school, which has trained men and women for a hundred years in the defense of the state and furtherance of peace and order. It has a proud heritage to cherish, a glorious tradition to uphold, a noble standard to maintain, and a vital mission to accomplish.

We congratulate the Philippine Military Academy, led by its Superintendent, Major Gen. Leopoldo L. Maligalig, Officers and Personnel, on the occasion of their 110th Anniversary and wish them success in all their endeavors.

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