Brig Gen Allan F. Martin, the 57th Commander of General Headquarters and Headquarters Service Command-AFP has been honed to distinction through various military and civilian schooling completed both local and abroad such as Scout Ranger course, Counter Urban Terrorist Train course, Ordnance Officer course, Armor Officer Advance course, Command and General Staff course, First Senior Executive Course on national security and many more.
He also received numerous recognition for his excellent performances and significant contribution to the AFP.
Journey in entering military
Brig Gen Martin started his military career as he passed the PMA entrance exam and went through physical and medical exams and survived the 4-year contract in PMA.
Back in college, Brig Gen was actually taking an engineering course but he failed his Spanish class that ended up in termination of his scholarship. He tried to find another scholarship but the only available that time is the Philippine Military Academy Scholarship Program. His mother cried and was hesitant to let him enter the military because his father died in an ambush.
When he was assigned in Mindanao, he asked his mother to visit. His mother was expecting that the camp was full of battle gears like machine guns and etc. but when she saw civilian people walking by, feeling safe and freely inside the camp, her perspective was changed.
Challenging experiences in military life
Brig Gen Martin also shared his most challenging experience; he said that his challenging experience was back on the all out warning in the time of former President Joseph Estrada. And even before the warning, when he was assigned in Butuan and was currently the vitality of land mines of New People’s Army. He shared that there were times when you’ll just saw your vehicle upside-down because that spot is a land mine. There was also a chance they had to stop their vehicle because there are people digging a land mine on the high way.
When the problems about MILF started, he mentioned that he experienced when two detachments was one kilometer away from each other and cannot reinforce because the MILF was waiting in between for the chance to do an ambush.
He also mentioned the battle in Camp Abubakar that ended numerous lives both in military and terrorist. That was the time they let the Lord handle their faith.
When he arrived in the Visayas, his challenge became satisfaction when they were given a task in Bohol to give milk to kids as part of their medical outreach program. He said that giving milk to children is better than fighting.
The role of GHQ and HSC
The main role of General Headquarters (GHQ) and Headquarters Service Command is to actually make the camp conducive in the mind of people. GHQ is the think tank of the AFP, this is where the policy makers and planners are located.
The role of a camp commander is to ensure them that it’s not their problem about other activities like the parade, cleanliness, orderliness, and facility services. It will now be handled by HSC.
Civilians within the camp are bound by the rules and regulations
Inside the camp, it is not allowed to drive over 20kph or 30kph, over-speeding is prohibited. Traffic jam is also not allowed inside. People should follow the rules and regulations especially the army because they are trained to follow orders.
Brig Gen Martin asked people to bear with the army with their tighter restriction. He explained that they are not doing it to persecute people but to protect the camp and the organization. He also said just imagine if the general headquarters will be bombed, what will people think of the other camps and also what will be the face of armed forces if that will happen.
Brig Gen Martin also asking the civilians and the media who frequently go to camp to visit the headquarters and get an ID for their convenience.
Army deploying for calamities
In case of calamity, AFP has Security and Escort Group and Headquarters Service Support Group that are always ready to react.
Brig Gen Martin mentioned the time when typhoon Yolanda happened and DSWD had difficulties in repacking the relief goods. The goods were delivered to the camp. Military shows how fast they are in repacking the goods than the other agencies. He said that was because of the discipline of the armies.
Red Alert Status
When it comes to red alert, they are in compliance with the proper gate protocols. Units are always available and on standby, ready as a reaction force. The unit continuously grew from one to three units.
Fight against drugs
The military conducted drug tests on random officers and was enthusiastic enough that no one turned out to be positive as to using drugs but there are rumors that the children of the officers are the drug users, because of this, the officer immediately received a warning to monitor the member of the families who are rumored to be using drugs. Or else, the officer himself will get evicted from service. It is advised that the users and pushers within the military better stop their addiction and selling of drugs which could result to immediate discharge. It is the policy of the armed forces to be stern to those officers involved in drugs, especially in the police.
To The Military Aspirants
To the military aspirants, getting an HSC is quite hectic in terms of skills, such as a skilled electrician, skilled carpenters, and skilled band yet as of the moment, the recruitment was stopped and needed to be forwarded to the service branches.
The Brig Gen emphasized that if you really want to be a soldier; you have to treat work as if it’s not a job, but instead, treat it as your playground. It is important that you know your desire as much as you know you know your goals. It is a matter of attitude and being in the military requires above average health both physically and mentally. Aside from passing the exams, you also have to be a little bit extraordinary.
Compared to any other officers outside the camp, the facilities are too far. Every soldier has to enjoy their presence here because they might get removed for some reason. Don’t be too overjoyed and overwhelmed being in the GHQ because you might get noticed during the deliberation.