Aerospace Cadets of the Philippines
The Aerospace Cadets of the Philippines or ACP program is a co-educational youth program oriented in aerospace technology, whose aim is to promote national enthusiasm in aviation among the youth and to train them to meet the requirements for leadership and civic service through aerospace education and military training.
In March 1969, the Aerospace Association of the Philippines created the Aerospace Cadets of the Philippines. It was for young men and women who have a predilection towards aviation-related industries.
On December 28, 1977, the Department of Education, Culture and Sports (presently the Department of Education) established the ACP program as a substitute for Citizen Army Training requirement, under Department of Education Order #64 series 1977, “The Creation and Organization of Aerospace Cadets of the Philippines”.
By 1983, five schools were affiliated with the ACP program, making it a requirement in their curriculum for all students whose citizenship is Filipino. Today, male and female Filipino students of the five ACP-affiliated schools take ACP as one of their subjects.
On May 17, 2001, the DECS Secretary issued DECS Memorandum #166 for the Training Program of the Aerospace Cadets of the Philippines in Selected Private Secondary Schools in the Philippines.
The official logo of the Aerospace Cadets of the Philippines consists of two triangles, one inside the other, with “AEROSPACE CADETS OF THE PHILIPPINES” written in between both triangles fringed with three stars. The inside triangle is blue with a white silhouette of the Philippines and a spaceship superimposed on it.
- Triangle – this represents the ‘holistic’ personality of the youth, bred for courage, honor, loyalty, integrity, and purity to serve God, country and others.
- Three Sides – represent the three domains in the total formation of the youth: knowledge, skills and values.
- Three Stars – The three geographical divisions of the Philippines: Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.
- The Spaceship at the center of the Philippine map – The desire to stimulate the youth’s dreams and aspirations to promote the aviation industry, hand-in-hand with the country’s economic development and industrialization.
- White – honor, integrity, purity.
- Blue – patriotism, loyalty.
- Red – courage, bravery.
- Yellow – charity, truth, love.
- Green – justice, hope and awareness
The ACP motto is Study, Decide, Act. Some schools have also adopted mottos specific to their ACP wing, such as Learn and Serve for the ACP wing of Colegio San Agustin-Makati.
The current program of instruction for ACP is 40% Aviation Education, and 60% Leadership, Citizenship and Military training.
Under Aviation Education, students learn about the history of Aviation and current advancements in the field of Aviation technology. It also covers Philippine Aviation, and Philippine Air Force heroes (i.e. Jesús Villamor, Danilo Atienza, César Basa and Antonio Bautista)
Students learn to value leadership by respecting their commanding officers, majority of which are students themselves who have earned their rank through training after school hours. Officers, likewise, have to learn not to abuse their power and learn humility, as well as leading by example.
These are the ranks of ACP, from highest to lowest:
- Cadet Colonel (C/COL)
- Cadet Lieutenant Colonel (C/LTC)
- Cadet Major (C/MAJ)
- Cadet Captain (C/CPT)
- Cadet First Lieutenant (C/1LT)
- Cadet Second Lieutenant (C/2LT)
- Cadet Probationary Second Lieutenant (C/P2LT)
- Cadet Master Sergeant (C/MSG)
- Cadet Technical Sergeant (C/TSG)
- Cadet Staff Sergeant (C/SSG)
- Cadet Sergeant (C/SGT)
- Cadet Airman/Airwoman First Class (C/A1C)
- Cadet Airman/Airwoman Second Class (C/A2C)
- Cadet Airman/Airwoman (C/AM, C/AW)
- Cadet New Recruit (C/NR)
However, it is also possible to become a medic, flag bearer (also known as a guidon bearer), or member of the air police or marching band of the ACP. Most students begin at the lowest rank, Cadet New Recruit, when they begin ACP at their school. It is possible for a Cadet to ascend in ranks if the Cadet’s performance is excellent, and it is also possible to receive demotions and lower the rank of a Cadet if he performs poorly or disrespects his commanding officer.
Cadets in the ACP learn patriotism and pride in their nationality, and are punished for disrespecting their homeland, the Philippines. For example, cadets are punished if they run during the playing or singing of the Philippine National Anthem. Cadets are likewise punished even more severely for disrespecting the Philippine flag (letting any portion of the flag touch the ground is worthy of a demotion). Cadets are encouraged to sing the National Anthem with pride. Cadets are also encouraged to recite the Panatang Makabayan and the Panunumpa ng Katapatan sa Watawat, as well as sing their school’s alma mater song with zest and valor.
Being an extension of the Philippine Air Force, ACP requires students to learn military commands, drills, punishments, the military alphabet, and obedience to the commanding officer. Commands are mostly in Tagalog, such as ‘Manumbalik’, ‘Humanay’, ‘Tikas’, ‘Paluwag’, ‘Pasulong’, ‘Lihis pakanan/pakaliwa’, ‘Liko pakanan/pakaliwa’, and ‘Kaliwang/Kanang panig’. Cadets also learn how to handle an M16 rifle, however, guns are forbidden in schools, so replicas of M16 rifles are used instead, and the proper use of sabers. ACP requires students to wear a military uniform (Known in some schools as General Officers Attire or GOA, and in others as General Officers Uniform or GOU), which is inspected every training day (this includes the proper military haircut of the boys and hair do for girls). Also, ACP cadets have their own Cadet Oath and Honor Code, which must be memorized.
This form of military training is said to give a sense of nationalism and instill self-discipline (the highest form of discipline) in the youth, so that the youth can be of service to the Philippines.
List of schools currently affiliated with the ACP
The first five schools to implement ACP
Schools that presently implement ACP
- University of Perpetual Help System DALTA, Las Piñas
- Montessori De Manila, Las Piñas
- Marie Ernestine School, Lapu-Lapu, Cebu
- La Consolacion College, Caloocan
- South Crest School, Muntinlupa
- The Nazarene Catholic School
- Lycée D’Regis Marie of Parañaque City
- La Consolacion College, Biñan, Laguna
- Our Lady of Perpetual Help School, Santolan, Pasig
- Mary Mother of God Parochial School, Muntinlupa
- St. John’s Academy, San Juan
- Elizabeth Seton School, Las Piñas
- Sto. Rosario Academy, Alupay, Batangas
- Holy Family Academy, Padre Garcia, Batangas
- Our Lady of Mercy Academy, Batangas
- St. James Academy, Ibaan, Batangas
- Holy Trinity, Padre Garcia, Batangas
- Holy Trinity, Mataas na Kahoy, Batangas
- St. Joseph’s Institute, Rosario, Batangas
- Talisay High School Talisay, Batangas
- Joseph Marello Institute San Juan, Batangas
- Oblates of Saint Joseph Minor Seminary (OSJMS), San Jose, Batangas
- Angeles University Foundation – Integrated School Angeles City
- Maria Montessori School of Quezon City, Quezon City
- St. Paul College of Parañaque
- PAREF Southridge, Muntinlupa
- Veritas Catholic School, Parañaque
- St Joseph’s Academy, Las Piñas
- Davao Wisdom Academy, Davao City
- Our Lady of Lourdes College Foundation, Daet, Camarines Norte
- San Isidro Catholic School, Pasay
- Colegio De San Lorenzo, Quezon City
- Indiana Aerospace University, Lapu-Lapu City
- Dee Hwa Liong Academy Inc., Pasig, City
- The Palmridge School, Bacoor
- The Palmridge School, General Trias
- South City Homes Academy
- Advance Institute of Technology, Inc., Lapu-Lapu City
- San Lorenzo Ruiz School, P.Rodriguez St., Lapu-Lapu City
- St. Joseph’s School – Mactan, Lapu-Lapu City
- Sacred Heart of Jesus Catholic School (SHJCS), Santa Mesa, Manila
- San Felipe Neri Parochial School, Mandaluyong
- Jaime Cardinal Sin Learning Center, Punta Sta. Ana Manila
- San Felipe Neri Parochial School, Mandaluyong
- University of Perpetual Help System DALTA, Calamba City, Laguna
- Holy Child Catholic School, Tondo, Manila
- Schola de Vita, Las Piñas
- Saint Anthony Montessori – Integrated School, Dasmariñas
- International Christian Academy, Parañaque
- Saint Paul College of Parañaque, Parañaque
- Upper Villages Christian Academy (UVCA), San Pedro, Laguna
- West Visayas State University – Integrated Laboratory School (WVSU-ILS), La Paz, Iloilo City
Saint Anthony Montessori – Integrated School Salawag, Dasmariñas, Cavite
Schools that used to implement ACP
Cadet rank in the Philippines