FOR THE first time in nearly seven decades, a female corps commander will lead UST’s male-dominated military training service.

Cadet Major Ma. Therese Cecilia Altamirano was officially installed corps commander during formal rites at the UST Grandstand last March 6.

As corps commander, Altamirano will command the University’s Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC) cadets, which never had a top female leader in its 69-year history.

Altamirano said she’s up for the challenge.

“I was thinking I would be discriminated against because all the other alumni are males. But I have proven that even a woman can excel in a man’s world,” she said.

Altamirano also said she’s as competent as her male counterparts.

“I’m not scared because leadership is seen through example whether you are a female or a male. Through action you can encourage others to follow you as well as to think the way you think,” Altamirano said.

She said she also underwent the same selection process, which included examinations and interviews from which the selection committee based its choice.

Meanwhile, ROTC Dean of Sponsors Prof. Josephine Aguilar said everyone will have to get used to seeing a female corps commander.

“I am not against it, but it is something I am not used to. But since it is new, why not test the transition and pray for the best,” Aguilar said.

Altamirano said she plans to bring back the glory and essence of ROTC and change misconceptions in the department.

“I want to encourage more cadets to take ROTC. Sisiguraduhin ko na bawat kadete ay may matututunan at hindi lang maghapon nakabilad sa araw,” she said.

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Female cadets started ROTC training three years ago when the National Training Service Program Act mandated female college students to undergo two semesters of military, civic welfare service, or literacy training service. There are now six female cadet officers in the UST Golden Corps of Cadet officers. Ma. Cristina S. Lavapie

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