Photo from the University of Santo Tomas - Department of Military Science and Tactics Facebook page

THE UST Golden Cross and Saber, the alumni association of the UST Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC), held a loyalty parade on University grounds on Sept. 28 to celebrate the ROTC unit’s 86th founding anniversary. 

The parade started with the arrival honors for Defense Undersecretary Franco Gacal, who represented Defense Secretary Jose Faustino Jr., at the Plaza Mayor.

The cadets then marched to the UST Grandstand and Open Field for the parade proper, during which cadets did the traditional attention call, entry of troops, presentation of command and honors, trooping the line, honors to the nation, and “pass-in-review.”

After the program, the UST Golden Cross and Saber held a gala night at the Dr. Robert C. Sy Grand Ballroom in the Buenaventura Garcia Paredes, O.P. Building.

The UST ROTC unit was established on Sept. 3, 1936, following the passage of the National Defense Act in December 1935, which mandated military service for all Filipinos. 

ROTC however became optional for Filipino students under the National Service Training Program Act of 2001 following the murder of a cadet, Mark Welson Chua.

Under the law, students may choose from ROTC, Literacy Training Service, and Civic Welfare Training Service to complete their national service training.

According to the UST ROTC alumni association website, the Golden Cross and Saber Alumni is an “active participant in the movement to revive the mandatory ROTC program for the purposes of educating, training and instilling service and nationalism to the youth.” Mikhail Orozco


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