19th Commanding General, PAF
24 February 1990- 19 April 1991
MAJ GEN GERARDO C PROTACIO 0-4359 AFP was born in Manila on 20 April 1935.
He was in his third year in Bachelor of Science in Chemistry at the University of the Philippines when he decided to join the Philippine Air Force Flying School where he graduated with distinction in 1956. He finished the Executive Development Course at University of the Philippines in 1970 and holds Bachelor of Arts in Natural Science degree from Southeastern College in 1971. He also holds a Master’s Degree in National Security Administration which he notched at the National Defense College of the Philippines in 1977 and a graduate of the Joint Service Staff Course at the Joint Service Staff College in Australia in 1982.
His first assignment was with the 5th Fighter Wing at Basa Air Base where he took up the P-51D Qualification Course in 1957 and the 15th Physiological Training at Kadena Air Force Base, Okinawa in 1958. He was sent to the U.S. and took the Jet Qualification Course at Randolph Air Force Base, Texas in 1959. That same year, he took up the Combat Crew Training Course and the Advanced Gunnery Training at Williams Air Force Base, Arizona in both the T-33 and F-86 aircraft.
Back in the Philippines, he completed various military schoolings such as the Air-Ground Operations Course, Military Justice Course, Squadron Officer Course, and Academic Instructor Course at the Air Force Officers School; T-33 and F-86 Instructor Pilot Course and Instrument Pilot Instructor Course at the 105th Combat Crew Training Squadron; Aside from the jet training that he acquired, he is also a trained helicopter pilot of the UH-34D and UH-1H helicopters. He was again sent abroad and studied the Air Command and General Staff Course and Principles/ Techniques of Instructor in 1970, and the Education and Training Officer Course in 1971 at Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama. In the same year, he also completed the National Security Management Course at the Industrial College of the Armed Forces, U.S.A.
General Protacio held many important positions in his career such as the Assistant Chief of Air Staff for Operations, A-3 from 1974 to 1976 and 1985 to 1986; Group Commander of the Self Reliance Development Group from 1977 to 1979; Chief of Air Staff from 1986 to 1988; and assumed the position as Commanding General of the Philippine Air Force on 24 February 1990 and held over Command of the Clark Air Base Command in concurrent capacity.
A U.S. Air Force Top Gun awardee and member of the famed Blue Diamonds precision aerobatic team, General Protacio is a recipient of various awards and decorations such as the Distinguished Conduct Star, Distinguished Service Medals, Gold Cross Medal, Philippine Legion of Honor Degree of Commander, Outstanding Achievement Medal, and UN Service Medal, among others.
Major General Protacio is married to the former Filomena Basay with whom he has a daughter and two sons namely Maria Liza, Zayber John and Roebie John.