Thirteen (13) Senior Enlisted Leaders (SEL) from various Armed Forces in the Asia-Pacific region attended this year’s opening ceremony of the SEL Conference held on Tuesday morning, September 6, 2016, at the New Hall of Flags in Colonel Jesus Villamor Air Base in Pasay City. The conference was jointly organized by the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and United States Pacific Command (USPACOM).
Participants of the conference are the following: FCMS Romeo H Jandungan, CMS Romeo Austria, MSg Elvie G Estilo, and CMS Nelson S Mercado from the Philippines; SGM Anthony A Spadaro, SGM Jamie L Wells, and SSg Dederick T Ransom from the USA; CSM Oyunbold Daribish from Mongolia; CWO Kevin C West from Canada; WO Toshiaki Miyamae from Japan; SWO Taulaki Kaehao Falesiva from Tonga; CWO Ng Siak Ping from Singapore; and WOC1 Danny Lawrence Broughton from New Zealand.
During the opening ceremony, the AFP Sergeant Major, FCMS Romeo H Jandugan (Inf) PA, was grateful to co-host this year’s conference as it served as a perfect venue for various Armed Forces to establish relationships and partnerships, and discuss topics that have relevance to the security situation in the Asia-Pacific region. “Your [Sergeant Majors] presence is deemed significant for this activity where we can share and discuss best practices and leadership skills, education and training, and personally engage and interact with you pertaining to the enlisted affairs that are beneficial to our Armed Forces…This partnership can also bolster our regional security and build strong relationship,” he said.
Additionally, taking pride of the beauty of the Philippines, FCMS Jandugan proudly promoted the country by saying a line or two about its tourist destinations to include the Banaue Rice Terraces in Benguet, Boracay in Aklan, and El Nido in Palawan.
The Chief of Air Staff, Major General Rozzano D Briguez AFP, told the SEL participants that the PAF values its Non-Commissioned Officers. According to him, they are considered leaders in three (3) different levels: grassroots, medium management, and top management. At the grassroots level, PAF senior NCOs teach and infuse the new airman recruits with the necessary military values and culture while at the medium management level, they serve as the link that binds the chain-of-command together. Lastly, at the top management level, the senior NCOs are the ones who strengthen the path of continuity.
As he explained the impact of the senior NCOs to the leadership organization, MGen Briguez encouraged them to learn from each other, share what they have, and never hold back. He ended his remarks by sharing this quote, “If you have visions, it is nothing if you don’t have the courage, the character, and the heart to see it through.”
This year’s SEL Conference is part of the programs under the Chiefs of Defense (CHODs) Conference that aims to promote and strengthen the military-to-military relationship, multilateral cooperation, and enhance strategic responses through collaborative efforts with fellow defense leaders. The CHODs Conference began on September 5, 2016 and will culminate on Wednesday, September 7.