Graduating Class of the 7th Class of the Military Police School
Members of the Faculty and Member of the Various Graduating Class of the 7th Class of the Military Police School:
I consider it a rare distinction and a special privilege to be able to say to you a few words on the solemn occasion of your graduation, which is the culmination of diligent and untiring efforts you have exerted during the period of your instruction preparatory to your qualification for and assumption of various assignments awaiting you in the field.
I rejoice in the thought that the opportunity thus afforded me has given me an equal opportunity to remind you of the tremendous responsibilities that lie ahead of you as members of the Philippine Army assigned to the Military Police Command.
As members of the Philippine Army, you share in the responsibility of accomplishing the two main missions of the Armed Forces in peacetime: the maintenance of peace and order and the training and organization of the citizen army, which form the bulwark of our national defense. No matter what you are doing, you shouldn't forget that you are officers and soldiers whose jobs are to make sure that these missions are done right.
You are at present assigned to the Military Police Command, which is a division of the Philippine army entrusted with the keeping of peace and order. The Officers’ Class has been trained in leadership and in various subjects, leading to the efficient discharge of their duties as Commanding Officers of the various units in the Military Police Command. The Automotive Maintenance Class has been trained in technical duties related to the maintenance and servicing of motor vehicles and equipment, which are very essential in the maintaining of motor vehicles and equipment, which are very essential in maintaining the mobility of troops and the transportation of supplies and equipment. The Signal Communications Class has been trained in the operation and maintenance of signal communication in order to maintain constant communication between various units or the command, which is of fundamental necessity in an armed organization. All of this training has been done so that you can do your job of keeping peace and order more effectively.
In the discharge of your duties, there are important things that I want you to remember. First, that you have to contend with the lawless elements of your own people. No more force than what is necessary will be applied in all oases in order to prevent unnecessary damage to life, property, and the comfort of our own people. Because of the apparent need for a vigorous effort to suppress lawlessness at present, you have to discharge your duties with great firmness tempered with justice, tact, and diplomacy. Knowing that you have to contend with the common masses, you must exercise sympathy and consideration. A few missions can be accomplished without bloodshed and by the mere education of the masses. You should be patient peace ministers, offering your advice to the masses with whom you come into contact. But your mission must be accomplished and nothing should hinder its accomplishment, even at the cost of a sacrifice.
Because of the nature of your work, you will be stationed all over the country, and some of you may be assigned to the far corners of the Philippines. Wherever you are, you will represent the Army and the government. In your actions, you must not cast discredit on the organization to which you belong.
I am aware of the sacrifices that all of us will have to make in order that the country as a whole may survive. We belong to the Army of a young and poor nation, and we cannot expect the high pay and numerous privileges that the Army of the United States can afford to give its officers and men. However, if we do our duty well and do our work in the sense of service required of citizens, our efforts will be repaid in the satisfaction of work well done and duties well performed.
The Army is not the place for anybody to make money by honorable means. But there are also temptations in the Army, where a man without honor can easily enrich himself by appropriating funds and equipment entrusted to his care for his own benefit. Such temptations are only overcome by real officers and soldiers who would rather live in want than commit acts that are dishonorable. I want to emphasize to you the fact that the profession of the army is a profession of honor. It behooves every officer and soldier to control their actions according to the noble tradition of the Army. It behooves everybody in uniform not to allow anybody else to violate the noble heritage of a soldier.
A soldier who does not live up to the noble tradition of the Army will not last long in the service. And whoever gets away with wrongdoing in his first years of service will pay for it by having a bad reputation in his later years of service. His records will hurt his chances of getting promoted and bring shame to his name, even if he has a lot of money that he got by doing something wrong.
In this period of reorganization, we want officers and men who have the interest of the Army at heart, not merely because the Army furnishes them with a means of livelihood but because they believe in the things we stand for. We want officers and men who will sacrifice comfort for the love of service to the country and who will uphold the noble traditions of the Army at any cost. By your demonstrated actions during the last crisis, you have shown that you are invaluable elements of the Army. You have shown that you are willing to sacrifice for the good of the whole nation. You have shown that you have the indomitable spirit to win over difficulties. You must decide to continue on the proper path you have taken and live in the sun. It is the bound duty of every citizen to do his part in the national organization in whatever capacity, and the work in the Army, specifically in the maintenance of peace and order where you have been assigned at present, calls for officers and soldiers of sterling quality.
May God help us all and give us the energy to carry out our assigned part in the great national undertaking of building a nation!
I want to thank you.