As what the authors and other dignitaries elucidated about the History and the progress a unique identity of our own Military Leadership Style in support to a whole-nation approach, this book continued to explain the Decision-making process of Filipino Military Leader and the circumstances that molded to become one, of course it was not an easy journey for our leaders as well as subordinates but this spoke of case study to ponder and take lessons from. In order for the members of the   Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) continuously reflect and practice leadership with the issues of Moral and ethics in the service for God, country, and the Filipino society that is mandated by the Fundamental Law of the Land, the Filipino Military Leadership (FML) book 2 was crafted and published to determine the perils and moral dilemmas that surfaced during their stint as a Commander, Leader and Civil Senior Supervisors.

FML book 2 is based on various military experiences during their designations and assumptions in their office as well as our representatives to foreign assignments like the United Nations Peacekeeping operations and the like, documentaries and interviews with former Major branch of services as well as Generals who did not hesitate to share their experiences and moral dilemmas they encountered, researchers and other Focus Group Discussions who meticulously studied and gathered relevant information to support their claims and significant personalities which aimed to guide the readers in their adaptability to think critically with justified reasoning, and  decided to adapt the “Filipino Way” of adjusting based on the OODA Loop as explained in FML Book 1.

Filipino culture and soldiery must work hand in hand in order for a leader to come up with a reasonable decision when faced with difficulties, let’s say, an Ilocano way of handling things are only applicable to Ilocanos but inapplicable when adapted to people of Mindanao as our country is divided with various tribes and clans.

In order to harness and develop aptitudes that is not innate in a Filipino type of leadership, potential members of the Armed Forces are honed and delve into experiences that are gathered way back from their basic school all the way to their career development and trainings. The book emphasizes leaders’ experiences with the support of frameworks that may help them amplify their ability in decision-making to recognize and articulate the morality of a problem, rationalize away bad ethics, and develop respect for others. FML emphasizes the strong application of decision-making tools such as the Traditional Decision-Making Tools of the AFP which includes the Troop Leading Procedures (TLP), Military Decision-Making Process (MDMP), and the Joint Operation Planning Process (JOPP); and the Non-Traditional Decision-Making Model OODA Loop and the Ethical Pyramid.

TLP is gradually developed in Cadet’s way of life, from being a plebe as a subordinate and to understand the way of working even under pressure, the real McCoy or the outside world of a plebe is harsh and full of pressure, not just from their respective commanders but from peers and personal problems encountered in a day to day living. Yearlings transcend from that of being a subordinate and is now able to handle small number of elements or practicing to be a squad leader in a controlled environment to get the feel of handling personnel when the day of comes. As a Third year in the Academy, future leaders are inculcated with leadership trainings and still allowed to handle handful of cadets under them as well the so-called Fourth years who are now ready to face the challenges in the real world.

Further, book 2 emphasize the important concept of decision-making process that can be difficult at the same time easy for a Military Leader to define and understand. However, the way in which leadership is exercised can vary widely depending on the context at hand. It’s necessary to have a clear understanding of what comprises Filipino military leadership as it guides our decision-making when we are confronted with difficult moral dilemmas.

It was hard for Cadets and Officer Candidates who were indoctrinated with their schools’ core values and have to live their student/cadet’s life with it. The Academy for example focused on Justice, Integrity and Loyalty which is why a unique quasi-judicial court like the Honor Committee was established to determine the dilemmas faced by the Cadets, even Candidate schools of Branches of Services have their own Honor committees that lived up to their schools’ core values. However, when a Cadet or Officer Candidate graduates from their schools. They are faced with another core values especially like the AFP with Honor, Service and Patriotism, with that there is confusion with the core values that will be adapted by the members of the AFP. As such, a single core value coincides everything is the Integrity, “the ability to do what is right, and to do it right”, Therefore, Integrity runs deep with the decision making of a Filipino Military Leader.

Leadership is not just about handling troops and keeping them intact; it’s more than theory nor a study per se. A leader must be able to lead his unit/command toward accomplishment of its unit mandate in line with the core values and morality of a Military Leader in coordination with other contemporaries when faced with Joint Operations and application of whole-nation approach. The Filipino military officer has been trained to accept accountability for his actions—this trait will serve him well as he leads others through his actions when he assumes command over others.

Through their decisions and actions, Filipino officers have the potential not just imprint impact countless others but also shape history itself through their actions in battle or peacetime service; given that leadership is such an intense activity it must be emphasized on how each individual must maintain balance between their personal needs from that what the service demands.

For the Filipino military officer, the acceptance of responsibility is one of the most important aspects of leadership. It is not only a sign of maturity and strength but also confidence, trust and self-esteem. In fact, it can be said that those leaders who fail to accept responsibility for their actions would lose credibility in front of their troops which makes them unfit for command responsibilities. Accepting responsibility means that you take full ownership over your own actions as well as those around you.

In order to pave way for a Military Leader in his decision-making process, one must conform with his upbringing, morality and advices of senior leaders who were already adept with their tasks under his command. Civilian Human Resources are also an integral part of the decision-making process since they are employed by the AFP to augment and assess the administrative and clerical work of a unit or command. Through these individuals under one’s command, one can attain an over-all view in handling troops from different walks of life. As such, it also curtails that one must not only lead but also to follow even he is the most high-ranking Officer in a unit, not because he is a weak leader but he conforms with his observation thru the OODA Loop and based on his ethical biases he may discern accordingly to the best he thought that the service needs.

Military Decision-Making Process (MDMP) are not taught through experience but well explained through trainings and career development schoolings, it is supposed to prepare a Military Leader to handle situations that needs abrupt thinking and respond immediately that a delay from a higher authority may deem detrimental to one’s command. Since military is a regimented organization, we all abide with the Top-to-Bottom relationship of the Echelon. Therefore, there are times that moral dilemmas and ethical biases need to be addressed by a leader, this decision being made a leader is the outcome of the consolidated experience and trainings he gathered throughout his career.

There are times that a leader may experience a coordinated instruction from other contemporaries and other branches of the government, in line with this integration, a leader could adapt with their best practices and understand moral reactions of each contemporary. Others may vary from their Major Service core values, which they excessively promote, others may act according to their unit’s Ethos. Apparently, we are on the verge of unifying a single core value that is manifested by the AFP which are Honor, Service and Patriotism.

As a final note, Leaders are not born, they are made. They are made through several circumstances along their journey towards a good leader than emanates the core values of the AFP. A good leader than know how to handle when faced with desperate and difficult situations, theories and techniques when not applied are only substantial but needs to be applied based on the career development one has been striving to learn. Morality played a vital role especially when making decision, should we apply the Harsh implication of a law to discharge and individual or should we lenient and adapt with a humanitarian consideration? Biases are not meant to fraternize the organization to favor individuals according to ethnicity, religion nor source of commission but favoring the ones who strive hard, applied integrity and exceeds the metes and bounds of the exigency of the service. Through these circumstances one can definitely determine how to discern with authority and firmness in decision.



  1. I couldn’t agree more
    This is a great article about the Filipino Military Leadership style and its decision-making process. It’s interesting to learn about the various tools used, such as the Traditional Decision-Making Tools of the AFP and the Non-Traditional Decision-Making Model OODA Loop and the Ethical Pyramid. However, I’m curious to know how these tools and leadership styles have evolved over time, particularly in response to changes in technology and global political situations. Can you share any insights on this? Thanks for sharing your knowledge!

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