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AFP’s second highest-ranking officer bows out from military service

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By Martin Sadongdong 

Lieutenant General Salvador Melchor Mison Jr., vice chief of staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (VCSAFP), has formally retired after more than 39 years in the military service.

Outgoing Vice Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (VCSAFP) Lieutenant General Salvador Melchor Mison Jr. (center) hands over the office symbol to AFP Chief of Staff General Benjamin Madrigal Jr. as the incoming VCSAFP, Vice Admiral Gaudencio Collado Jr., looks on during the joint Change of Command and Retirement Ceremony on Thursday, 20 June 2019, at the GHQ Canopy, Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City. (Photo by SN1 Donald H Viluan PN / PAOAFP / MANILA BULLETIN)

Outgoing Vice Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (VCSAFP) Lieutenant General Salvador Melchor Mison Jr. (center) hands over the office symbol to AFP Chief of Staff General Benjamin Madrigal Jr. as the incoming VCSAFP, Vice Admiral Gaudencio Collado Jr., looks on during the joint Change of Command and Retirement Ceremony on Thursday, 20 June 2019, at the GHQ Canopy, Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City. (Photo by SN1 Donald H Viluan PN / PAOAFP / MANILA BULLETIN)

General Benjamin Madrigal, AFP chief-of-staff, presided the joint Change of Command and Retirement Ceremony on Thursday at Camp Aguinaldo in Quezon City where Mison turned over the command to Vice Admiral Gaudencio Collado Jr., the deputy chief of staff (TDCS), as the newly-installed VCSAFP.

In his speech, Madrigal honored Mison whom he acknowledged as his “primary adviser and collaborator.”

“As my primary adviser and collaborator, General Mison Jr. closely worked with me in the administration and management, specifically policy formulation, implementation, and oversight of the overall conduct of AFP operations, as well as AFP capability development objectives,” Madrigal said.

“He provided effective functional supervision over the major services, unified command, and AFP-wide support and separate units, with skillful employment of a systems approach and improvement of processes in providing innovative and cost-effective solutions in support of our mission accomplishments,” he added.

Mison was given the Philippine Legion of Honor Award with the Degree of Commander for the “meritorious and exceptional service” that he “rendered to the country and the Filipino people.”

A member of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) “Maharlika” Class of 1984, Mison completed a total of 39 years, three months and five days of active military service, according to the AFP Public Affairs Office (PAO).

He held a number of positions in the military including serving as the AFP deputy chief of staff (TDCS); commander of the Air Education Training and Doctrine Command; chief of Air Staff of the Philippine Air Force (PAF); inspector-general of the Headquarters Service Support Group (HSSG); deputy commander of the 1st Air Division; wing commander of the 220th Airlift Wing; and as an instructor pilot.

He also served as a member of the PAF Education and Training Board and PAF Board of Senior Officers; he was also vice chairman of the PAF Military Pilot Training selection board.

Meanwhile, Collado, who took over Mison’s position, was described as “an accomplished Navy officer.”

Collado previously commanded four Navy ships, including the BRP Ang Pangulo, and held various “sensitive staff and leadership positions in the Philippine fleet.”

Madrigal expressed confidence that Collado will “be able to deliver as expected” as he said the latter had served as the deputy chief of staff (TDCS), which is the third highest-ranking position in the AFP.

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