Philippine Embassy - Tokyo, Japan > PMA Cadet Graduates from Prestigious Japan National Defense Academy (NDA)

PMA Cadet Graduates from Prestigious Japan National Defense Academy (NDA)

Ambassador Lopez administers the oath of office to 2nd Lieutenant Degojas at the Philippine Embassy, in the presence of Defense Attaché Capt. Felix (photo: BD Lao)

TOKYO – Philippine Military Academy (PMA) Cadet Stephen D. Degojas of Negros Occidental became the fourth and latest Filipino to graduate from Japan’s prestigious National Defense Academy (NDA) at commencement ceremonies graced by no less than Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe last March 22 at the NDA Compound in Yokosuka, Kanagawa Prefecture.

Degojas spent five (5) years of cadetship training in Japan’s “Bōei Daigakkō” or national military academy, which since 1953 has produced officers for the Japan Self-Defense Forces (SDF).

Degojas, who spent a year in PMA as a “plebe” before being sent to the NDA in 2009, graduated together with 448 other cadets comprising NDA Class 58. He was among fourteen (14) foreign cadets who completed their studies and training, with the others hailing from Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam, Mongolia, Cambodia and South Korea. Degojas received a special award for being one of the outstanding foreign cadets excelling in academics, physical training and sports.

Last 24 March, Degojas paid a courtesy call on Philippine Ambassador to Japan Manuel M. Lopez and took his oath of office as Second Lieutenant of the AFP. Degojas will be joining the Philippine Army (PA) upon his return to the Philippines.

Every year, the Japanese Government accepts selected PMA cadets to study at the NDA as full scholars under the Academy’s five (5)-year cadetship program for foreign students. The first year is fully devoted to Nihongo language training, as academic instruction is conducted purely in Japanese. The remaining four years are then allocated to the regular, university-level course.

Since 1996, the PMA has dispatched ten (10) cadets to the NDA. Of these, four including 2Lt. Degojas have completed their studies. There are six (6) other PMA cadets still undergoing their cadetship training at the institution:

  • Cadet Karen Eve Mante – NDA Class 2015
  • Cadet James Amigo – NDA Class 2016
  • Cadet Alhisham Julwaldi – NDA Class 2016
  • Mark Jason Garcia – NDA Class 2017
  • Allan Kenny Manuel – NDA Class 2018
  • Bernard Bagorio – NDA Class 2018

Their ranks are slated to receive a further boost this year as the PMA prepares to send another two cadets to begin their cadetship training at the NDA beginning 01 April 2014.

The training and exchange of military officers and personnel is a vital component of the Strategic Partnership between the Philippines and Japan in the defense and political-security arena. END

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