Congratulations to the former commander of Civil Relations Service, Armed Forces of the Philippines, Major General Ronnie S Evangelista AFP who assumed his post as the new commander of the Philippine Army’s Special Operations Command (Socom).
MGEN RONNIE S. EVANGELISTA is a competent combatant of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and member of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) “Sinagtala” Class 1986. He was a college sophomore when he was accepted at the prestigious Academy in 1982, where his four (4) years of rigorous education and training became the foundation of his colourful and fruitful career. He also holds a Master of Public Administration from the National College of Business Administration that he obtained in 2005.
Early on in his career, he has already projected himself to serve under the elite Special Forces Regiment (Airborne), one of three specialized regiments of the Special Operations Command Special Forces Command (SOCOM) which also includes the Scout Ranger Regiment and the Light Reaction Regiment.
MGEN EVANGELISTA operated in the different regional units and in various capacities at the Special Forces Regiment (Airborne) – from being a Department Head as a young lieutenant to being a Battalion Commander, until he became its Regiment Commander from November 2013 to January 2016. The stint as Commander earned him an assignment as Deputy Commander of the Eastern Mindanao Command (EASTMINCOM) from January 25, 2016, until he took the helm at the Civil Relations Service (CRS), AFP on November 25, 2016 – a post that he holds until the present.
One of his very significant assignments is at the 6th Special Forces Battalion (SFBN) where, as Commander, he was able to lead his men to calculated campaigns against insurgency in Bohol. With his competent leadership, the province was liberated from agitations and attacks by the New People’s Army (NPA) rebels.
While it is true that his being the Commander of CRSAFP is a far cry from his being an experienced war fighter in the battlefield, MGEN EVANGELISTA has been nothing but greatly effective and efficient as a strategic “warrior diplomat.” He capably steers the Command to fulfilling its mission of organizing, training, equipping, sustaining and providing Information Support and Civil Affairs units, as well as conducting Strategic and Operational Civil Military Operations and CMO-Related Trainings in support to the overall AFP mission.
As CRSAFP Commander, he emphasizes that warrior diplomats cannot literally kill the enemies through civil-military operations, but they CAN destroy their will to fight. His priority is attaining measure of effect rather than measure of performance. He deems that no matter how much effort is put into an endeavour if the public does not benefit from it, then, it becomes a wasted effort.
MGEN EVANGELISTA also believes that the limit of what an individual can achieve is his imagination. For this reason, he did not allow himself to be restricted in pursuing higher educational and training goals that further honed him into being a well-rounded officer. His military and civilian schoolings include those taken locally and abroad. Apart from his master’s degree, he finished his Command and General Staff Course at the AFP Command and General Staff College in 2004. He also obtained the Special Forces Detachment Officer Qualification Course at the John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School in Fort Bragg, USA and the Joint Transition Course and Joint Professional Military Education Phase II at the National Defense University, also in the USA.
As could be expected, MGEN EVANGELISTA is a passionate marksman. And this fervour led him to create three marksman systems that were given patents by the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHIL) through the endorsement of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST). These are the Simultaneous Moving Automated Random Target System (SMART); Field Marksmanship Training System (FMTS) and Pneumatic Marksmanship Training System (PMTS).
His integrity and work performance are distinguished by the various awards and recognition he was bestowed which are highlighted by the AFP Master Parachutist Badge, a number of Military Merit Medals, Bronze Cross Medal, Silver Wing Medal, Distinguished Service Stars, and numerous badges and letters of commendation.
Typical of a war fighter, MGEN EVANGELISTA is a self-professed shy and silent type of an individual whose verbal acumen is heard only when required, and would rather stay out of the limelight. But as Commander of the CRSAFP for nine (9) months now, his exposure to the print, broadcast and social media has been as often as the battles he used to do in the field.