Philippine Navy mints first female commodore

MANILA, Philippines – For the first time in history, the Philippine Navy promoted a woman to the rank of commodore – equivalent to the one-star rank of brigadier general in the Army, Air Force, and the Marines.

Former Navy Captain – now Commodore – Luzviminda Camacho was among 3 military officers promoted in a donning-of-rank ceremony led by Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Chief-of-Staff General Felimon Santos Jr on Tuesday, January 28, at Camp Aguinaldo in Quezon City.

Santos himself had just received his 4th star as general – the highest military rank – on Monday, January 27.

Camacho is also the first female chief of the AFP Office of Legislative Affairs, the first female to have commanded Navy ships, and the first female commander of United Nations Peacekeepers from the Philippines, deployed to Haiti from June 2013 to January 2015.

Camacho's promotion to commodore is a rare achievement in the broadly male-dominated AFP, especially for an officer who did not graduate from the Philippine Military Academy (PMA).

PROMOTED. Commodore Luzviminda Camacho (2-L) poses with General Felimon Santos Jr (C), Vice Admiral Gaudencio Collado Jr (3-R), Lieutenant General Roberto Ancan (4-L), and Major General Ernesto Torres Jr (R). Photo from the Armed Forces of the Philippines

PROMOTED. Commodore Luzviminda Camacho (2-L) poses with General Felimon Santos Jr (C), Vice Admiral Gaudencio Collado Jr (3-R), Lieutenant General Roberto Ancan (4-L), and Major General Ernesto Torres Jr (R).

Photo from the Armed Forces of the Philippines

The other officers promoted on Tuesday were Major General Roberto Ancan, who received his 3rd star as Lieutenant General, and Brigadier General Ernesto Torres Jr, who donned his 2nd star as Major General.

Ancan, of PMA Hinirang Class of 1987, is the commander of the AFP Central Command that has charge over the Visayas. He previously led the 1st Infantry Division of the Philippine Army based in Zamboanga del Sur.

Torres, of PMA Makatao Class of 1989, is the commander of the AFP Civil Relations Service. He used to be the commander of Joint Task Force Haribon and deputy commander of the AFP Eastern Mindanao Command. – Rappler.com

JC Gotinga

JC Gotinga often reports about the West Philippine Sea, the communist insurgency, and terrorism as he covers national defense and security for Rappler. He enjoys telling stories about his hometown, Pasig City. JC has worked with Al Jazeera, CNN Philippines, News5, and CBN Asia.

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