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Opinion

Reserve as a force

ROSES AND THORNS - Pia Roces Morato - The Philippine Star

With the outbreak and daily news on the happenings in Ukraine, one can’t help but think how many of us are actually prepared to step up and enlist in the reserve command at the Armed Forces of the Philippines. I directly pose this question especially to our youth whose minds and bodies are both able and can fully take part in national security and defense. As an educator, I find myself utterly amazed by the talents and skills that the younger generation has to offer, but I have to admit that it is still my hope that more of them would join us in the service.

At times I am asked if it is really worth it and to me, this is a valid question. Surprisingly and to their benefit, I am able to encourage. Whenever I engage in wholesome debate with our youth, at most, the ones who ask, I often tell them that our services have actual gains in terms of our transferable skills that can contribute to the growth and development of a nation. Reservists are fit, focused and highly resourceful. They work in conditions that require good communication skills, being able to work under pressure and sound judgement that is reflected even in the work place. In other words, as the training they get from enlisting is practiced in their profession, organizations benefit from their orientation.

Our rising socioeconomic concerns have further enlightened us to the fact that securing and defending our country is both the responsibility of the government as well as civic society. We are learning from the experience in Ukraine on how even their own citizenry are clicking their boots and standing in the frontlines.

Indeed, as we have said many times, defending the country and securing our land takes a whole of nation. It has been explained how the role of the state is to create an awareness in the public in order for them to take part in protecting their own people. Reservists play a great role in maintaining both public and private utilities that are essential to the lives of the citizenry. Our country faces national and local crises and each time we are confronted by such, we must be ready.

A reserve can be described as a person who shares part of his or her time in the service while fulfilling their full-time careers. Each time therefore that a young person asks how it benefits them, from personal experience I say that the most satisfying feeling one can have in this life is to be able to live with purpose. While we aspire for success in our careers, one feels a bigger sense of completeness when our careers enable us to give back in building a better nation.

Not all of us are called to serve in government, but all of us are called in the service of our nation. The needs of the future are changing and our economy highly depends on national security for without it, we cannot flourish. Our country needs reservists that are willing to contribute to national security and supply their country with their talents and skills. The government cannot do everything on its own, as we have been saying, and civic responsibility is clearly a must. The next generation of leaders needs good role models to lead the way.

The war in Marawi provided our reservists the chance to use their skills in securing the communities within. They were in fact responders in the war wherein they greatly provided strategic resources without hesitation. Other recent calamities provided our reserves the chance to participate and enjoin more of civil society to take active roles that extended all throughout the nation. The private and public call to duty is becoming clearer and the steps that ought to be undertaken in providing more opportunities for reservists in our country has,  across the board, widened, considering the skills we have to offer our people.

The Spanish novelist Miguel De Cervantes once said, to be prepared is half the victory; so let’s be just that – prepared but also, let’s multiply and be a force to reckon with.

AFP

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