SECOND Lieutenant Reniel dela Cruz, a native of Baybay, Leyte, has joined the Philippine Army after graduating from the United States Military Academy (USMA) Class of 2019 in West Point, New York, United States of America.
Dela Cruz first entered the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) in 2014 before undergoing the four-year cadet training at the world’s top military training institution abroad.
He finished his Nuclear Engineering degree with high academic honors.
The new military officer had the honor of receiving the rank insignia of second lieutenant from descendants of Brigadier General Vicente Lim, USMA's first Filipino graduate in 1914 who also pioneered and paved way for the success of many scholars, according to the Philippine Army.
“As newly minted officers, it is our wish that you carry this symbol on your shoulders as a reminder of where you came from as you connect to the past when seeking guidance for the future,” said great-grandson Vicente Lim IV in a simple ceremony hosted by United States Service Academy alumni at General Headquarters, Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City, June 23.
The second lieutenant insignia is an equilateral triangle with a Baybayin “K” in the middle that originated from the Katipunan. It is worn on the shoulders of Army officers like how Katipuneros wore the symbols in their garments and medallions to distinguish their rank.
Dela Cruz was authorized to wear the Academic Star on his collar, a distinction reserved only for the most deserving cadets, the Army said in a statement.
He was with the Reserve Officers' Training Corps before entering the PMA.
As a cadet, Dela Cruz was involved in multiple sports and became the cadet company’s athletics officer.
During the ceremony, Dela Cruz was also joined by two other newly-commissioned officers who graduated from the United States Naval Academy and United States Air Force Academy. (SunStar Philippines)