Major General Benedict Arevalo, former commander of 301st and 303rd Infantry Brigades, has assumed the helm of the Army’s Third Infantry (Spearhead) Division in a change command ceremony held at Camp Gen. Macario Peralta Jr. in Jamindan, Capiz yesterday, September 21.
Arevalo replaced Brigadier General Noel Baluyan, who served as acting division commander following the mandatory retirement of Major Gen Eric Vinoya on September 6.
Baluyan will return to his original post as assistant division commander.
Arevalo assured all Spearhead troopers that he assumed the post not just to command and give orders but to serve them and encourage them to perform their jobs well.
“The Division is here to serve and not to be served. This philosophy will adopt a customer-friendly culture that centers on the welfare of the soldiers by treating them well with pride and dignity as its primary customers,” Arevalo said.
He bared that his campaign will be anchored on his mantra, “Loved by people, feared by the enemy.”
Arevalo stressed that Spearhead troopers should continue winning the hearts and minds of the people through Civil Military Operation activities but should instill fear to the enemy.
The new 3ID commander said the troopers should be relentless, aggressive, and offensive in combat operations.
Further, Arevalo underscored the importance of engaging the stakeholders, local government units (LGUs), national government agencies (NGAs), civil society organizations, academe, and different sectors to sustain their operational momentum and accomplishments.
“I encourage our stakeholders to be with us in fighting two threats we are facing at the moment -- the CPP-NPA and the coronavirus disease (Covid-19).We should face both squarely and win over the threats they are posing,” he said.
“With your support, your army and Philippine National Police (PNP) can perform at its best to be able to deliver the peace that can contribute to the development of the region,” he added.
Lt. Gen. Andres Centino, commanding general, Philippine Army was the guest of honor and speaker at the turnover rites.
Prior to his appointment as 3ID commander, Arevalo was the deputy chief of staff for Civil-Military Operations (J7) of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.
He is no stranger to 3ID’s Area of Responsibility (AOR) for he spent the first 10 years of his military service at the Spearhead Division.
He started his military career with the 3ID as Tactical Officer of then Third Division Training Unit from October 16, 1990 to February 16, 1991.
Arevalo also served as Delta Company Executive Officer, Delta Platoon Leader, and Delta Company of the defunct 71st Infantry Battalion (71IB), 3ID in the early 1990s.(TDE)