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COL Dencio Acop: First Igorot West Point Graduate

COL Dencio Acop (Ret) Ph.D., the first Igorot to graduate from the United States Military Academy West Point.

 |  3 min read

COL Dencio Acop, is the first Igorot graduate of the prestigious United States Military Academy West Point.
COL Dencio Acop, is the first Igorot graduate of the prestigious United States Military Academy West Point.
  • COL Dencio "Dennis" Severo Acop (Ret) Ph.D. is an Igorot from the Ibaloi tribe.
  • United States Military Academy (USMA) West Point graduate.
  • Served in the Philippine Constabulary and Philippine Army until Colonel, retired officially in 2009.
  • Awarded the Distinguished Service Star, AFP's third-highest decoration.
  • Awarded by President Corazon Aquino the Distinguished Conduct Star, the AFP's second-highest decoration for gallantry in action.
  • Holds a Ph.D. and three master's degrees from the University of the Philippines, UNSW, and PCU.
  • Certified Protection Professional (CPP) by ASIS - International and CBCI-certified by Business Continuity Institute (UK).
  • A family man having been married to the late Jocelyn Roxas Guerrero for 33 years with three lovely children.

COL Dencio "Dennis" Severo Acop (Ret) Ph.D., from the Ibaloi tribe, is the first Igorot to graduate from the United States Military Academy (USMA), also known as West Point, Army, Army West Point, The Academy, or simply The Point, a four-year federal service academy in West Point, New York in 1983.

COL Dencio S. Acop
COL Dencio S. Acop

COL Acop served in the Philippine Constabulary and Philippine Army until Colonel and has received awards and decorations during his military career. He was awarded the Distinguished Service Star, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP)'s third-highest decoration.

COL Acop graduated from the USMA, West Point in 1983 and served with the Philippine Constabulary and Philippine Army optionally retiring as Colonel officially in 2009.
COL Acop graduated from the USMA, West Point in 1983 and served with the Philippine Constabulary and Philippine Army optionally retiring as Colonel officially in 2009.

One of the notable achievements of COL Acop during his military service was successfully leading government troops against coup elements in December 1989, he was awarded by President Corazon Aquino the Distinguished Conduct Star, the AFP's second-highest decoration for gallantry in action.

He also served for six years with the Presidential Security Group whereafter he was awarded by President Fidel V. Ramos the Presidential Medal of Merit for "his integrity, devotion to duty and commitment to professional competence and moral excellence".

COL Dencio Acop, one of the pioneers of the Special Action Force elite unit of the Philippine Constabulary (now the PNP)
COL Dencio Acop, one of the pioneers of the Special Action Force elite unit of the Philippine Constabulary (now the PNP)

COL Acop is airborne, ranger, special forces, intel, and counter-terrorist qualified. He is also a graduate of various career and special military courses in Infantry, Intel, and Command areas; as well as a Disaster Mgt Diploma from Cranfield University (UK).

He also holds a Ph.D. (BU) and three master's degrees from the University of the Philippines, UNSW, and PCU.

A 1983 West Point graduate, he brought to his corporate work his expertise in security, intelligence, and the academe honed over 30 years of a long and distinguished career with the Armed Forces of the Philippines.

Special Action Force unit led by COL Acop,  1983 - 1989
Special Action Force unit led by COL Acop, 1983 - 1989

After retirement from the service, he worked in the security, pharmaceutical, and nutrition industries, COL Acop worked for Wyeth Nutrition, now a subsidiary of Nestle (2013-2018), as Director for Security and Business Continuity.

Before this, Dencio had worked with Pfizer's Global Security as Associate Director with its Asia-Pacific Regional Team (2010-2012). Formerly, he was Wyeth's Country Manager for Security (2007-2009) and had been Director for Security Services with Pacific Strategies and Assessments (PSA) from August 2006 to December 2007.

COL Dencio S. Acop, West Point Association of the Philippines President
COL Dencio S. Acop, West Point Association of the Philippines President

COL Acop is also a teacher, published author, and writer. He serves God as a lay liturgical minister. He has co-written a book entitled "Sentinels of Freedom: 100 Years of Presidential Security" (1998) and articles published by De La Salle University's Asia-Pacific Social Science Review, Ateneo de Davao's Tambara Journal, US National Defense University, US Army War College, Security Matters Magazine, La Guardia Bulletin, and Rappler.

Finally, Mr. Acop is a Certified Protection Professional (CPP) by ASIS - International and CBCI-certified by Business Continuity Institute (UK).

COL Dencio Acop and family
COL Dencio Acop and family

According to him, his greatest achievement is loving a wife and raising three responsible children. He is a family man having been married to the late Jocelyn Roxas Guerrero for 33 years.

He voluntarily serves as a Lay Liturgical Minister. Acop is now a freelance Security and Business Continuity Consultant and Writer.


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