2nd Lieutenant Jerald Garcia, a proud Cordilleran from Baguio City, topped the Philippine Army Officer Candidate Course (OCC) Class 56 "Ikarigatak" 2022 after completing the one-year training for Army officers in a graduation ceremony on October 20, 2022, at the Headquarters Training and Doctrine Command, Camp O'Donnell, Capas, Tarlac.
2LT Garcia emerged as the "Best among the Best" of the "Ikarigatak" class and received the Secretary of National Defense Saber for graduating at the top of his class; the Commander TRADOC Leadership Saber for leadership excellence, and the Chief of Staff TRADOC Physical Proficiency Award for being the strongest cadet in the Physical Fitness Test.
The top professions of the 229 newly-commissioned officers are licensed pilots, electrical engineers, civil engineers, aeronautical engineers, and mechanical engineers who hurdled the pre-entry course that includes a basic military training program, officer training program, and a warfighting program.
Senior Undersecretary Jose C. Faustino Jr., Officer-in-Charge, Department of National Defense, graced as the ceremony's Guest of Honor and Speaker who reminded the young lieutenants to pursue excellence in military service by continuously learning from others.
"The Armed Forces of the Philippines is a distinct organization which offers various opportunities. I encourage you to actively seek tasks through which you can make the most of your skill set. Simply put, whatever you do, avoid mediocrity. Mediocrity is your worst enemy because it kills what could have been the best. I ask you to strive for excellence at all times," Senior Undersecretary Faustino said in his remarks.