Romeo Saturnino Brawner Jr. (born March 18, 1968) is a Philippine Army general who has served as the 60th Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines since July 21, 2023.[1] Prior to his appointment to the post, Brawner previously served as the 64th Commanding General of the Philippine Army.[2]

Romeo Brawner Jr.
Birth nameRomeo Saturnino Brawner, Jr.
Born (1968-03-18) March 18, 1968 (age 56)
Baguio, Philippines
Allegiance Philippines
Branch Philippine Army
Years of service1989–present
RankGeneral General
Service numberO-10052
Commands heldChief of Staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines
Commanding General of the Philippine Army
4th Infantry Division
Deputy Chief of Staff for Financial Management, J10
Commandant of Cadets
103rd Infantry Brigade
Army Civil-Military Operations Regiment
Chief of Public Affairs, AFP
2nd Special Forces Battalion
6th Special Forces Company
Battles/warsCommunist armed conflicts in the Philippines
Moro conflict
Siege of Marawi
Alma materPhilippine Military Academy (BS)
Ateneo de Manila University (MIM)
Asian Institute of Technology (MBA)
Oxford University (MBA)
United States Army War College (MSS)
Spouse(s)Melody Valeros

Born and raised from a military family with American roots, Brawner graduated from Philippine Military Academy (PMA) "Makatao" Class of 1989, and has been primarily deployed in special operations and infantry units, such as the 2nd Special Forces Battalion and the 103rd Infantry Brigade. Brawner was also known for his role as spokesperson and deputy commander of Task Force Ranao during the Siege of Marawi and for his campaign against hazing during his term as Commandant of Cadets in the PMA. Brawner was also appointed as the first Deputy Chief of Staff for Financial Management, J10, before being named as the commander of the 4th Infantry Division.[3][4]

Early life and education edit

Brawner was born in Baguio to Lenora Fe (née Saturnino) and Romeo A. Brawner, Sr., the brother of former Brigadier General Felix A. Brawner Jr. Brawner's military roots came from his grandfather, Private Lisbon Brawner, an African-American soldier who served from the United States Army, and was part of the Buffalo Soldiers who served during the Philippine–American War.[5][6][7]

Brawner finished high school at the University of the Philippines Baguio and served under the UP Vanguard ROTC before entering the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) in 1985 and graduating from the PMA as part of the Makatao Class of 1989, earning his commission as an army second lieutenant.[8] Brawner also holds a Masters in Information Management from Ateneo de Manila University, a Masters in Business Administration from the Asian Institute of Technology, and subsequently from the European School of Management in Oxford University, and a Masters in Strategic Studies from the United States Army War College.[9][10] Brawner also topped his class after completing the Intelligence Officer Course, the Special Forces Operations Course, and the AFP Comptrollership Course, as well completing the Advance Security Cooperation Course, located at the Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies in Hawaii.[11] In 2011, Brawner served as the Philippine Army representative during the United States Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) on Foreign Policy, as well as during the IVLP on Cyber Security in 2013.[11]

Military career edit

As a junior officer, Brawner participated in military operations against the communist insurgents and Muslim separatists and terrorists in the Philippines. Throughout his career, Brawner served primarily in both infantry and special operations, before being placed in staff positions. Brawner was named Company Commander of the 6th Special Forces Company was named as Battalion Commander of the 2nd Special Forces Battalion, before being an Operations Officer under the Special Forces Regiment (Airborne). Brawner also served as the Chief of Staff of the 6th Infantry Division, and was also named Chief of Public Affairs of the AFP, before serving as the AFP Spokesperson. Brawner eventually became commander of the Civil-Military Operations Regiment of the Philippine Army.[11][3]

During the Siege of Marawi in 2017, Brawner subsequently served as spokesperson and deputy commander of Task Force Ranao, and served as one of the key commanders during the 5-month long battle.[12][13] Brawner would be later conferred a Commendation Medal and Ribbon for his role.[14] The following year, in 2018, Brawner took command of the 103rd Infantry Brigade under the 1st Infantry Division, and was tasked to root out the remnants of the Islamic State-associated militant terrorist organization Maute Group and its allies within Western Mindanao, including the death of Owayda Marohombsar, also known as Abu Dar, and was the successor of Isnilon Hapilon as the head of the Islamic State-linked terrorists, and the last remaining leader who escaped the Battle of Marawi and was neutralized after follow-up operations.[15] [16][17] Due to his accomplishment, Brawner was awarded the Order of Lapu-Lapu by President Rodrigo Duterte.[11] Brawner was also tasked to monitor the 2019 Bangsamoro autonomy plebiscite elections and also led efforts for the Rehabilitation of Marawi.[3] In the aftermath of the Death of Darwin Dormitorio due to hazing, Brawner was named the acting-Commandant of Cadets of the Philippine Military Academy in 2019, along with Rear Admiral Allan Ferdinand Cusi as its superintendent officer-in-charge, following the resignation of their predecessors, then-Brigadier General Bartolome Vicente Bacarro as Commandant of Cadets, and Lieutenant General Ronnie Evangelista as PMA Superintendent due to command responsibility. Brawner later served his term in full capacity as Commandant of Cadets.[18]

In December 2020, Brawner was named as the first Deputy Chief of Staff for Financial Management, J10 after its foundation on 5 November 2020, which is in charge of the AFP's financial control, budgeting, and fiscal management, upon the approval of the Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.[8] On July 1, 2021, Brawner was named commander of the 4th Infantry Division, in charge with counterinsurgency operations in Northern Mindanao and Caraga regions. During his tenure as division commander of the 4th Infantry Division, Brawner finalized and oversaw a military operation under his supervision that led to the death of communist insurgent leader Jorge Madlos on October 31, 2021, in the outskirts of Impasugong, Bukidnon. Madlos, commonly known as Ka Oris, was the spokesperson of the New People's Army National Operational Command and the National Democratic Front.[12]

Brawner was appointed the 64th Commanding General of the Philippine Army (CGPA) by President Rodrigo Duterte on December 7, 2021, and was eventually promoted to the rank of Lieutenant General on 27 December 2021.[12][11] During his term as the CGPA, Brawner initiated reforms under his leadership thrust, known as "SERVE" thrust, which stands for Soldier, Enhance, Resources, Victorious and Elections, and is aimed at strengthening the soldier's well being and mental health, enhancement and modernization, resource management, attaining victory against the CPP-NPA-NDF, and securing the country amidst the 2022 Philippine general elections.[19] Then-Lieutenant General Brawner also supervised operations against the CPP-NPA-NDF, the Abu Sayyaf and other connected islamist groups, and various private armed groups.[20] Brawner also spearheaded the modernization of the Army through the procurement of various weapons and equipment such as the ATMOS 2000 self propelled howitzers, the Sabrah Light Tank, and various UAVs amongst other weapons, equipment and vehicles. Brawner also launched initiatives aimed at enhancing the personnel's mental health, and expanded benefits of Citizen Armed Force Geographical Units (CAFGU).[21][22]

On July 21, 2023, Brawner was appointed as the 60th Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, and replaced General Andres Centino, who was named as the Presidential Adviser on the West Philippine Sea.[3] During his assumption speech, Brawner emphasized his command thrust to the acronym "UNITY", similar to the command thrust made by Lieutenant General Bartolome Vicente Bacarro. UNITY stand for Unification, Normalization, Internal Security Operations, Territorial Defense, and Youth, which is aimed at strengthening a unified organization, the normalization process of the Bangsamoro Region, intensified operations against insurgency and terrorism, preparedness against external threats, and youth development, including the potential revival of the Reserve Officers' Training Corps.[23]

Awards and decorations edit

National decorations edit

Personal military decorations edit

Campaign and service medals edit

  •   Long Service Medal with two bronze service stars
  •   Anti-Dissidence Campaign Medal with four bronze service stars
  •   Luzon Anti-Dissidence Campaign Medal with three bronze service stars
  •   Visayas Anti-Dissidence Campaign Medal with two bronze service stars
  •   Mindanao Anti-Dissidence Campaign Medal with one bronze service star
  •   Disaster Relief & Rehabilitation Operation Ribbon with two bronze service stars

Foreign honors edit

Badges edit

Personal life edit

Brawner is often known by his peers and friends as "Romy" and "Omet". Brawner is married to Melody Valeros and they have three children.[11]

References edit

  1. ^ Nepomuceno, Priam; Gita-Carlos, Ruth Abbey (July 21, 2023). "Recalibrate AFP's internal security ops: PBBM to Brawner". Philippine News Agency.
  2. ^ Suson, Divina (December 9, 2021). "BARMM official lauds appointment of Brawner as Army chief". Philippine Daily Inquirer. Retrieved December 9, 2021.
  3. ^ a b c d Mangaluz, Jean (July 19, 2023). "Who is the AFP's new chief Romeo Brawner?".
  4. ^ "Malacañang announces Brawner as next AFP Chief".
  5. ^ Farolan, Ramon (June 10, 2019). "African-American freedom fighter".
  6. ^ Farolan, Ramon J. (March 26, 2018). "When fathers bury their sons".
  7. ^ Farolan, Ramon J. (December 13, 2021). "PMA Class of 1989 moves forward".
  8. ^ a b "MGEN Romeo Brawner Jr: Igorot is new PH Army Chief". Igorotage. January 27, 2021.
  9. ^ Suson, Divina; Luczon, Nef (December 9, 2021). "Bangsamoro leader welcomes Brawner's promotion". Philippine News Agency. Retrieved December 9, 2021.
  10. ^ Acosta, Rene (December 8, 2021). "Major General Romeo Brawner Jr. lists priority as incoming Philippine Army chief". BusinessMirror. Retrieved December 9, 2021.
  12. ^ a b c Gallardo, Froilan (December 8, 2021). "MGen Romeo Brawner Jr. is new Philippine Army chief". MindaNews. Retrieved December 9, 2021.
  13. ^ Umel, RIchel (July 5, 2017). "'This is my second life,' says Brawner following C-130 plane crash in Sulu". MindaNews. Retrieved December 9, 2021.
  14. ^ Sadongdong, Martin (October 20, 2020). "AFP confers Presidential medals on 19 Marawi siege heroes". Manila Bulletin. Retrieved December 9, 2021.
  15. ^ Umel, RIchel (December 19, 2018). "Col. Brawner assumes post as brigade commander in Marawi". MindaNews. Retrieved December 9, 2021.
  16. ^ Welle (, Deutsche. "Philippines: Tests confirm death of IS-linked chief Abu Dar | DW | 14.04.2019". DW.COM.
  17. ^ Pareño, Roel. "AFP: Maute leaders slain in Lanao Norte clash".
  18. ^ Suson, Divina; Mangosing, Frances (September 26, 2019). "Cusi, Brawner named as new PMA execs". Philippine Daily Inquirer. Retrieved December 9, 2021.
  19. ^ "Army Chief bares 'SERVE' strategy to meet Duterte's insurgency deadline". Manila Bulletin.
  20. ^ News, JOVILAND RITA, GMA (January 11, 2022). "Army chief Brawner orders dismantling of private armed groups ahead of Eleksyon 2022". GMA News Online. {{cite news}}: |last1= has generic name (help)CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  21. ^ "PH Army chief bares command thrust, tasks for troopers". PIA. March 15, 2022.
  22. ^ "PH Army offers 'wellness checks' for 125th anniversary".
  23. ^ Lopez, Vince (July 23, 2023). "Brawner sets UNITY as new AFP doctrine". Manila Standard.
  24. ^ "KDYMM Seri Paduka Baginda Yang di-Pertuan Agong Consents Depart to the Most Gallant Order of Military Service (DKAT) Bestowal 2022 Ceremony" (PDF). Berita Portal Rasmi Kementerian Pertahanan, Malaysia (October 2022): 28.

External links edit

Military offices
Preceded by Commanding General of the Philippine Army
Succeeded by
Lt. Gen. Roy M. Galido
Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines
Preceded byas President of the University of the Philippines Order of Precedence of the Philippines
as Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines
Succeeded by
Heads of permanent United Nations Agencies in the Philippines who hold the rank of Director