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Special Forces Regiment (Philippine Army)

The Special Forces Regiment (Airborne)[3][4] is a special forces unit of the Philippine Army and one of three specialized regiments of the Special Operations Command. The unit is based on and continually trains with its American counterpart, the U.S. Army Special Forces (Green Berets).[5]

Special Forces Regiment (Airborne)
Philippine Army Special Forces
ActiveJune 25, 1962 - Present
CountryPhilippines Philippines
BranchPhilippine Army
TypeUSA - Special Forces Branch Insignia.png Special Forces
RolePrimary missions:
  • Unconventional warfare
  • Foreign internal defense
  • Special reconnaissance
  • Direct action
  • Counter-terrorism

Other roles:

  • Counter-proliferation
  • Airborne Operations
  • Riverine Operations
  • Counter-insurgency
  • Hostage rescue
  • Information operations
  • Humanitarian missions
  • Counter-narcotics
  • Security forces assistance
Part ofSpecial Operations Command (Philippines)[1]
Garrison/HQFort Magsaysay, Nueva Ecija
Motto(s)Courage and Determination
ColorsYellow Gold
MarchSpecial Forces Song
EngagementsVietnam War
Operation Enduring Freedom - Philippines
Anti-guillera operations against the NPA
Anti-guillera operations against the MILF
Anti-guillera operations against MNLF
Moro conflict
Zamboanga siege
Marawi crisis
DecorationsPresidential Unit Citation (Philippines) Streamer.png
Philippine Republic Presidential Unit Citation Badge
Presidential Streamer Award
Brigadier General Ramiro Rey
CPT Fidel V. Ramos PA (INF)
COL Arturo B. Ortiz PA (INF) (GSC)
Special Forces Tab
Special Forces Shoulder Sleeve Insignia.jpg
Special Forces Qualification Badge
PA Special Forces Qualification Badge.jpg
Shoulder Sleeve Insignia (Riverine)[2]
SF Riverine Badge.jpg



The regiment was established in the 1960s by then Captain Fidel V. Ramos PA (INF) (first commanding officer of the SFR-A), primarily trained in both unconventional warfare operations and psychological warfare operations. The regiment has close ties and trains with the US Army Special Forces (Green Berets).[6]

Like the Scout Rangers, members of the Special Forces Regiment of the Philippine Army are also highly trained in counter-insurgency operations. Upon assignment to the Special Forces, soldiers are made to undergo the Basic Airborne Course. They, later-on, undergo the Special Forces Operations Course - an eight-month course that equips each SF soldier in the basics of Special Forces and unconventional warfare operations. Each member of the SF Regiment may opt to undergo specialty courses as well after finishing the Special Forces basic course. These include, but is not limited to, training in demolitions and bomb disposal (EOD), psychological warfare operations (PSYOPS), riverine operations including combat diving, intelligence operations, weapons, medics, as well as VIP security training in preparation for reassignment with the Presidential Security Group.

The basic combat organization of the Special Forces is the 12-man Special Forces Team. An SF Team will have at least one of each SF MOS present in the team.


The following are subordinate battalions and companies of the Special Forces Regiment (Airborne):[7]


  • Headquarters & Headquarters Company
  • 1st Special Forces Battalion
  • 2nd Special Forces Battalion "Sabertooth"
  • 3rd Special Forces Battalion "Arrowhead"
  • 4th Special Forces Battalion (Riverine) "Dolphin Warriors"
  • Special Forces School

Lineage of CommandersEdit

  • Major Fidel Ramos
  • Major Bienvenido Castro
  • Colonel Melchor Dela Cruz
  • Major Benjamin Samonte
  • Lt. Colonel Benjamin Fe
  • Colonel David Abundo
  • Colonel Ernesto Calupig
  • Colonel Jose Lapus
  • Colonel Leo Alvez [was promoted to general as Regiment Commander of SFRA]
  • General Victor Mayo (The only general to serve as Regiment Commander of SFR(A) and initiated the creation of SOCOM in 1996.)
  • Brigadier General Voltaire Gazmin (Did not serve as Regiment Commander of SFR(A), he was the first SOCOM commander.)
  • Colonel Alan Cabalquinto
  • Colonel Victor Ibrado
  • Colonel Benito Ramos
  • Colonel Arturo Ortiz
  • Colonel Roberto Morales
  • Colonel Aminkadra Undug
  • Colonel Donato San Juan
  • Colonel Ronnie Evangelista
  • Brigadier General Ramiro Manuel Rey
  • Brigadier General Reynaldo Aquino

Notable OfficersEdit

  • Captain Harold Mark Juan [(Hitman)]
  • General Fidel Ramos (first Commanding Officer)
  • General Lisandro Abadia
  • General Angelo Reyes
  • Lieutenant General Voltaire Gazmin
  • Lieutenant General Arturo Ortiz



  • Anti-guerilla operations against the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and Moro National Liberation Front.
  • Counter-Terrorist operations against the Abu Sayyaf Group, Jemaah Islamiyah, and Al-Qaeda operating in the southernmost Philippine Island of Mindanao.
  • Anti-guerrilla operations against the New People's Army.
  • Anti-guerrilla operations against Communist Dissidents at height of the Vietnam War in support of the PHILCAVG.
  • Anti-coup d'état Operations during the May 1 Riots (May 1, 2001).
  • Anti coup d'état Operations during the height of the 2003 Oakwood Mutiny led by LTSG Antonio Trillanes IV PN.
  • Anti coup d'état Operations during the height of the 2006 Coup attempt led by BGEN Danilo Lim AFP.
  • COMELEC Marshalls during National and Local Elections.
  • Provided force multipliers for government forces during the height of the 2007 Manila Peninsula Siege led by Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV and BGEN Danilo Lim AFP.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ The Special Forces School, Philippine Army Special Forces Operations Manual PAM 3-071, 2008, SFR(A), p. 3-1.
  2. ^ Online Article about SF (Riverine) Units.
  3. ^
  4. ^ The Special Forces School, Philippine Army Special Forces Operations Manual PAM 3-071, 2008, SFR(A).
  5. ^ Conboy, Ken. South-East Asian Special Forces. London, UK: Osprey Publishing, 1991
  6. ^ Conboy, Ken. South-East Asian Special Forces. London, UK: Osprey Publishing, 1991
  7. ^
  • Philippine Army History, The Philippine Army Museum
  • The Special Forces School, Philippine Army Special Forces Operations Manual PAM 3-071, 2008, SFR(A).
  • Conboy, Ken. South-East Asian Special Forces. London, UK: Osprey Publishing, 1991
  • Special Operations Forces Online Database

External linksEdit