By Francis T. Wakefield
Bataan Rep. Geraldine Roman formally became the country’s first transgender military officer when she took her oath as a reservist of the Armed Forces of the Philippines in a ceremony at the Department of National Defense Hall of Flags in Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City on Wednesday.
Roman, also the country’s first transgender solon, joined the Philippine Army Reserve Force with the rank of lieutenant colonel. Two other solons, Edwin Marino Ongchuan of Northern Samar and Divina Grace Yu of Zamboanga del Sur, also took their oath as lieutenants colonel in the Army Reserve Force.
Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana administered the donning of ranks and oath-taking ceremony that was also attended by AFP Chief of Staff Gen. Rey Leonardo Guerrero and other defense and security officials.
Roman applied to the AFP Reserve Force in February 2017.
She commended and thanked the AFP for allowing individuals from the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender community to apply for the military.
“War and disaster do not recognize gender, it affects everybody, and everyone must defend and serve our communities, and our country, that is why I am joining the AFP Reserve Force,” Roman said.
Roman is an advocate of the revival of the mandatory Reserve Officers Training Course for Grades 11 and 12.
She expressed her support to the program during the ROTC Corps Commanders’ Summit and Senior Reservist Commanders’ Conference last Feb. 22, 2017 in Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City.