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THE NAVAL RESERVE COMMAND
The origin of the Naval Reserve Command (NRC) traces back to the year 1935 when Commonwealth Act No. 1 was promulgated and implemented with the creation of a reserve force within the military organization. Consequently, during the outbreak of World War II, the Reserve Force, composed mostly of volunteers, was merged with the regular and standing force and took a united stand to preserve the Republic.
War history is replete with heroic feats carried out by our heroes from both the regular and reserve forces. After the war, the reserve units were relegated to the background and assumed a low key role.
In the early 50’s, reserve officers were commissioned in the military service but were called to active duty as the need arose or upon exigencies of the service. During the period, Naval ROTC Units were under the supervision and administration of the Commander, Naval Training Command (NTC). Republic Act Number 2334 was enacted on 19 June 1959, and provided for the rotation of the Reserve Officers of the AFP in the active service in order to make available for service, in the event of emergency, maximum number of trained and qualified reserve officers, hence, Extension of Tour of Active Duty (ETAD) was prescribed.
The Home Defense Command (HDC) was activated in 1972 as a unit of the Philippine Navy and charged with the recruitment of young trainees for the PN. One of its tasks was the administration of the reservists, and to Preparatory Military Training (PMT) and ROTC Training programs. Side by side with the Naval Manpower and Reserve Affairs Branch, it concentrated on the procurement and training of first class citizen soldiers. Together with an integrated reserve force, they were trained to be ready to defend the state against external aggression and internal disorder. The unit was also designed as a source of skilled manpower for socio-economic development. The HDC was later renamed Naval Reserve Auxiliary Force (NRAF).
NRAF was established in 1978 as the Naval Reserve Center. With the implementation of the AFP SOP Nr 6 dated 07 1977, which spelled-out the purpose of project 36-70 in seeking to boost the AFP Reserve Forces, the Naval Reserve Command was created pursuant to GHQ, AFP SO Nr 878 dated 15 October 1978 dedicated to the administration of reservists. On 02 December 1986, EO Nr 79 was promulgated providing for the guidelines on the tour of active duty of reserve officers to strengthen their security of tenure and prevent demoralization of the Reserve Force ranks which constituted two-third (2/3) of the AFP officers strength.
As the PN organization evolved and sought its most appropriate role in the AFP, some of its units were reverted to their old post of smaller jurisdiction. NRC itself was later absorbed by O/N-10 on 01 August 1992 and designated as a PN Central Staff.
The administration of the Naval Reservists was assumed by the Naval Districts through their respective Civil Military Operations Group (CMOG) within their Area of Responsibility (AOR). The NROTCU’s, to include PNARUS, remained under the close supervision of CMOGs except for those in the NCR which were placed under the supervision of the Metropolitan Citizen Military Training Command (MCMTC) at Fort Bonifacio.
By virtue of Republic Act Nr 7077, (otherwise known as the Reservists Act of 1991) an act which provides for the development, administration, organization, training, maintenance and utilization of the Citizen Armed Force of the Philippines, the Naval Reserve Command was reactivated on 12 May 1993 pursuant to GO Nr 146 PHDP dated 11 May 1993 as one of the PN Support Units.
By the end of CY 1993, NRC was able to activate seven (7) Naval Reserve Centers throughout the country with 62 Naval ROTC Units, and 63 Affiliated Schools and NCAT-1 units were placed under their administrative and technical supervision. In May 1995, Naval Reserve Center 5-A based in Iloilo City was activated. However, it was subsequently renamed as Naval Reserve Center 8 with responsibility over Naval Reserve Units in Panay, Negros, and Guimaras Island which were formerly under the jurisdiction of the Naval Reserve Center-5 based in Cebu City. On 20 March 2004 the numerical designation of the NRC’s was changed to conform with the unit designation of the Naval Forces, pursuant to GO Nr. 62 PHDP dated 05 April 2004. Thus, NRC1 was renamed to NRC Northern Luzon, NRC2 to NRC National Capital Region, NRC3 to NRC Southern Luzon, NRC4 to NRC West, NRC5 to NRC Eastern Visayas, NRC6 to NRC Western Mindanao, NRC7 to NRC Eastern Mindanao, NRC8 to NRC Western Visayas. At present, there are eight Naval Reserve Centers with sixty-three (63) NROTC units and sixty-three (63) affiliated schools all over the country.
The NRC administers one (1) Naval Reserve Force based in National Capital Region, 14 Naval Reserve Squadrons, 3 Marine Brigade Reserves, 30 Ready Reserve Units, 19 Standby Reserve Units, 27 Disaster Relief and Rescue Units, which can readily respond in times of bad weather condition and other man made calamities, and 122 PN Affiliated Reserve Units (PNARUS) organized in accordance with their line of specialty.
The Naval Reserve Force structure, to include facilities, organization, training and equipage, is presently being developed and streamlined to an attainable size to cope with the PN needs. This is done to expand its standing force in consonance with the PN Modernization Program and in order to be ready when called for mobilization in times of peace, crisis and in the event of war or assist in the socio-economic development of the country.
NRC has continued to prove its efficiency and effectiveness in the pursuit of its mission of organizing, training, equip and administering naval reservists in order to provide the Philippine Navy the base for expansion in the event of war, invasion, rebellion, or disasters/calamities and assist in the socio-economic development of the country. Basically, the development plan for the Naval Reserve Force is to come up with a well-trained, organized, equipped and well-maintained force consisting of Ready Reserves, Standby Reserves, and Retired Reserves mainly filled-up by NROTC graduates who constitute a large pool of qualified reservists from the organization of the Naval Reserve Squadrons, Marine Reserve Battalions and PNARUS within the eight (8) Naval Reserve Centers. Gradually, NRC hopes to fully accomplish its development and build-up goals to complement and support the Modernization Program of the Philippine Navy, in particular, and the Armed Forces of the Philippines, in general, to achieve the noble vision of a progressive and peaceful country by the turn of the century.
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