History of the Philippine
The Philippine Military Academy is not a sheer replica of the
occidental academy, but rather an institution unique per se ---
a product of centuries old in influence, a class apart. Thus, it
is not a far possibility that there were earlier
institutionsprior to the Officer’s School established in
Intramuros which served as roots of the present day academy.
The modern history of PMA started in 1905 with the opening of
the Philippine Constabulary School. The Officer’s School, as it
was popularly called, was established in the Sta. Lucia Barracks
inside the walled city, Intramuros on 17 February 1905.
Consequently, the sane authority that established the Officer’s
School moved it to Constabulary Hills, later named Camp Henry T.
Allen in Baguio City on August 1908. this time known as the
Constabulary School, it actually became operational on September
01, 1908 under Major James Quinn.
Initially the school offered a 6-month course but upon the
passage of the Jones Bill, the newly organized Philippine
Legislature decided to elevate the statusof the school. On
February 14, 1916 the Philippine Law-Making body passed Act No.
2605 which introduced massive changes in the institution
including the lengthening the training to a 9-month course.
Likewise, for the first time in history the same legislation
transformed the institution into an Academy and renamed it “
Academia para Officiales del Cuerpo de Policia de Filipinas “ or
the Academy for the Officers of the Philippine Constabulary. And
with thr signing of the Jones Bill into law, only Filipinos were
admitted into the Academy in line with the strong Filipinization
of the government. Subsequent effects of the Act. No. 2605,
however, further lengthened the 9-month course into two years.
Eventually the 2-year curriculum functioned as the transition
period needed by the institution before the curriculum was set
to three years.
On December 08, 1928, the Philippine Legislature passed the Act
No. 3496 installing the name “ Philippine Constabulary Academy “
which became the official name of the Academy for seven years.
Under the said Act which also served the as the “ Academy
Charter “, the curriculum was upgraded to a 3-year course,
becoming an institution with a collegiate standing. The rise of
the Constabulary Academy to a full stature culminated in the
passage of Commonwealth Act No. 1 or National Defense Act – the
first law to be passed by the newly-created Philippine
Commonwealth Congress on December 21, 1935. In signing the new
law, President Manuel L. Quezon reaffirmed the need for a
competent officer’s school and its importance in the building of
a strong Philippines. The National Defense Act also called for
the formation of the Philippine Army and in order to provide
well-trained officers for the army, a provision was made for the
establishment of the Philippine Military Academy and the
extension of the course to a 4-year curriculum, giving the
graduates for the first time, a Bachelor of Science degree.
In view of the projected increase in the strength of the Cadet
Corps, the inadequacy of the old Henry T. Allen was seen. This
compelled the transfer of the new Academy, though temporary, to
a bigger location at the Teacher’s Camp in Forbes Park
Reservation, Baguio City on May 05, 1936. Together with the many
changes introduced into the Cadet Corps Army of the Philippines
(CCAP) was the adoption of the United States Military Academy’s
Honor Code and System. Another salient change was the Adoption
of the Fourth Class System applied to the plebes undergoing
training in the Academy.
The second world war disrupted the training in the Academy. As
the country was engulfed in the flames of war, the Cadet Corps
was deployed in Manila. On December 16,1941, the Cadet Corps
consisting the PMA classes 1942, 1943, 1944, and 1945 was
assembled at the University of Sto. Tomas. They were
distinctively known as of being the only classes to fight while
still cadets, even though they were not able to complete the
required 4-year course and graduate in their destined time.
The Academy rose from the ashes. By June of 1959, the Academy
building, called the Melchor Hall, named after Col. Alejandro
Melchor, the first dean of the Academy, stood ready for
occupancy. A 10-year development program made possible the
completion of other buildings and establishments. Finally making
itself at home in Fort Del Pilar, the Academy moved on to
further establish its premier position in this part of the
The year 1986 would forever be one of the most significant
turning points in our nation’s history--- People Power. While
the revolution was at its peak, the Cadet Corps was armed and
ready, waiting for orders from Gen. Ramos and Minister Enrile to
come down. Though young as they were, they had mature minds of
themselves to think and act appropriately for the call of the
event. They were ready to defend and uphold what was right and
fight for justice’s sake. And as February Revolution swept
President Corazon Aquino to power, a new era for the country
unfolds. The members of the classes of 1986, 1987, 1988, and
1989 were awarded the Presidential Citation Badge given by the
President for the acts of true Courage, Integrity, and Loyalty.
As the country approaches the year 2000, PMA has responded
to the new challenges of time and to the needs of a modern Armed
Forces. As the AFP geared towards modernization, the Academy has
implemented innovations in its curriculum as part of its mission
to provide our Armed Forces competent officers. First to be
implemented was the Tri-Service Curriculum which started in the
Class of 1995. under this new curriculum, cadets will be able to
choose their chosen branch of service, Air Force, Army or Navy,
and to train under it as early as second class year. Then
starting with the Class of 1997, cadets could now attain a
degree of Bachelor of Science Major in Management, Engineering
or Computer Science.
The Academy started accepting female cadets with the Class of
1997 in accordance with the “ Equal Opportunity Act “. The entry
of female cadets was a major development that further fostered
adjustments in the Academy. But as far as training is concerned,
these female cadets have practically undergone the same training
accorded to their male counterparts.
Through the years, the Academy has withstood the changes to
attest to its dynamism. Constantly enduring are the traditions
of Courage, Integrity, and Loyalty. Excellence remains to be an
emphasis, all in the service of God, Country and People.