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4ID’s Former rebel turn Soldier, Communication expert wins The Manila Times ‘Tribute to Soldiers’ Awards in Metro Manila

CAMP EVANGELISTA, Cagayan de Oro City – A former rebel turned soldier assigned to the 36th Infantry Battalion in Surigao del Sur and a Communication Chief NCO assigned to 8th Infantry Battalion in Bukidnon, both of the 4th Infantry Division, won the recent inaugural staging of “Tribute to Soldiers” Awards of The Manila Times held at Manila Hotel, Metro Manila on August 28, 2023.

The Manila Times and The Manila Times TV in collaboration with the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) launched the “Tribute to soldiers” awards to raise public awareness of the extraordinary and everyday heroism as well as sacrifices of Filipino soldiers. 4ID and other AFP units field nominees for three categories and two special awards namely, combat, administrative and logistics, and community service while special awards are for education and for best unit.

Hon. Sara Duterte, the Vice President of the Republic of the Philippines, together with Gen. Romeo S. Brawner Jr. presented the award to Seargent (Sgt) William B Tello Jr of the 36IB who won the Distinguished Achievement Award and was recognized for Contribution to the Combat Zone category and to Staff Seargent (SSg) Roseller D Gozo of the 8IB who also won the Distinguished Achievement Award and was recognized for Innovation in Administrative and Logistics Functions category. 

Sgt Tello, a former rebel and a CAFGU member prior to his enlistment into regular force last July 2013, led numerous successful combat and intelligence operations as well as demonstrated outstanding achievement for community service as anchor/broadcaster of the units radio program and speaker during information awareness campaign that mainly aimed   to enlighten the youth from the CTG recruitment schemes. 

He was recognized as the “Best CAA” during the 2013 Philippine Army Day and the 4ID’s Enlisted Personnel of the Year 2022 during the Division’s 53rd Founding Anniversary on February 3, 2023, and recently was adjudged as the Best Enlisted Personnel of the Year during the Philippine Army’s 126th Founding Anniversary Celebration Program on March 22,  2023 at the Headquarters Philippine Army Grandstand, Fort Bonifacio, Metro Manila, where President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. presented the Command Plaque.

Meanwhile, SSg Gozo through his astounding leadership as Section Chief of Communication Section in Signal Platoon, Platoon Headquarters of 8IB exhibited meritorious performance of duty for calendar year 2022. As communication expert of his unit, He ensured that all communications and essential equipment are serviceable and mission-capable such as fixing installed signal towers established in the line companies and patrol bases that are under the battalion area of operations considering that the movement of the operation troops will be closely monitored by the TCP and innovative efforts, repaired defective SatPhone batteries brought significant contributions to the communication requirement of the unit especially the troops assigned in far flung areas and during the conduct of Focused Military Operations (FMO). 

SSg Gozo also received numerous awards and Letter of Commendations from the higher headquarters, Brigade Commander and Battalion Commander for his invaluable performance and devotion to duty that significantly contributed to the overall accomplishments of the unit mission on calendar year 2022.

In a statement, 4ID Commander Major General Jose Maria R Cuerpo II, praised The Manila Times for the said initiative as a fitting and significant recognition that honors soldiers who demonstrated outstanding achievements. As an acknowledgement of 4ID for winning the prestigious awards, out of many nominees among the units of the AFP, MGen. Cuerpo awarded a Plaque of Recognition to SSg Gozo and Sgt Tello.

“The trust and support of the civilian stakeholders whom we oath to protect and secure is what motivates us to do more above and beyond our duties and responsibilities.  Recognizing our soldiers will surely boost our confidence and morale. This will further inspire every soldier to strive for the best in their own respective and unique way. Rest assured that your soldiers, particularly in 4ID, will strive even more for excellence to perform our mandate in the service of the Filipino people,” MGen. Cuerpo said.

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