he Philippine Marine Corps' history unfolded during theincumbency of President Elpidio Quirino. Pursuant to AFP GeneralOrder Nr. 319 dated November 2, 1950, the organization of "A"Company, 1st Marine Battalion as a unit of the Philippine NavalPatrol was authorized and thus, the Philippine Marines was formed.However, it was under the mandate of the then Secretary of NationalDefense Ramon Magsaysay that "A" Company was activated on November 7,1950 at the Naval Operating Base in Cavite.Considering the projected dangers of its employment, only volunteerswere accepted to this special unit. Six officers and 206 enlistedpersonnel, mostly World War II veterans, formed the core of thisorganization, which eventually became the cutting edge of the ArmedForces of the Philippines. Then LTSG Manuel Gomez, a graduate ofPhilippine Military Academy Class 41 and a graduate of Armor Tactics inFort Knox Kentucky was designated as the first commanding officer. Uponhim rested the direct responsibility of training, equipping andorganizing the newly established unit.Lieutenant Gomez, in his first meeting with the staff uttered hisvision:
"The task of training this young men into Marines vested upon us: today, as we start training them,we will be striking the first hammer blow in forging the "cutting edge" of the Armed Forces." The Ex-O that time was LTJG Gregorio Lim who served as training and planning officer. The first officersincluded LTJG Fernando Nuevo, LTJG Otillo Jaro, ENS Wilfredo Agaloos, ENS Bergonio Luna, 2LtFrancisco T San Miguel and 2Lt Agapito Natividad. With everything in order, the training began andthe lives of these 1st Marine Company members were never the same again.
After barely five months of training, the unit was ordered to conductits first amphibious assault at Umiray, Quezon on April 19, 1951. Tothe disappointment of the members, however, they seized their firstbeachhead unopposed. Instead, this group of daring warriors had theirbaptism of fire on June 4 of the same year in Nueva Ecija.From the sounding of the reveille to taps, they trained and workedhard in their bid to attain the best in soldiery. When a team of U.S.Marine Drill Instructors arrived during the initial phase of thetraining, Lieutenant Gomez was asked whether the Philippine Marineswould be able to keep up with the outstanding traditions of the U.S.Marines. To this, the young Lieutenant replied:
"The Filipino Marinesdo not intend to bask on the glories earned by the Marines of other countries. When we shall finally assault some bloody beaches, we willstart our own traditions."
Since that daring act in Nueva Ecija, the Marines have never left thecombat zone. They saw action practically in all parts of the country.While engaged in fight against the Huks in Luzon, they also formeddetachments of platoon and squad size units deployed against pirates