Conference Overview of the 12th Philippine Army Senior Leaders Conference

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Since 2004, the Philippine Army Senior Leaders Conference (PA SLC) has been one of the highlights of the organization’s Founding Anniversary. At the strategic level, the PA SLC serves as the venue for Army Senior Leaders to be informed with the current strategic security landscape and other developments that have significant impact to the organization. Notably, it aims to hone the leadership skills of Army Commanders in proactively addressing the current and future security threats and challenges. Likewise, the conference has become a venue for introducing new ideas and promoting organizational growth through encouraging strategic thinking within the Philippine Army. Hence, the PA SLC also serves as a Leadership Development Program for Army Senior Leaders to strengthen their capacity for effective and efficient decision-making process and emphasizes leadership as a driving force of a military organization.

“Preparing for the Future: Capacitating the Land Force Against the Challenges of Hybrid Threats.”

With the current strategic security environment that is characterized as volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous (VUCA), there is an increasing uncertainties of war and emergence of new challenges. The rapid globalization and technological revolutions have led to heightened competition among state actors, great power politics, and most notably, empower non-state actors to pursue their own interests. In the future, the Philippine Army will likely to confront at least three types of threats namely: a technologically-advance conventional threat with the ability to project both regular and irregular forces, non-state asymmetrical threats such as terrorist organizations, and internal destabilizing threats. These threats may merge with one another to attain the same goal and develop into hybrid threats which target state vulnerabilities through terror attacks, disinformation, cyber disruption, and exploitation of disruptive technologies, among others.

Therefore, it is imperative for the Philippine Army to continue developing capabilities to address the hybrid threats and warfare in the years to come. As such, the Philippine Army, intends to further examine hybrid threats and forecast the future nature of warfare of this form of threat. Moreover, there should be a discussion about the innovative ways of countering hybrid threats and provide a comprehensive understanding on how they thrive in this age of Information Technology. Reflecting on modern leadership philosophies to develop Army Senior leaders personally and professionally for them to effectively respond to the challenges imposed by hybrid threats will also be considered for this year’s conference.
The theme of the 12th PA SLC will be “Preparing for the Future: Capacitating the Land Force Against the Challenges of Hybrid Threats” which contemplates on the future of conflict especially about the role of military to face the challenges of hybrid threats as an evolving threat to national security. Bearing in mind that hybrid threats are mixture of both state and non-state actors, they can also have the capabilities to employ conventional and unconventional means and to target state’s vulnerabilities.

ABOUT PHILIPPINE ARMY SENIOR LEADERS CONFERENCE SEAL

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Any event is always represented by symbols that will epitomize its objectives as well as the organization. As such, the Philippine Army Senior Leaders Conference for its 11th year plunged to the new task to discuss comprehensively the evolution and impact of violent extremism and terrorism in the country. To symbolize the commitment of the Philippine Army’s desire to hone and develop its leaders to be proactive in responding to this urgent security threat, the PA SLC seal was given form:

The Army Seal captures the historical events descriptive of the Filipino forces’ libertarian struggles from the “Katipunan” to the present-day Philippine Army. It is symbolic of the glory and aspirations that remain aglow in the Filipino soldiers’ heart to preserve liberty, freedom, and democracy in the country. The current Army Seal is basically that of a pentagonal shield that signifies defense which is the Army’s primary and ultimate mission.

The Arrow pointing upwards to the right symbolizes the upsurge endeavor to be acted upon by the Army so as to implement programs and projects oriented towards improvement and development, not only for the benefit of the organization but for the good of the whole Philippines. Its inclination to the upper right signifies what is “right” in agreement with society, adhering to organization’s mission to do what is honorable and just in accordance to the rules of law and humanity.

The Path, as revealed, represents that the Army is on its bold journey towards change and embodies by the path where the Army intends to follow in order to achieve their objectives headed for organization’s development and growth.

The SLC, led by senior leaders of the Army, upholds the Arrow as its base and the Path. This primarily points to the senior leaders’ chief role of fulfilling the objectives of the organization with the conference as the main avenue for communication.

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