LAS NAVAS, Northern Samar, Dec 7 -- First Lieutenant Michelle Estares, the lone female officer of 20IB has been designated as Commanding Officer of the newly activated Delta Company in a ceremony held at Headquarters 20th Infantry Battalion on December 5, 2019.
In accordance with the Philippine Army's Force Structure, every Infantry Battalion is mandated to activate a Delta Company that will oversee the territorial forces in its area of operations. Hence, pursuant to General Order Nr 1343, Headquarters Philippine Army dated November 6, 2019, 20IB's Delta Company is hereby activated effective November 1, 2019, and Bravo Company, 52IB is unfilled effective on same date. The nucleus of the newly activated Delta Company comprises the personnel and equipment of the aforementioned unfilled unit.
Named as Delta "Daggers" Company, 1Lt Estares will lead the unit to provide command and control (C2) to four (4) CAFGU Active Auxiliary Companies (CAACs) and 13 CAA Patrol Bases/Detachments deployed within the 2nd District of Northern Samar.
Lieutenant Colonel Juan Gullem, 20th Infantry Battalion Commander said the designation of 1Lt Estares will strengthen the interoperability between the maneuver units and territorial forces.
"In this changing operational environment, we should not just rely on the strength of our men, but also invest on the capabilities of women. A lady leading from the front, I therefore challenge 1Lt Estares to be resolute in the performance of her duties that the 20th Infantry Battalion, the 8th Infantry Division, and the Philippine Army as an institution can be proud of," he added.
1Lt Michelle Floranda Estares is one of the few female officers to embark a career in the field. Other Army female officers who made a remarkable achievements in combat arms include Lieutenant Colonel Leah Lorenzo Santiago and Lieutenant Colonel Queenie Parojinog Gullem (wife of CO, 20IB), whom in their Company Grade years had commanded an Infantry Company and a Field Artillery Battery, respectively.
Lieutenant Colonel Leah Santiago is currently commanding the 9th Field Artillery Battalion, Army Artillery Regiment, while Lieutenant Colonel Queenie Gullem is due for deployment abroad as a Military Observer to the United Nations Mission in Central Africa. (20IB, DID, PA)