The Philippines is on the front line in the global war on terrorism with recent reports saying that Maute-ISIS remnants are regrouping and preparing to mount additional attacks. Ready to leap into action at a moments notice are the Philippine Scout Rangers; officially, the 1st Scout Ranger Regiment.
A highly trained, multi-skilled, quick reaction force ready to be deployed quickly behind enemy lines at short notice, Philippine Scout Rangers are modelled in part on the US Army Rangers and part on the Alamo Scouts — the U.S. Army 6th Army Special Reconnaissance Unit — during WWII. Anti-guerrilla jungle warfare, intelligence gathering, hostage rescue, urban warfare, and sabotage, are among the skills they hone.
Originally established in 1950, the regiment was disbanded in 1989 over its participation in the coup attempt against the administration of Corazon Aquino, before being reformed in 1991 to combat rising insurgency.
Extensively involved in the ‘Battle for Marawi’ last year, Philippine Scout Rangers were the first elite military unit deployed with the 1st Infantry division to spearhead the battle against the Maute group, also known as the Islamic State of Lanao (ISL), who took over parts of the city, resulting in its evacuation.
Distinguishable by their ‘Tabak Badge’, featuring an upturned sword and the regiment motto “We strike”, becoming a Philippine Scout Ranger is no easy feat.
In this documentary the viewer is provided with a rare, almost voyeur view into the gruelling training — and the high personal cost — that goes into gaining the prestigious ‘Tabak Badge’, whose red piping surround symbolises the blood (and sweat, and tears) of all Philippine Scout Rangers during their training.
Anyone who has ever been enthralled by Hollywood productions portraying the rigorous training the United States marine Corps (USMC) or US Army Rangers (USAR) are subject to will find this documentary equally gripping; the excellent camerawork providing an up close and personal view of some of the finest soldiers in the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and members of the Philippine National Police (PNP) as they attempt to find ‘just a little bit more’ within them self to complete their assigned task.
Trained to strike hard and fast, Philippine Scout Rangers use helicopters, boats, ropes, trucks, trail bikes and any other form of transport to get where they need to, quickly.
But gaining the coveted ‘Tabak Badge’ is not easy. Most who begin the six month training course will not complete it. Occasionally, pursuit of the honour to call oneself a Philippine Scout Ranger will end in death. Of 206 recruits who begin this course only 89 finish it; an attrition rate of almost 57 per cent.
With the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) recently saying it had evidence that remnants of armed groups with ties to Islamic State (IS) are preparing for a additional terrorist attacks, the Philippine Scout Ranger Training School at Camp Mateo Capinpin, in Rizal province, about 57 kilometres (35 mile) east of Manila, is likely to continue being busy.
Sit back and watch the drive, determination, and frustration as Philippine soldiers and police compete for the highly cherished ‘Tabak Badge”, and the opportunity to be on the front line in the Philippines war against terrorism as a Philippine Scout Ranger.
Feature video Military Documentary
- Maute-ISIS remnants scatter into 10 subgroups – PH military (Rappler)
- Battle-tested Scout Ranger takes over AFP civil-military ops (Inquirer.net)
- This is why an Elite Army battalion was deployed in Sulu vs Abu Sayyaf (Update Philippines)
Between November 2010 and February 2012 she was a staff writer at Daylight Online, Nigeria writing on health, fashion, and relationships. From 2010 – 2017 she worked as a freelance screen writer for ‘Nollywood’, Nigeria.
She joined AEC News Today in December 2016.
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