I was a former Citizens Army Training (CAT) Officer in High School with the rank of Major (S1) Adjutant of our battalion. Being one was among the most unforgettable moments of my high school years and maybe of my life. I remember we were the most hard trained cadet officers of the entire batch of officers because we were all male trainees with no assigned teacher to supervise our summer cadet training. So higher year officer can do whatever obstacle and punishment they wanted us to have.

I will never forget the reliability and durability of 5.11 Boots our running core-commander was using. It was gift a to him by his aunt from the states. First we laughed at him because he was wearing different types of combat shoes. We were wearing our local combat shoes with a hard top and sole. We believed since it was a regular issue from our soldier from the Armed Forces it could survive what ever terrain and sacrifices we had during our summer training. While he was wearing light rubberized tactical boots, we believed that it could not finish a one month cadet officer’s summer training.

During the entire training we jogged for 2-3 kilometers in rough, rocky muddy and wet road everyday. We passed by sugar cane plantations and small lakes too. Aside from 3-4 hours marching drills amidst the rain or shine, we also did obstacle course in similar weather. We survived push ups, duck walks and squatting that could possibly tear and wear not only our shoes but also our body.

A month of summer trainings is unforgettable, hard, tiring but we enjoyed it all. Nobody from us backed out and everyone was successful in undergoing all those trainings. We passed the training and became officers. With the experience and discipline we had, we can leverage our strength not only as high school officer but also even in our lives. We earned camaraderie and friendship that bonded us the entire batch of trainees and that cannot be forgotten. We damaged our combat shoes, pants and shirts and we also experienced cuts, burns and minor injuries but never our intention to become and officer. But believed our Core commander was still using his 511 boots without damage during our high school military presentation the time we were already an officers.