By Mortz Ortigoza
An officer in the armed forces who is assigned to the official staff of an ambassador, consul general, or minister.
Eight years ago today at the Veterans Day I saw a dark “bald shaved” guy wearing a military blue blouse embellished by military decorations. He was seated near Pangasinan “Acting Governor” Ming Rosario.
“Is he the head of the army band brought by NOLCOM Lt. Gen. Gaudencio Pangilinan?” I posed to Ming.
“That guy comes from the U.S Embassy. He is the military attaché representing Harry Thomas,” Acting Guv Ming told me.
“Who is Harry Thomas?” Media men Romeo Boncato of CNN (Camarines News Network) and Alex Tulao of BBC (Basilan BuSayap Corporation) simultaneously asked me.
“Geez my men, he is the U.S ambassador to the Philippines. He is the look alike of Light Heavyweight boxer James “Fat Man” Toney. He is a good man like you. The only difference is his IQ and yours. He sometimes speaks Tagalog,” I told the wide-eyed and enlightened members of the fourth-estate.
“Are you a major?” I asked the guy in the decorated blue dress by pointing to his silver oak leaf at his shoulder.
“Naah, I’m a Lt. Colonel,” he retorted.
“Ah, Philippine Armed Forces are not really a copy-cat of the U.S military. A single sun represents a rank of major in the Philippines. In the U.S, the distinction is not on the quantity of leaf but on the colour of leaf or whatever symbol there is. In the US a silver oak leaf identifies a Lt. Colonel, while a gold oak leaf represents a major,” I told myself after I read the Wikipidea in my laptop.