By James Mananghaya Updated February 14, 2009 12:00 AM
MANILA, Philippines – Make way for the army of “kulkats” (kulang sa sukat) as the minimum height for recruits is now five feet for both males and females.
Previously men must stand 5’4” and women 5’2” before they can join the Army.
Lt. Col. Romeo Brawner, Army spokesman, said skilled and talented applicants have been rejected because they failed to meet the height requirement.
“We realized that not all Filipinos are blessed with height, but are nonetheless blessed with talent, and of course they want to serve their country,” he said.
Brawner said the AFP deputy chief for personnel has approved the new height requirement for Army recruits.
In the past, the Army lowered the height requirement to recruit Cordillerans into the Mountain Battalion that saw action in Mindanao during the campaign against the Moro National Liberation Front, he added.
Members of the Mountain Battalion proved that short people could be soldiers, he said.
Brawner said the Army is set to recruit some 3,000 men for an additional six new battalions for internal security duties.
The funds for the recruitment of new soldiers have already been approved and would come from the AFP budget for 2009, he added.
Army applicants should be natural-born Filipino citizens; at least high school graduates with technical or special skills needed in the AFP; at least 18 years old on the actual start of training and must not reach 23 years old by April 1; unmarried and childless, must be of good moral character and garnered a score of 80 in the AFP Aptitude Test, he added.