Theodore Karl Quijano, Filipino Graduate with honors at US Air Force Academy
Theodore Karl Quijano of Dipolog city and the eldest in a brood of seven was bitten early by the lure of flight and that has taken him all the way to Colorado, where he graduates next week from the US Air Force Academy.
“I grew up right next to the airport. I saw planes land and take off every day and the sight made me dream to be able to fly those aircraft one day,” said Theodore Karl Quijano.
Quijano spent three years at the University of the Philippines (UP) campus in Diliman but due to lack of financial support, he decided to apply at the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) in Baguio City where he not only got a free education, he also got a modest stipend.
Later, Theodore Karl Quijano took the entrance test and qualified for the United States Service Academies – one of the most rigorous examinations that allows only the brightest and strongest candidates from all over Southeast Asia to join West Point (Army), Annapolis (Navy and Marines) and the Air Force Academy.
Theodore Quijano not only learned to fly, he soared in the Academy, achieving feats that should make Filipinos proud.
He was given command of Cadet Squadron 10 last Fall, assigned as Cadet Wing Chief of Standardization and Evaluation, Superintendent of CS-10, he belongs to the Superintendent’s (overall excellence) and Dean’s (academic excellence) list, and will get his Parachutist Badge, Space Wings (for completing the space operations program that taught him, among others, how to operate satellites), Glider Pilot Wings and the Powered Flight Wings. In addition, Quijano ranked 2nd in athletics for his batch and is the only Filipino cadet (out of 15 who preceded him in the USAFA since 1956) to get a perfect physical fitness score in the Academy’s 500 Club.
As part of the graduating class of 2013, he marches with honors at Falcon Field next Wednesday. Quijano will also receive the Outstanding Basic Cadet Award from the Academy’s Commandant for finishing 1st in the class of 1,300 cadets for military excellence.
After the graduation ceremonies, the foreign cadets are usually ushered to a separate ceremony where they will get their officer’s commission from their respective countries. The Philippine Air Force’s DC-based military attaché, Col. Arnel Duco is expected to swear him in as a 2nd Lieutenant in the PAF.
Theodore Quijano revealed his ultimate inspiration-his family and siblings.
“My father inspired me with stories about successful people both in the military and corporate worlds, and how I should work to be just like them when I grew up and help send my siblings to school.”
“But most of all I learned from my parents the value of living with honor, integrity and service to others,” Quijano said.
“I intend to serve my country to the utmost of my abilities,” Quijano stressed.
“I will use what I learned here to be an asset for change and innovation in the military. I will do what I can at my level to hopefully affect the bigger system. And I hope to fly the Philippine’s aircraft soon.”
Source: ABS-CBN news
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