Philippine Army commanding general Lieutenant General Hernando Iriberri has been named the new Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Chief of Staff.
Iriberri, the military’s 46th chief of staff, replaced outgoing AFP chief Gen. Gregorio Catapang who is retiring tomorrow, July 11, the day he turns 56, the mandatory age of retirement in the AFP.
He bested other contenders for the post, including Southern Luzon Command Lt. Gen. Ricardo Visaya (PMA Class 83), Air Force chief Lt. Gen. Jeffrey Delgado (PMA 82) and Western Command chief Vice Admiral Alexander Lopez (PMA 82).
Iriberri is a member of the Philippine Military Academy Class of 1983 and has more than 30 years experience in active military service.
He was named commanding general of the Philippine Army in February 2014 after serving as spokesman and senior military adviser to then Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin.
Iriberri also served as a platoon leader and company commander of the 23rd Infantry Battalion of the 4th Infantry Division.
He also previously served as commander of the 503rd Infantry Brigade of the 5th Infantry Division, as well as the 7th Infantry Division.
He was also appointed commander of the Task Group Panther “COMAG” of the First Scout Ranger Regiment in Central Mindanao from 1995 to 1996.
Iriberri was a recipient of numerous awards, including five Distinguished Service Stars, two Gold Cross Medals, one Bronze Cross Medal, and several Military Merit Medals and Military Commendation Medals.
He holds a master’s degree in Management and Defense Studies from the University of Canberra.
The newly appointed chief of staff is set to retire in April 2016.