Bataan 1st District Representative Geraldine Roman, the country’s first transgender congresswoman, is now also the Philippines’ first transgender military officer after taking her oath as a Reservist Officer of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) on Wednesday at the Department of National Defense (DND) Hall of Flags in Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City.
According to a press release from the DND, Roman donned the rank of Lieutenant Colonel in a ceremony administered by Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, which was also attended by AFP Chief of Staff General Rey Leonardo Guerrero and other defense and security officials.
“I commend the AFP for allowing Filipino LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender) members to serve their country in uniform,” Roman said in a tweet on Thursday via @geraldinebroman.
In another tweet, she shared photos of the ceremony with the hashtag #ServiceKnowsNoGender.
— Geraldine Roman (@geraldinebroman) February 14, 2018
Roman announced her application to the AFP Reserve Force just this month, the DND said.
“War and disaster do not recognize gender. It affects everybody, and everyone must defend and serve our communities and our country. That is why I am joining the AFP Reserve Force,” the DND cited her as saying.
Two other lawmakers, Northern Samar 2nd District Representative Edwin Ong and Zamboanga Del Sur 1st District Representative Divina Grace Yu, also took their oath as Lieutenant Colonel in the Army’s Reserve Force.