The new Chief of Staff UNDOF
January 14, 2013 – Col Cirilito Sobejana from the Philippines took over command as Chief of Staff UNDOF.
At the end of the morning briefing on the 14th January in the Headquarters conference room the new Chief of Staff UNDOF, Col Cirilito Sobejana, took over responsibilities from the outgoing Col Andreas Rotheneder. The event was symbolized by the handover of the "insignia of power" - the duty phones.
After the farewell words of the outgoing COS UNDOF, Col Sobejana thanked his predecessor for an excellent introduction and handover of all agenda items. This declared goal for the next 12 months tour of duty in UNDOF is to keep the high level of professionalism despite facing the most crucial and challenging times in its mission history.
Chief of Staff, UNDOF
Considered as one of the Philippine Army's living heroes, Colonel Cirilito E. Sobejana is known for his heroic combat exploits. He is a recipient of the country's highest military award, the Medal for Valor, an award equivalent to the Congressional Medal of Honor in the United States of America.
Col Sobejana was born on 31 July 1965 in Zamboanguita, Negros Oriental, Philippines. He started his military career when he entered the Philippine Military Academy in 1983 and graduated in 1987. His previous command positions include the following: Company Commander and Battalion Commander of Ranger units; Commandant of the Ranger School; and Group Commander of the Civil-Military Operations Group, Philippine Army. He also held various staff positions in the following capacities: Deputy Operations and Training Officer of the Army Ranger Regiment; Head of the Plans, Policies and Materiel Development Division of the Army Support Command; Chief of the Firepower Division at the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Logistics, J4, Armed Forces of the Philippines; Executive Officer of the Army Resource Management Office; and the Deputy Chief to the Assistant Chief of Staff for Civil-Military Operations, G7, Philippine Army. In 2003 to 2004, he was deployed under the auspices of the United Nations Mission in East Timor (UNMISET) as Military Observer (MILOBS).
Col Sobejana is a Ranger trained; a Special Forces qualified; a Para-trooper; and a Scuba diver. He took NBC Training in Sweden; a graduate of Operations Research Systems Analysis Course at the US Army Logistics Management College, Fort Lee, Virginia, USA; and completed his Advance Security Cooperation Course at Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies, Honolulu, Hawaii, USA. He finished his Command and General Staff Course at the AFP Command and General Staff College and underwent Executive Course on National Security Administration at the National Defense College of the Philippines. He also holds Masters Degree in Public Administration and a fellow on Corporate Governance.
His other awards and recognitions are as follows: Distinguished Conduct Star, Two Distinguished Service Stars, Gold Cross Medal, Two Bronze Cross Medals, Wounded Personnel Medal (Purple Heart), several Military Merit Medals, Commendation Medals, Certificates of Appreciation and Recognition, among others. He was also adjudged as The Outstanding Philippines Soldier (Combat Category) in 1995 and in 2012, he received the Award of Excellence for Public Service from the Governor of his province.
Colonel Sobejana is happily married to the former Edna Iturriaga and they are blessed with five children, namely: Mae Suzanne (23), Mae Suzzette (21), Sheena Joy (19), Sean Jason (14) and Siegfried Joshua (13).