The once male-dominated military profession has become the same arena where modern women have equally strutted their aggressive leadership prowess. Some are now handling sensitive and high-ranking positions, expelling the wrong notion that women’s role are limited and should only be confined at the backseat.
Master Sergeant Rosa Maria C Lanila (SC) Philippine Army became one of the living testimonies of women’s continuous resolve to create a well-made niche in the society. Lanila was hailed as the First Woman Sergeant Major after she assumed post as the Division Sergeant Major of the 9th Infantry Division, Philippine Army on January 15, this year.
Lanila is a product of the AFP Sergeant Major Course Class 09-14 at Non Commissioned Officer (NCO) Academy, Training and Doctrine Command, Philippine Army. Graduating on top in the academics, it is not surprising that she was also adjudged as Best in Staff Study in a Class of 56.
Philippine Army 9th Infantry Division Spokesperson Captain Mardjorie Panesa shared that Lanila’s assumption as the first Lady Sergeant Major also boosted the morale of female officers and those who are contemplating on joining the military. She narrated Lanila’s humble beginnings and the officer’s accomplishment that made her worthy of her current position.
“She hails from
San Jose, Pili, Camarines Her dream of becoming a “lady
in uniform” started when she was a young CAT Officer, continued as ROTC Officer
at the Camarines Sur State Agricultural College (CSSAC) in Pili, Camarines Sur
where she earned Bachelor of Science Degree In 1986. She finally entered her
military career as 2LT in the Reserve Force, AFP (Inact) in July 1987.” Sur.
Before her present designation, Lanila was the Battalion Sergeant Major of the Service Support Battalion (SSBn) from September 1, 2014 up to the time she assumed her present post at 9th Infantry (Spear) Division, Philippine Army. She became instrumental in promoting the welfare and professional growth of SSBn personnel in her short stint in the battalion.
Her hard work and dedication to the service earned her various Awards and Decorations as recipient of 30 Military Merit Medals, 23 Military Commendation Medals, Long Service Medal, AFP Conduct Medal, Presidential Unit Citation Badge, Military Civic Action Medal, Disaster Relief and Rehabilitation Operations Ribbon, Anti-Dissidence –Campaign Medal & Ribbon, Luzon Anti-Dissidence – Campaign Medal & Ribbon 137 Letters Of Commendation and Certificates of Appreciation and Recognition.
In 2005, her book entitled “2nd Infantry (Jungle Fighter) Division History” was published. This has earned her an Outstanding Achievement Medal by the Secretary of National Defense during the Philippine Army 105th Anniversary celebration at Fort Andres Bonifacio Metro Manila.
She is an Agronomist and a Researcher by profession. She is happily married to Dental Technologist Leonardo A. Lanila Jr., who also works in the military. They are blessed with three children, Mark Leo who is a graduate of Civil Engineering at the Ateneo De Naga University, Jonathan who graduated with AB Communications degree and is now working as cameraman in ABS-CBN’s weekly magazine show MAGTV NA Oragon and Lhea Roselle, a 4th Year Dentistry student.
Lanila will not only serve as an inspiration to all women who are aspiring to make a difference. She will continue to serve as a testament of what women empowerment truly means. She will continually prove that women’s participation is fundamental to the progress of the economy in the achievement of sustainable development.