National Defense Act of 1935

The National Defense Act of 1935 (Commonwealth Act № 1) was passed by the Philippine National Assembly on December 21, 1935. The purpose of this act was to create an independent Philippine military, a move interrupted by the outbreak of the Second World War.

National Defense Act of 1935
National Assembly of the Philippines
CitationCommonwealth Act No. 1
Territorial extentPhilippines
Enacted byNational Assembly of the Philippines
EnactedDecember 21, 1935
SignedDecember 21, 1935
Signed byManuel L. Quezon
Military, national security
Status: In force


This act provided for the creation, by 1946, via an annual appropriation of 16,000,000 pesos, of the following forces:

Office of the Military Advisor

The National Assembly was guided by the Office of the Military Advisor to the Commonwealth Government under the U.S. General Douglas MacArthur.

Military Districts

The act divided the Commonwealth of the Philippines into ten military districts, similar to the prewar corps areas within the US. Each district had a roughly equal population and each was to initially provide 1 reserve division, and ultimately three.

Reserve Training

The Act provided for the drafting of Filipino men, between the ages of 21 and 50, into the 30 reserve divisions. This force was to be raised through 2 training camps, of 20,000 men each, lasting 22 weeks. The camps would be staffed by members of the regular army.

The first group of 20,000 troops was drafted on January 1, 1937, and there were 4,800 officers and 104,000 enlisted men in the reserves by 1939.

Officer Training

For the training of junior officers, the Act provided that a military academy be established with a Cadet Corps strength not to exceed 350 at any one time. As graduates could not be expected until they had completed 4 years of training, selected reservists were selected for training as noncommissioned officers. The best of these were then given basic office training and commissioned as 3rd Lieutenants. Officers were also created through senior-level ROTC courses in colleges and universities.

Training Locations

See also

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