Fil-Ams reenlist to US Navy on PH shores

LOS ANGELES – For five Filipino-American sailors serving under the 7th Fleet flagship USS Blue Ridge, it is a tremendous honor to take their Oaths of Reenlistment to the US Navy on Philippine shores.

The Navy men took advantage of a recent port visit of the flagship to Manila, and had their reenlistment ceremonies done on the deck of the USS Blue Ridge while anchored in their country of origin.

The reenlisting sailors include Chief Personnel Specialist Achilles Amante, Chief Boatswain’s Mate Bryan Barcena, Ship’s Serviceman 1st Class Michel Tolentino, and brothers Jefferson and Jerickson Angcanan – both of whom are Culinary Specialists 3rd Class.

While the Angcanan brothers had their reenlistment ceremony on March 8, the group of Amante, Barcena, and Tolentino did their reenlistment on March 10.

Both of the ceremonies were conducted aboard the flight deck of the Blue Ridge, with the sailors’ family and friends in attendance.

Blue Ridge Administration Officer Lt. Cmdr. Wilfredo Eslao presided as the reenlisting officer for Amante, Barcena, and Tolentino. Eslao, also a Fil-Am, said that he was deeply honored to have administered the Oath of Reenlistment to the sailors.

“I’ve never experienced a reenlistment like this in my career,” Eslao said in a report posted on the Defense Video & Imagery Distribution System (

“These sailors were able to have their ceremony with their friends and loved ones, in a country they called home and left behind so many years ago,” Eslao added.

Amante hails from Tondo, Manila, and was celebrating his 15th year of service with the Navy. His father Achilles and sister Aurora were present at the ceremony. Aurora also serves on the Blue Ridge as a Chief Personnel Specialist.

Amante said that he is very proud of his Philippine heritage and that it is a great honor to reenlist in the Navy.

“I can’t believe that I was able to do it here in the Philippines,” Amante said in the report.

Barcena, a native of Davao City, joined the US Navy in 1997. He reenlisted for his last six years of duty as a sailor. Barcena said that it was amazing to have the opportunity to reenlist on Philippine shores.

“I can’t think of a better place to do it than here,” Barcena said in the report.

The Angcanan brothers, both Cavite natives, attended basic training together. Jerickson said that he and his brother Jefferson are proud to serve in the US Navy.

“My family appreciates us for serving in the Navy, and that helps make it all worth it,” Jerickson said in the same report.

(With reports from Defense Video & Imagery System)

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