HISTORY OF THE 8TH
The 8th Infantry (STORM TROOPERS) Division, Philippine
Army traces its roots from the 8th Infantry Brigade
(SEPARATE) of the Philippine Army which was organized
pursuant to General Orders Nr 123, GHQ, AFP dated 26
The Brigade was first based in Brgy Santol, San Miguel,
Leyte and its AOR covered the whole of Eastern Visayas
of Region 8 composed of six (6) provinces, three (3)
of which are in Samar Island, two (2) in Leyte and one
(1) in Biliran Province.
The 8th Infantry Brigade (SEPARATE), Philippine Army
drew its personnel and equipage from the 3rd Infantry
(SPEARHEAD) Division, Philippine Army. It was initially
composed of two (2) Tactical Brigades, the 1/8 Infantry
Brigade and the 2/5 Infantry Brigade with six (6) Battalions
(19th, 20th, 34th, 43rd, 52nd and 56th).
With Samar Island as the center of gravity and for
better command and control, the 8th Infantry Brigade
(SEPARATE) transferred its headquarters from Brgy Santol,
San Miguel, Leyte to Camp Lukban, Maulong, Catbalogan,
Samar on 17 October 1987.
Shortly after, the 56th Infantry Battalion was shipped
to Metro Manila for retraining with the 14th Infantry
Battalion as its replacement.
On August 1, 1988, the 8th Infantry Brigade (SEPARATE),
Philippine Army was posted as a regular Division pursuant
to General Orders Nr 471, GHQ, AFP dated August 2, 1988.
During the first and second semesters of Calendar Year
1988, the 8th Infantry (STORM TROOPERS) Division, Philippine
Army became the number one PA unit, P-wide. This was
the result of the successful conduct of major operations
within the region.
As a tribute to the remarkable achievements of the
8th Infantry (STORM TROOPERS) Division, Philippine Army,
the "Reporter", a news magazine in Tacloban City in
its December 1988 issue, chooses the officers and men
of the 8th Infantry Division as Military Men of the
In grateful appreciation of these accomplishments,
the people of Samar expressed their honest sentiments
through a resolution passed by the Sangguniang Panlalawigan
held at the Capitol Session Hall of Catbalogan, Samar.
The people of Samar have spoken that our Command is
composed of disciplined, dedicated and efficient officers
and men who are truly and religiously devoted in the
discharge of their duties and responsibilities towards
the fulfillment of its mission.
In 1992, 8ID declared a unilateral SOMO (suspension
of offensive military operations) and launched the "UP-UP
Samar Island" movement. This thrust had numerous programs
that encouraged the remnants of the communist rebels
to go down from the mountains and join the mainstream
of the society. These programs were "The Journey to
the Future", - a trip of Samareņos residing in Manila
or Balikbayans towards Borongan, Eastern Samar, the
information caravan, athletic competitions, medical
civic actions, healthy baby contests and socio-economic
programs such as reforestration, hogs and poultry raising.
The Army in Region 8 gradually regained the people's
faith, trust and confidence even as the CPP/NPA political
infrastructures continued to suffer irreparable damages
which setback their timetable for victory by about ten
For the period, the insurgency problem confronting
the Island of Samar continues to decline due to the
Command's massive sustained operations.
At present, the AOR of the 8th Infantry (STORM TROOPERS)
Division, Philippine Army covers the whole of Eastern
Visayas (Islands of Samar, Leyte and Biliran). It comprises
of six (6) provinces, four (4) cities, one hundred thirty
nine (139) municipalities and four thousand four hundred
twenty one (4,421) barangays or 10% of the total barangays
nation wide. It has a total registered population of
3.9 million as of 2000 census and a land area of 21,431.7
square kilometers which represents 7.2% of the country's
total land area. The Regional Center is the City of
Tacloban, around 107 kms south from this headquarters.
The 8th Infantry (STORM TROOPERS) Division has three
(3) Tactical Brigades (801st Inf Bde, 802nd Inf Bde
and 803rd Inf Bde) and nine (9) Infantry Battalions
(14th IB, 19th IB, 20th IB, 34th IB, 43rd IB, 46th IB,
52nd IB, 62nd IB and 63rd IB) confronting the CPP/NPA
within their respective AOR.
The 801st Infantry Brigade presently based in Camp
Eugenio Daza, Brgy Fatima, Hinabangan, Samar covers
the whole of Eastern Samar and southern parts of Samar
from Hinabangan down to Marabut with 14th IB, 52nd IB,
82nd RC and 83rd RC as its maneuver units.
The 802nd Infantry Brigade based in Brgy Abuyugon,
Burauen, Leyte covers the three (3) provinces of Leyte,
Southern Leyte, and Biliran with 43rd Infantry Battalion
and 19th Infantry Battalion as its maneuver units.
The 803rd Infantry Brigade based in Camp Sumoroy, Catarman,
Northern Samar covers the entire province of Northern
Samar and northern parts of Samar from Paranas upward
to Calbayog City with 34th Infantry Battalion, 63rd
Infantry Battalion 81st Recon Company and 3rd Scout
Ranger Company as its maneuver units.
46th Infantry Battalion was activated and refilled
on April 01, 2003 pursuant to GO Nr 146, HPA dated 06
Mar 2003 and is operationally controlled by the Division
On June 28, 2003, 14th Infantry Battalion was pulled-out
from Jolo, Sulu and redeployed to 8ID AOR to reinforce
the thinly disperse forces in the region.
After eight (8) years of stint in Mindanao, 62nd Infantry
Battalion arrived in 8ID AOR on August 16, 2003. Upon
arrival, the battalion undergo one (1) month refresher
training at Camp Daza, Bgy Fatima, Hinabangan, Samar.
It will be placed OPCON to 801st Infantry Brigade upon
completion of training.
As force multiplier, the Command is controlling 2,262
CAAs composed of 40 CAA companies deployed strategically
in the AOR. Likewise, one (1) special CAA company is
deployed in PASAR, Isabel, Southern Leyte.
To date, the 8th Infantry (STORM TROOPER) Division,
Philippine Army remains till in promoting peace and
order in the AOR. The collective achievements through
the years have helped attain the increased level of
security in the region. The Command had been successful
in carrying out its assigned combat mission. It has
shown persistence, flexibility and commitment in both
counter insurgency operations and public service.