The 60’s ushered in the era of student activism. The youth, including cadets were affected by the search for national relevance. On September 15, 1968 upon the insistence of graduates and cadets of the UP ROTC, and under the able leadership of Captain Benjamin Vallejo, the now famous “Sunday Soldiers” came into being. A purely voluntary civic-military undertaking sponsored by the University Chapter and the UP DMST, this program was designed to make participants therein to be Citizen Soldiers – good motivated citizens and effective, loyal soldiers. The volunteer concept became popularly known as the “Rainbow” Ranger training concept. Although the membership spread to other institutions, the leadership remained with the UP ROTC and the UP Vanguard.
In November 1971, a whole battalion of Sunday Soldiers and UP Cadet Officers formed the “Liberator Battalion” which policed the elections in the Lanao Provinces under the command of Lt Col Benjamin Vallejo. During its 3-week stint of peacekeeping in Lanao, nine citations for bravery were earned by cadets of the battalion. Cadet Captain Mariano Angeles-was cited for bravery in action against Muslim malefactors in the mountain fastness of Butig, Lanao del Sur on November 9, 1971. Ranger John Fortes of class ’70 and Cadet Captain Eustaquio Granadillos also earned citations for bravery at Puala and Malabang respectively.