11th Secretary of National Defense

August 28, 1957 to May 18, 1959

Jesus M. Vargas was a soldier and civic leader. He was born on March 22, 1905 in Manila to Braulio Vargas and Petrona Miranda.

He finished Bachelor of Science at the Philippine Constabulary Academy in 1929. He also graduated from the Field Artillery School in Fort Sill, Oklahoma in 1940 and the Command and General Staff College, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas in 1947.

Among his various positions were as follows:

World War II veterans, served Philippine Army, 1937-1951; PC, 1930-1935; aide-de-camp to the Philippine President and Commanding Officer, President Guard Battalion, 1943; Executive Officer, Ground Force, 1947-1948; Superintendent, Manila ROTC, 1948-1949; Commander, 5th Battalion Combat Team (Huk campaign), 1949-50;

Deputy Chief of Staff, AFP 1950-1951; Vice Chief of Staff, AFP, 1951-1953; Chief of Staff, AFP, 1953-1956; military adviser, Southern Asia Treaty Organization (SEATO), 1954-1956; retired Lieutenant General, Armed Forces of the Philippines; Secretary of National Defense, 1957-1959;

Board Chairman, National Waterworks & Sewerage Authority, 1957-59; president, Philippine American Management & Financing Company, 1961-65; Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Ramon Magsaysay Award Foundation, 1962-65; and secretary general, SEATO, 1965-72.

His titles and honors include:

Gold Cross, Distinguished Service Star, Long Service medal, Military Commendation ribbon, Army Commendation ribbon, Philippine Republic Presidential citation badge, Distinguished Unit Badge.

Luzon Campaign medal, Philippine Defense medal and ribbon, Philippine Liberation medal and ribbon, Anti-dissidence Campaign ribbon,

American Defense Services medal and ribbon, Asiatic-Pacific War Theater Campaign medal and ribbon, World War II Victory medal and ribbon,

Order of Military Merit (Taiguk), Republic of Korea; Order of the White Elephant, Thailand; and Military Merit Medal (degree of commander).

Vargas was married to Rosalina Morillo in 1931 and had four children.