IDF cadets graduate from Israel’s ‘West Point’
Fifty-eight IDF officers complete 2-year-course at the elite Tactical Command College; Gantz attends ceremony.
IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz Photo: Ori Shifrin/IDF Spokesman
Fifty-eight IDF officers have completed a two-year-course at the elite Tactical
Command College, marking the achievement with a ceremony on Sunday attended by
IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz.
The college, set up in 1999 by
former chief of staff Lt.- Gen. (res.) Amnon Lipkin Shahak, is designed to
create personal and professional tools for company commanders serving in the
ground forces, and has trained some 600 officers since its
“Some of these officers are now commanding brigades, and
others have risen higher,” the chief instructor at the college, Brig-Gen. Gideon
Sharav, told The Jerusalem Post.
On the academic front, the students
obtain a BA from Bar- Ilan University, where they study the Middle East region,
political trends, and the rise of Islamist movements, as well as relations
between the military and society. “They [examined] how the Muslim Brothers came
to power in Egypt,” Sharav said.
At the same time, the officers study
military strategy, defense affairs, historical battle analyses – from the World
War II to the Second Lebanon War – and train in live fire exercises.
are the Israeli West Point,” Sharav said, adding, “the main difference is that
the cadets there begin with no experience, receiving basic training and an
officer’s course. We are closer to the UK model, where people with some training
arrive. Our cadets were platoon commanders when they arrived, and some of them
took part in combat, such as Operation Cast Lead.”
When the soldiers
complete the course, they are aged 25- 26, have a BA, and are set to take
command of some 100 soldiers.
“I am confident they have all of the tools
to succeed in their task. This makes them more ready,” Sharav said.
cadets are also taken to active front line scenes where, “if anything were to
happen, [it] will happen there,” and train in map reading and
During the graduation ceremony, Gantz said, “Every IDF
commander understands the significance for the security of Israel of being
prepared and alert. Every company commander, every battalion commander, and
every major general knows that the IDF can’t rest on its laurels when we are not
in a state of war or in an emergency.”
He added, “We must prepare with
vigor for any scenario that can endanger Israeli security – this is the eternal
promise of the IDF.”