Almost three years ago, Or Levy and Eden Adler marched almost 60 kilometers
together to finish their basic training as paratroopers.
This week, the
two friends embarked on the “beret march” for the third and final time, this
time as second-lieutenants.
Inseparable, they were two of several platoon
commanders who had led hundreds of Paratroop Brigade recruits from Eucalyptus
Park in Beit Shemesh to Ammunition Hill in Jerusalem. The men marched from
Wednesday afternoon until Thursday morning.
They ran the last 5
kilometers, carrying weighted stretchers, as family and friends cheered them
The brigade held a swearing-in ceremony at Ammunition Hill in the
The recruits received their red berets, and Paratroop Brigade
commander Col. Eliezer Toledano addressed the crowd.
It was the last time
Adler, 21, and Levy, 23, will serve in the same battalion, although they are
certain their friendship will last a lifetime.
While Levy will soon join
the brigade’s Special Troops Battalion, specifically its Engineering Platoon,
Adler will remain in the 101st “Python” Airborne Battalion.
“I know it’s
going to be rough,” Adler said about not serving with Levy.
Adler is from
Kfar Vradim, near Ma’alot-Tarshiha, and Levy is from Kibbutz Yiron, in the
When they met, they discovered that they had been
living near the Lebanese border. Both men enjoy the outdoors.
said, they clicked because they have matching values and goals.
wanted to become officers who mentored recruits, and they wanted to help
teenagers become soldiers. Thus they became officers in the 101st
Levy was first to complete his officer training, which
separated the friends for four months. Adler finished his soon afterward, and
ever since, they have served side-by-side. They explained how invaluable their
friendship had been in the army.
“You need companionship and trust,” Levy
said. “You need someone looking out for you.”
Adler added that in war,
your best friend is the person fighting with you. He will sit next to you. He
will sleep beside you. He will be with you during your worst
Recruit Naor Perez credits Levy and Adler for demonstrating the
importance of friendship in the military. He just finished his basic training
and has been serving in the IDF for less than eight months.
can learn how to fight, you need to learn friendship,” Perez
“Friendship in the IDF is different from friendship anywhere else.
In the IDF, you struggle together... You learn what friendship is. This is what
I learned from them [Levy and Adler].”
Citing Adler and Levy’s friendship
as an example, an IDF spokeswoman said that “without true friends you trust, you
All of their fathers speak about their friends from the
army, and every Israeli boy wants to experience it, Levy said.
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