He was born gifted and decades of serving in the Israel Air Force (IAF) has added to his giftedness.

An interview with Brigadier General (Res.) Ronen Simchi.

Early years

Ronen's parents, Jewish refugees, arrived to Israel from Yemen, in 1949. They were settled in Moshav Mishan - moshav being a form of a specific rural community, which incorporates a group of residents, mostly farmers, in the framework of the cooperative economy - in the southern coastal plain of Israel, near the city of Ashkelon, in the Hof Ashkelon Regional Council.

Moshav Mishan, nowadays, the largest such community in Israel, its name was taken from a verse in the book of Isaiah, was founded by newly arrive Jewish immigrants from Yemen. For two years Ronen’s parents lived in a tent and in 1951, when the Moshav was formally founded, they moved into their home. The Simchi family, though had no idea what is farming, were given land and a cow, and were told, now you are farmers. An agriculture instructor showed them the initial farming ropes. In time the Simchi family grew roses for export, raised chicken, but most important raised three children, two boys and one girl.

Who is Ronen Simchi?

Ronen Simchi, born and raised in Moshav Mishan, is an IDF (Israel Defense Forces) officer with the rank of Brigadier General, served as a combat pilot in the Israel Air Force (IAF) and commanded the Ramat David and the Nevatim air force bases.

From grade 7th – 12-year-old- Ronen attended the Mayo Boyer boarding high school for gifted children in Jerusalem. The association for advancing education was seeking youth from the periphery with potential. Ronen was one of those kids with great potential. A year later his sister joined him at the Mayo Boyer but mother Simchi could not let the youngest son be schooled so far away from her. He did not continue the Simchi family Mayo Boyer’s tradition. Till today Ronen’s mother is kind of regretful she missed on his growing up years when he could only come home from school every three weeks. There, at the boarding school, friends attest that he used to claim he will become a pilot.

Ronen joined the pilots' course in 1983 and ended it in combat track graduating in March 1986. He served as Skyhawk pilot, F-4 Phantom and F-16. In 2009 he was appointed commander of the Ramat David air force base and in October 2011 he was appointed commander of the Nevatim air force base with the rank of brigadier general and served in this post until May, 2013. From 2013 to 2016 Ronen served as the IDF Attaché in Singapore. In April 2017, BG Ronen Simchi officially ended his service in Israel air force.

Before April 2017 Ronen went through a year of adjustment and acclamation to civilian life. It is very difficult to take off the uniform after a life time in what is told to be the best air force in the world. Today, while he is an ordinary citizen, BG (Res.) Simchi is also a combat pilot’s course instructor and doing his reserve service at the Air Force's military headquarters.

Ronen holds a bachelor's degree in accounting and management, from the University of Haifa. He is a graduate of the National Security College and holds a master's degree in political science and security studies, from the University of Haifa.

 Ronen Simchi the pilot

After years in service

BG (Res.) Ronen Simchi decided to invest time in learning what the world is all about. He wants to see how he can best serve Israel while serving his curiosity and self-interests; while he can contribute to the security of the world and at the same time provide auxiliary tools, in business development, to companies.

Nowadays, BG Ronen Simchi lives in Moshav Kerem Maharal, in northern Israel, close to the city Haifa, in the jurisdiction of Hof HaCarmel Regional Council. This Moshav concentrates on fruit and olive orchards agriculture. The Civilian Ronen Simchi is an adviser to agricultural companies, engaged in the cultivation of seaweed and fish as well as he is engaged in smart technology for cowsheds, to all he brings his ability to manage, strategy and work plan. “Pilots are known for making decisions, see a picture fast, analyze fast and get an immediate decision,” he explained his expertise to me.

BG (Res.) Ronen Simchi, strategic international business development path

His three years as the IDF Attaché in Singapore taught Ronen much. In Singapore he learned about extreme dichotomy. The Singaporean people are lucky for the government they have. While the people are apathetic and do not progress, the government of Singapore, made of excellently trained scholars and executives, who have been trained for the job for years, leads the progress of the country.

In Israel, to the contrary, the government is made of unskilled people, many, I can say, are unfit for the job, who always put the foot on the brakes, with impeding policies. “The luck of the government of Israel is the Israeli individuality, the private citizens who are the cause for Israel remarkable advancements. It does not require a university course, it is in the genes of the Israelis,” is Ronen’s opinion.

These days Ronen assists Israeli companies in international relations, bringing to them his strategic thinking, teaching adaptation of systems to operational areas, management skills and connections, which he collected over the years. After all he commanded a base with 3000 people serving there. Such management skills he can easily apply in civilian life.

RS: “In Israel there are brilliant ideas and amazing products. I met many small, medium and startup companies lacking management and organizational skills. Also lack the ability to understand and engage in international relations. They do not have sufficient connections and the know-how to bridge ties. More so, they lack the know-how in the market place and how to obtain investments. The problem is that they do not understand their insufficiency. Anyone who has an idea and becomes an entrepreneur is in love with his/her technology but does not understand management and marketing in which he/she has hardly any knowledge.”

NG: “Where do you see yourself in the next five years?”

RS: “I want to become an international businessman helping in international relations and bringing strategic thinking ability. I would be happy to contribute to a country where politics brings progress and does not paralyze it. I would be happy to contribute to the state if the system will be cleaner, without people who manage the country in the most amateur manner, who have only their own personal interest and are lining their pockets. Good people do not become MKs (member of Knesset-Israel’s parliament). There is not a single member of the Israeli Air Force a member of the Knesset. I would be happy to contribute to the state if it finally has a strategic plan. If it answers the simple question: What is the country’s vision and the plan for the next five years? To where the country is heading?”

In the meantime, Ronen will put all his skills into the vibrant citizens of Israel.

Israel is the most democratic country in the world. Such democracy comes with a price, of a government in an ongoing disarray. But, in a way, Israel is also a very lucky country. Its military is its solid ground and is its future generations’ foundation. And in that solid foundation there is even more solid future generation. It is Israel’s air force, in active duty servicemen and servicewomen and its veterans. Brigadier General (Res.) Ronen Simchi is just one member of those future generation.

In any country when a child returns from a day in kindergarten the mother asks him or her: what did your teacher ask you today?

But in Israel, the mother of a kindergarten going child will ask: what did you ask your teacher today?

 BG (Res.)
Ronen Simchi in Los Angeles, making a presentation 

I met fascinating Ronen Simchi at a private US-Israel Innovation Bridge Executive Program event, in Beverly Hills, California, put together by Elite Entrepreneur Organization-Southern California Israel Chambers of Commerce (SCICC)-Merage Institute.

This is Israel, this is Ronen Simchi. 

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Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this blog article are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the official position or viewpoint of The Jerusalem Post. Blog authors are NOT employees, freelance or salaried, of The Jerusalem Post.

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