First Beduin tank commander: My parents are proud of me

Cpl. Mustafa Tabash is about to complete tank commanders course; "This is my opportunity to show my abilities,” he says.

October 28, 2013 03:47
1 minute read.
Cpl. Mustafa Tabash, the IDF's first Beduin tank commander

Cpl. Mustafa Tabash, the IDF's first Beduin tank commander37. (photo credit: IDF Spokesperson)

Cpl. Mustafa Tabash is about to complete the tank commanders course, and looks forward to taking up the job for which he has trained hard in recent months.

“The course was difficult. It involved being in the field a lot, and showering once a week,” he said recently. “We do everything with a smile and encourage one another.

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“It’s marvelous to be the first Beduin in the Armored Corps. Because I am the Beduin and the first in the course, I’m always being watched, and this is my opportunity to show my abilities,” he said.

“When it’s hard for the other soldiers, they look at me, who as a Beduin did not have to enlist, and this helps them and sets an example,” Tabash said.

“We [the four-man crew] sleep and work together in this tank and look out for one another. We’re more than brothers. “My parents were proud of me when I enlisted,” Tabash continued.

The corporal said his military service was enabling him to better integrate into the wider society.

“I very much want to become an officer and continue in the Armored Corps,” he said.

Tabash said he knew he wanted to join the IDF and become a combat soldier ever since he finished high school.

He joined the 7th Armored Brigade, where he served as an ammunition loader, a task he said he enjoyed, and took up operational security duties in the West Bank.

Upon joining the tank commander’s course, Tabash met commanders who instilled in him the idea that “there are no problems – only solutions” – an idea he said he only came to understand during the course.

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