Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman speaks to the press at the United Nations General Assembly.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
New defense minister Avigdor Liberman (Yisrael Beytenu) is not famed for his military career.
Having made aliya in 1978 from Chișinău, capital of former Soviet Union republic of Moldova, Liberman was drafted to the IDF through the "Shlav bet" stream, which is intended for older citizens immigrating to the country who are still eligible for IDF service.
Reacting to the "many" inquiries he has received concerning his relatively short army career, Liberman posted on his Facebook page Thursday, "so yes, you know I was not the chief of staff... but here's what you might not know and for everyone who wants to know."
In a suitably military style, Corporal Avigdor Lieberman - Military ID 3465045 - reintroduced himself to the nation.
It was perhaps an unintended contrast to when then-Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, who had a far more storied military career, introduced himself to the US Congress in 1994 as “I, Military I.D. Number 30743 Yitzhak Rabin,” in the run-up to signing an historic peace treaty with Jordan.
After completing Rifleman 03 basic training, Liberman served between 1982-1983 as an NCO for territorial security duties in Hebron, as part of the military administration controlling the city. As regular service ranks are obtained on merit of time served, the defense minister only obtained the rank of corporal, two ranks below that of First Sergeant, which soldiers who serve a full regular service receive.
Upon the completion of his regular service, Liberman then undertook a course and continued to serve regularly in the reserves as a soldier in the Artillery Corps until 1996, when he began working as the CEO of the prime minister's office under Benjamin Netanyahu, then in his first term.
"And one more thing in conclusion," Liberman added after listing his qualifications, "every soldier who enlists is familiar with the adage coined by Napoleon: Every soldier carries a marshal's baton in his backpack. So now every soldier in the IDF knows he also carries the baton of the defense minister - and this is certainly a credit to Israel!"