IDF reservists 311.
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
Following a three-year slump, the IDF has succeeded in improving the quality of
its officer corps.
The slump began following the Second Lebanon War in
the summer of 2006 and lasted until 2009. A top officer in the IDF Manpower
Directorate told The Jerusalem Post that due to the military’s poor showing in
the war, quality combat soldiers kept away from Bahd 1, the IDF’s Officer
“There were quantity and quality gaps,” the top officer
said. “We were not able to fill the ranks, so we had to compromise on the
quality of the soldiers accepted as cadets in Bahd 1.”
Upon taking up his
post as chief of general staff in 2007, Lt.-Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi ordered the
Manpower Directorate to immediately draw up an emergency plan to improve the
quality of the IDF’s low officer rank. Implementation of the plan was overseen
by the head of the directorate, Maj.- Gen. Avi Zamir.
After three years,
these efforts have finally paid off with over 3,000 officers signing up for
additional service, an increase of over 1,000 officers in three years. To make
this happen, the IDF diverted NIS 25 million to help create specialized service
tracks for young officers in an effort to keep them in the military.
understood that we had to invest money to keep people in the service,”
senior officer said. “While we could not compete with the private
have other incentives to offer: Zionism, a sense of contribution to the
and meaningful work.”
A recent survey conducted by the IDF among
junior officer corps showed that a vast majority were satisfied with
positions and salaries and were not looking for jobs outside the IDF. At
same time, many of the officers complained of an increase in their
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“This has to do with the drop in the number of
officer said, pointing out that the IDF currently has 10,000 fewer
it did five years ago.
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