Commanders disciplined following coronavirus outbreak at Bahad 1

Some 30 cadets at the IDF's Bahad 1 officers training academy were diagnosed with the deadly virus two months ago.

IDF technicians carry out coroanvirus testing, Israel, July 15, 2020 (photo credit: YOSSI ZELIGER/FLASH90)
IDF technicians carry out coroanvirus testing, Israel, July 15, 2020
(photo credit: YOSSI ZELIGER/FLASH90)
Almost two months after 30 cadets at the IDF’s Bahad 1 officers training academy were infected with the deadly coronavirus, actions have been taken against several officers, including the commander of the school, for the spread of the outbreak.
Following the initial outbreak at the end of August, the IDF said that two soldiers who had been on furlough tested positive for the virus, sending dozens of other cadets into a tent complex that had been set up for quarantine.
The other cadets who were later diagnosed are believed to have contracted the virus after they met with the two initial cadets, who met with them despite being in different capsules – a system in place to limit exposure to other people.
The findings of the investigation into the incident were presented by the school’s commander Col. Guy Levy to the deputy Chief of Staff Maj.-Gen. Eyal Zamir, the Head of the IDF’s Ground Forces Maj.-Gen. Yoel Strick and the Commander of the military Training and Doctrine Division Maj.-Gen. Moti Baruch.
According to the findings of the investigation, the reason behind the outbreak was due in part to the late reporting of symptoms by the two cadets who returned to base sick and the negligence of their superiors to properly question the cadets about their health.
Levy said that all those who were involved in the incident took full responsibility for their actions, and recommended to Strick that disciplinary action be taken against the entire chain of command involved in the incident, including himself.
Strick accepted Levy’s recommendation and summoned him for a severe reprimand. Additional disciplinary action was taken against the battalion commander who received a command note by Baruch, a company commander with the rank of lieutenant was removed from her position and two other company commanders were subject to disciplinary action by Levy.
A number of team leaders were sentenced to disciplinary action by the battalion commander and sentenced to penalties of varying degrees of severity. The two cadets who did not report their symptoms were expelled from the IDF’s officers course.
Following the investigation, Strick stressed the importance of maintaining IDF’s readiness, in addition to keeping the IDF’s servicemen and women healthy. He also noted that the school is an engine for the entire military and will continue to be so.
Zamir, who is the military’s point man in the fight against the coronavirus, emphasized the commanders’ responsibility for the competence of their unit. He instructed commanders to act in accordance with the guidelines in order to prevent the spread of the pandemic should a soldier be found to have the virus.
The deputy chief of staff instructed that the lessons from the investigation be communicated to all units in the military.