What the generals don't know and an ordinary IDF soldier does

From my own personal experience in the army, there is a tendency for many mid-to-high level officers to confuse what’s written on paper with the reality on the ground.

Joshua Pacht, | updated: 14:00

Joshua Pacht
Joshua Pacht
INN:JP

Recently the IDF rejected a report by Ombudsman Maj. Gen. (res.) Yitzhak Brick who appeared before a Knesset committee and warned that the IDF suffers from a serious organizational problem, that is seriously hindering the army. He’s right and anyone who has served at the bottom knows it.

From my own personal experience in the army, there is a tendency for many mid-to-high level officers to confuse what’s written on paper with the reality on the ground. One notable incident I remember from my active-duty service: during a new Assistant Battalion Commander’s (a Major in rank) first speech, he talked about how during his posting there would be no more lack in equipment, no more training exercises forced to go ‘dry’ due to lack of ammunition, no more lack of any kind; as he put it “There is no such thing as we don’t have it”.

When we got back to our barracks, we all laughed, the running joke in the Battalion became “there is no such thing as we don’t have it”. The joke was, that we knew that there would continue to be a lack in equipment and the ‘dry’ training exercises would continue; To be clear, it wasn’t that we doubted that the army had or was
If the army wishes to remain at its best, we need an organizational revolution at the foundation.
capable of acquiring what we needed, rather we knew the army was incapable of making sure it was allocated to us.

But it's more than just a case of improper allocation it’s a much deeper problem and it's the small things that don’t make it to the generals’ desks that prove it; It’s the gun sight that takes 4 months to be repaired, it’s the inability of army warehouses to organize work uniforms by size, it’s the hoarding and stealing of equipment, it’s the forgetting of soldiers on guard duty for hours, and it’s the hours it can sometimes take to organize a lift from a base to the field.

These are only some of the many problems that anyone who served in the bottom rung of the army sees daily, and it all points to one thing: a considerable lack of organization at the very foundations of the army.

If the army wishes to remain at its best, we need an organizational revolution at the foundation. We need more digitization, the creation of simple and easy to use organizational systems, more professional soldiers, commissioned and non-commissioned, to oversee and carry out the organization day to day, and we need more communication.

Maybe I’m no general who sees the big picture, but from down here I can see the details.

Joshua Pacht works at Arutz Sheva's 24-Hour News Desk and is a student studying International Relations and Middle Eastern & Islamic Studies at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, he is also a former combat soldier with the IDF’s 603 Combat Engineering Battalion.


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