Among the 377 new IDF officers who received their ranks in a festive ceremony in Mitzpeh Ramon yesterday are 18 females (4.8%) and 83 religious officers (22%).
It was also reported that 18.5% of the new officers live in kibbutzim, moshavim and the like, nearly 20% live in communal towns, and 61.5% live in cities.
IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz said at the ceremony, just two days after being installed in his new position, “We now face significant operational security challenges. Possible terrorist acts and war dangers obligate the State of Israel, which constantly pursues peace, to maintain a strong and ready military force that is prepared for any mission entrusted to it.”
Gantz was to meet today with Defense Minister Ehud Barak to discuss 165 officers’ promotions that have been delayed because of the tensions between Barak and the outgoing Chief of Staff, Gabi Ashkenazi. A half-year ago, Barak surprised Ashkenazi by telling him that he did not plan to approve any promotions he (Ashkenazi) would make, and that there was no sense in his even considering them.
A Lt.-Col. may be promoted to Colonel, and a Colonel to a Brigadier General, by the Chief of Staff without the consent of the Defense Minister, but the latter must agree when the Chief of Staff wishes to promote a Brig.-Gen. to Maj.-Gen. There are other appointments that require the Defense Minister’s consent as well.