Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee member MK moti Yogev today released a video plea to IDF soldiers to avoid slovenly conduct and treat guard duty with the seriousness it requires.
"IDF soldiers, Shalom," Yogev began. "As a Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee member, I want to discuss with you the report submitted by IDF Ombudsman Major General (res.) Yitzhak Brik.
"Unfortunately, we live in a complicated neighborhood, in the Middle East. We must be ready and prepared for war at all times.
"The report General Brik wrote is a severe one. It talks about lack of manpower and equipment, shortages in emergency stores, and more.
"One cause of this was defense cutback led by Treasury Minister Yair Lapid in the government years prior to this one, together with the Locker Commission. This was a policy that was to cause shortages - budgetary shortages, lack of readiness, and professionalism has suffered.
"The good news is that outgoing Chief of Staff Maj General Gadi Eizenkot has worked and continues to work to improve the situation in manpower, equipment, and mainly by improving force readiness with more training than in the past.
"There is one problem General Brik identified that depends first and foremost on you: IDF soldiers and your commanders. It's the cellular device.
"I know. Guard duty can be long and exhausting. One's hand looks for something to be busy with to pass the time. The easiest thing is to pull out the cellphone, to go into Facebook, to go into Instagram, to write a Whatsapp, or just to bring up a movie and watch it.
"There's only one problem: It's nothing but a breach of guard duty.
"As Efraim Brigade Commander in the Judea and Samaria Division I would instruct soldiers and commanders that reading a newspaper and listening to radio would be considered breach of guard, and whoever is caught breaking guard will stand trial and may go to jail.
"There were never even reservists who went to jail for such a thing, because it's sheer irresponsibility and failure to perform the task at hand.
"When you're immersed in the cellular world, you're not in the field. Your eyes are fixed on the screen, not scanning towards the enemy who might arrive. Your hand is on the device SMSing instead of on your weapon, your ears aren't listening, the body isn't poised for action. You're simply not guarding.
"Our soldiers and fighters: IDF organizational culture depends on you. First and foremost on you. If you're guarding, no SMSing. Before going on duty, leave the cellular in the barracks," Yogev concluded.