Colonel Naama Rosen Grimberg has been promoted to the rank of Brigadier General and has entered her new position as the military secretary to the President of the State of Israel, Isaac Herzog. She will become the first woman ever to serve in this position and will replace Brig.-Gen. Alaa Abu Rukun, who is set to retire after 32 years of service in the IDF as a combat soldier and a commander.
Rosen Grimberg will become the third female member of the IDF General Staff Forum, joining the Chief Military Advocate General and the President of the Military Court of Appeals. This is the largest number of women to have served simultaneously on the General Staff Forum in history. Over the last two years, Rosen Grimberg served as an Intelligence Officer in the Central Command and was the first woman to hold this position. During her service, she managed various operations in the Central Command, the most significant of which were Operation Guardian of the Walls and Operation Shover Galim.
Alaa Abu Rukun served as the Military Secretary to the President of the State of Israel for the past three years. During his service, Rukun was tasked with advising and conveying military and security content to President Herzog, as well as serving as a liason between the President and the IDF and the security establishment.
A ceremony to mark the handover event was held on Sunday evening at the President’s Residence in Jerusalem, presided over by Herzog along with the IDF Chief of Staff, Aviv Kochavi. Also in attendance were the Commanding Officer of the Central Command, Yehuda Fuchs, and additional commanders, families and guests.
Simultaneously, Brig.-Gen. Liron Donnell entered the position of the Chief of Staff of the Home Front Command. Donnell replaces Brig.-Gen. Yair Barkat, who served in the position for the last few months.
Donnell is the first woman to serve as Chief of Staff of the Home Front Command, joining four other female officers at the rank of Brigadier General. In the last few years, there has been an increase in the number of women serving in staff and combat positions in the IDF.
Speaking at the event at the President's Residence, Kochavi offered his best wishes to Rukun.
“Alaa, congratulations on concluding a long, demanding, quality, professional and valuable journey, which in your case not only involved great effort, but also a deep identification with the ideas of Zionism, education and profound love for this country. You are a living example of what an IDF officer should strive to be."
Turning to address Rosen Grimberg, he added, "Naama, I have known you for many years, since you were a promising young officer. You made a promise and kept it. You are an extraordinary officer and I am confident that you will succeed in this position, just as you have in your previous positions.
“The position of the Military Secretary to the President of the State of Israel is one of significant influence. The Military Secretary guides and mirrors the progress made within the IDF and the defense system. In this sense, it is a position that holds great potential. Naama - take this potential and fill it to the brim. I wish you the best of luck, I am sure of your success."
Next to speak was Rosen Grimberg herself, who said, “For the past twenty-two years I served and commanded over a variety of units in the Intelligence Directorate (J2), and was a partner in operative and strategic processes designed to ensure the security of the State of Israel and its civilians. It is a great privilege to serve and work alongside the President of the State of Israel - a man who made it his goal to unite Israeli society and works tirelessly for the future of the nation and the Jewish community.
“In my position as Military Secretary of the President of the State of Israel, I will work to the fullest extent to faithfully represent the security activities to the President and aid in advancing both the national and security interests of the country in the State of Israel and the rest of the world, as well as the implementation of the president's policies in the security establishment. Moreover, I will continue to work with humanity and sensitivity to foster the relationship with bereaved families, wounded soldiers of the IDF and the security establishment, families of the captives and the missing, and victims of hostilities.”
Incoming Home Front Chief of Staff Liron Donnell also spoke, saying that, "I was privileged to be part of a unique and special command, a command with impact on both national and local, and every so often on the international, level. A command that constitutes the heart of the civilian front, with no other command matching its capabilities, strength and competence.
“I am honored to stand here today and pledge to lead alongside the Commanding Officer of the Southern Command and together with you, the Home Front Command Commander, toward the challenges of the future."