21 units in the IDF reserves received certificates of excellence today (Monday) from President Isaac Herzog for their outstanding service both during routine and emergency situations. The ceremony was held at the President's Residence in Jerusalem.
After comprehensive examinations of all the units, the outstanding units were selected by the committee headed by the Commander of the Northern Corps and Head of Maneuvers Array, Major General Saar Tzur.
The ceremony was held in the presence of Defense Minister Yoav Gallant and Chief of Staff Major General Herzi Halevi.
President Herzog said at the ceremony that ''these days have not been easy for us as a society. Polarization and controversy occupy a significant place in almost every space - from Shabbat tables to social WhatsApp groups."
"In these challenging days, even in which our enemies are not quet, and want to rise up to destroy us, as we saw during Operation Shield and Arrow, you remind us again and again - we have one country and we have one army that must remain above all political controversy.
The President emphasized that "in the face of external threats, the rules in the State of Israel have been clear since the dawn of our existence: as citizens - reservists have a full right to any opinion and to protest like all citizens in a healthy democracy. As reservists in uniform - refusal to serve is out of bounds. Israel's security must not be jeopardized - because it is a matter of our lives."
''You are true patriots, and I ask that you do not listen to anyone who says otherwise. Our role as leaders is to protect you from any false accusation, and we will continue to do so, with joy and love,'' said Herzog.
Defense Minister Gallant said: "Whoever seeks to find the exact meeting point between the most Israeli phenomenon that exists and the most valuable phenomenon that exists, will undoubtedly find it in the reserve service. Anyone who knows the IDF and its challenges knows that there is no substitute for the unique contribution, the extensive experience, and the maturity which the reservists bring with them."
"In every meeting I have with the reservists on patrols, in the field, in briefing rooms, in exercises and during operational activity, as has happened many times even in the last few weeks, I come across the best of us, of society, those who choose to give more of themselves - for the sake of Israeli society," Gallant added.
Chief of Staff Halevi said: "The reserve service is an integral part of the strength of the IDF. This insight runs through the 75 years since the establishment of the IDF and will continue to be a solid foundation for us in the future as well. This year, we will mark the anniversary of the Yom Kippur War. In that war, the excellence of the reserve units in battle was a key element in the containment efforts and the counterattack. It's hard to imagine leaving one's house for war. But then, like today, the reservists are required every year to leave their routine, their work and their family and show up. It is not easy - but it is necessary, that sacrifice is what guarantees our existence here.''
Halevi also said that "the State of Israel needs a strong IDF that is ready to provide protection and security. The IDF needs its reserve units to be of high quality and therefore we have a duty to train, equip and enable high-quality service. We have professional and high-quality reserves, who see national responsibility as personal responsibility and are always ready to report to any mission."