Ground Forces Commander: Soldiers’ qualities crucial

Maj. Gen. Turgeman: “What will determine the outcome of the next conflict is the quality of the soldiers in terms of ethics, competence, and skill”

Date: 10/03/2012, 12:12 AM     Author: Rotem Pesso

Chief of the Ground Forces Command Maj. Gen. Sami Turgeman addressed a meeting marking the beginning of the new year for the IDF (Zahal)’s pre-military academies last week. In his speech, he provided a general survey of the operational challenges facing the IDF (Zahal), with an emphasis on the importance of the service of the academies’ graduates.

The Chief of the Ground Forces Command discussed various developments along Israel’s borders. “In the northern sector, there is a transfer of technology and weapons within the Iran-Syria-Hezbollah axis, and it is significant. Hezbollah is getting stronger, both in terms of exercises [and] training and in the components of its force build-up,” he said.

Regarding Israel’s southern border, Maj. Gen. Turgeman said, “There is a continuing axis [facilitating] the transfer of capabilities, drills, and training. Organizations that were relatively weak a few years ago are in the process of strengthening today.”

In addition, Maj. Gen. Turgeman discussed the necessary features of IDF (Zahal) soldiers and the pre-military academies’ contributions in this regard. “The determination of soldiers and of junior officers, along with their belief in the justness of our path, are desired items. What will determine the outcome of the next conflict is the quality of the soldiers in terms of ethics, competence, and skill,” he said. “I commend you on your action and courage. Continue in this important and quality work.”

Addressing the heads of the pre-military academies, the Chief of the Ground Forces Command emphasized the operational needs of the IDF (Zahal) regarding manpower. “The units that are our first priority are the maneuvering units: armor, engineering, artillery, field intelligence, and the infantry brigades,” he noted. “I would like to see more people reach these units. People who reach these places out of their desire are role models and leaders, pulling many others after them. At the same time, it is important to aim high, in the direction of command, officership, and beyond.”

Maj. Gen. Turgeman also discussed the importance of women’s service in the Ground Forces. “I would like to see females in the command of the Artillery Corps and the Field Intelligence Corps. Posts like spotters or operations sergeants invite command and operational challenges in protecting a significant sector in Gaza or on the Egyptian border,” he concluded.