IAF flight academy graduates receive officer ranks

Days before their final graduation ceremony, IAF’s newest pilots promoted to officers in moving ceremony

Date: 26/12/2012, 2:34 PM     Author: IDF (Zahal) Website

A special ceremony was held yesterday (Tues) at the Hatzerim Air Base in honor of the promotion of the new graduates of the IAF flight academy to officers. Most of the new graduates received the rank of lieutenant, while those who had already served as officers before completing the prestigious three year course became captains. The ceremony was attended by Hatzerim Air Base commander Brig. Gen. Tal, Commander of the Flight Academy Col. Shaul and the families and friends of the graduates.

The ceremony concluded three years of intense preparation including officer training, flight training, and academic studies culminating in a degree from Ben Gurion University.

“Our existence here as a Jewish and democratic state cannot be taken for granted,” said Hatzerim Base Commander Brig. Gen. Tal. “We are living in unstable times in the middle east with a constant increase in the amount and range of threats to our small state. The Air Force is the strategic arm of the State of Israel and is demanded to provide a response to these threats, near and far. The strength of the force is its people, especially its fighters. Be proud and determined in your endeavors, set high standards in every aspect and remember: for you not even the sky is the limit.”

Brig. Gen. Tal told the graduates that they “met uncompromising demands in the air and on the ground.”

The graduates will receive their pilots’ wings on Thursday in a special ceremony which will be attended by the Prime Minister Mr. Benjamin Netanyahu, Minister of Defense Mr. Ehud Barak, Chief of the General Staff Lt. Gen. Benjamin (Benny) Gantz, and head of the IAF Maj. Gen. Amir Eshel.