It runs in the family

The Turgeman brothers at the graduation ceremony. Photo: Gadi Yampel, IDF (Zahal) Spokesperson’s Unit

For Lt. Elad Turgeman, last week’s graduation ceremony for new officers was a special moment of pride, as his soldiers and his brother received their ranks

Date: 26/06/2013, 6:20 PM     Author: Noam Witman

As hundreds of officers graduated from training last Wednesday (June 19), Lt. Elad Turgeman was doubly excited. As an instructor, he had the honor of watching his students officially conclude the training in which they had worked so hard to achieve. At the same time, as the brother of one of these new officers, he felt a special sense of pride.

For his brother, 2nd Lt. Daniel Turgeman, the choice to enroll in officer training seemed natural, particularly in light of his brother’s influence. “I studied in a military boarding school, and all of my friends are officers, so it was clear to me that I would also become an officer,” Daniel explained. “My brother spoke to me and explained to me that the course would help me become more extroverted, so I decided to do it.”

According to Daniel, in addition to providing him with additional support, his brother’s presence served as a motivating factor for him. “On one hand, it is nice that your brother is there to look after you. On the other hand, it makes you demand more of yourself, because I am not only representing myself  on base but my brother as well.”

It runs in the family

2nd Lt. Daniel Turgeman. Photo: Gadi Yampel, IDF (Zahal) Spokesperson’s Unit.

On weekends and holidays at home, the brothers enjoyed discussing the previous week and their meetings on the training base. “It’s a little funny to see him from the side like that,” Elad said of his brother. “We weren’t in the same company, but I knew what was happening.”

There were other particular challenges inherent in the brothers’ service on the same base.  “Sometimes there were things I had to keep from him,” Elad explained, specifically mentioning an unannounced, grueling period of training known as the Black Swan, which aimed to strengthen the mental readiness of infantry cadets in case of a surprise enemy attack. “We were at home together the Saturday right before this period was about to begin and he had no idea what was about to happen.”

Daniel recalled the Black Swan as “one of the more meaningful experiences that [he] had during the course,” adding that it was “an exercise of uncertainty and was difficult and significant.”

While keeping this sort of information from his brother, Elad gave Daniel general advice to help him succeed in the course. “I gave him tips like I give to all my cadets: to give of oneself, not to disrespect, and to come to learn,” he recounted.

Now that he has completed officer training, 2nd Lt. Daniel Turgeman will continue as an officer for the Givati Brigade’s basic training base – a job that his brother previously held.

“I hope and believe that he will put all that he has learned from the course into his future job,” Elad said of his brother. “I am very proud of him and wish him luck.”