"Service in the army, in my opinion, is mainly about the people"

Archive photo: IDF (Zahal) Spokesperson

Chief of the General Staff, Lt. Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi, was interview on Tuesday morning at Army Radio, talking about his many years in service and coming retirement as well as the army today

Date: 25/05/2011, 8:01 PM     Author: IDF (Zahal) Website

Chief of the General Staff, Lt. Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi, was interviewed on Tuesday morning (Dec. 14) at Army Radio in the context of a series of shows for its annual fund-raising for the Association for the Wellbeing of Israel’s Soldiers. The Chief of Staff touched upon issues the IDF (Zahal) is currently facing.

In the Jaffa Studio broadcast, Lt. Gen. Ashkenazi said he will continue his army service training in the reserves brigades. When asked what he will take with him when he retires from his position, he responded that he’ll take, mainly, memories of people. “Service in the army, in my opinion, is mainly about people. Soldiers I had, commanders I had and those I commanded who I hope I helped grow and many, many friends missing on the way home from battle, returning on stretchers to be buried. Mainly memories of people,” he said.

According to the Chief of Staff, “The IDF (Zahal), in many ways, is the same army its always been though, it has changed. After the year 2006, we’d learned many important lessons from the Second Lebanon War for the next war. We learned from our mistakes and we made some as well. I hope we’ve made all changes wherever improvements were needed. In my opinion today we are much more prepared, more equipped – we’re stronger.”

The fund-raising broadcasts which were supposed to take place last week had been postponed to today following the tragic Carmel fires. The decision was made both in the IDF (Zahal) and the Association for the Wellbeing of Israel’s Soldiers. According to the Chief of Staff’s command, the broadcasts will be dedicated to the memory of and in paying respect to the firefighters, the Israel Shabas (prison service personnel), Israel Police personnel and IDF (Zahal) personnel who took part in the firefighting activities for the Carmel disaster.