Shaping the future leaders of the IAF

A special IAF program identifies outstanding officers and trains them to become the future leadership of the Air Force

Date: 23/01/2013, 3:25 PM     Author: Shir Golan, IAF Website

While the Israeli public voted in elections to the 19th Knesset this week, the Israel Air Force’s Command and Leadership School focused on a younger generation of leaders: the next commanders of the IAF. In the Air Force’s program for outstanding soldiers, the Command and Leadership School is training 20 lieutenants from throughout the IAF.

Each month, these officers take one day out of their daily routines to study relevant topics in command and leadership.

“In every institution there is a small group that makes the difference,” explained Maj. Eldad Shani, commander of the Personal Development course at the Command and Leadership School. “The unique program accepts outstanding officers whom we want to foster so that they will be the command of the future and reach key positions within the [Air] Force. In the program, we give them the tools to do this better.”

Lt. Dror, a fighter pilot and instructor at the Flight Academy, has the ability to influence the next generation of IAF pilots. “As an instructor, you take 18-year-old cadets, advance them and educate them towards independence,” he said, describing the importance of the instructor’s role. “We, the instructors, don’t just teach them to fly, we also shape them.”

In the framework of the program, the exceptional officers discuss outstanding leaders from Israeli history and their personal vision, meet with high ranking officials from the Air Force and the entire IDF (Zahal), and visit sites like Mount Herzl and community welfare centers – all in order to develop their own leadership abilities.

“For me, the meaning of command and leadership is to lead others, in the air and on the ground,” said Lt. Guy, who serves as a pilot in the Flying Dragon Squadron. “You need to know what is good for your people, what is good for the mission, and to bring everyone home safely.”