All the Way From South Africa

All the Way From South Africa

All the Way From South Africa

One of the new officers who graduated from the IDF Officers’ Course yesterday is Lieutenant Ariel. He grew up in South Africa, completed two degrees in engineering and decided to draft in the IAF

Eilon Tohar

Over 100 soldiers gathered on the parade ground of Ouvda Airbase yesterday and officially became IAF officers. After completed the last phase of training in the Officers School, they will join the different units in the force, wearing the Second Lieutenant and Lieutenant insignia.

One of the happy graduates is Lieutenant Ariel, who spent most of his life in South Africa, where he completed two Engineering degrees and practiced Public diplomacy as part of the Jewish Student Union. “It was important for me to improve the image of Israel in South Africa and present it as it really is”, he says. In January 2014 Lieutenant Ariel immigrated to Israel and six months later drafted in the IAF to fill a position in the Weapons Section in IAF’s Headquarter.

“After I came to Israel I spent five months is Ulpan (intensive Hebrew school), but the major improvement took place in the army”, he remembers. “Very quickly I understood that in order to really influence the system I need to become an officer. I wanted to know more about that big system called ‘IDF’, and I knew that being an officer is the way to accomplish that”.

After just a year of Hebrew learning, Lieutenant Ariel can be proud of his fluent Hebrew and was even chosen to give the officers’ speech. “A new immigrant in the army faces many challenges, but the system knows how to take care of us and the surrounding people are appreciative and helpful”, testifies Lieutenant Ariel. He wishes to convey a message to other new immigrants: “Many of the new immigrants perceive the army as a giant system they cannot fit in. I think that they could benefit the army so much thanks to their unique cultural background and knowledge and on the personal level, they can be profited even more”.

“You must be decisive and strive to victory”
During their staying the Officers School, the cadets develop administrative skills and high cognitive capabilities, acquire managerial tools which will help them as officers and gain the values and norms expected from an officer in the IAF.

“You have come a long way, put a lot of effort and studied hard”, said Colonel Harel, the commander of Ouvda Airbase, to the graduates. “You must be decisive, strive to victory and get there in the right way. There is no greater cause then defending our home”.