Becoming an Air Defense Officer

Becoming an Air Defense Officer

Becoming an Air Defense Officer

Becoming an Air Defense Officer

This week, the cadets of the Air Defense Division had their final exercise on the way to receiving the officer ranks. In this special column, the future officer, Eden Simon Goldman shares her experience from her training

Cadet Eden Simon Goldman | Translation: Ofri Aharon & Ohad Zeltzer-Zubida

My uniform is still topped with a coat of dust from my many field days, and another layer of sand top my shoes, that haven’t been polished for the past three days. The cadets and I are looking over at the battery that we’ve deployed, and can’t believe that we were able to complete the mission in due time for the first time since our training began. I am filled with a sense of fulfillment, pure happiness.

Three hours beforehand, while we were finishing our last debriefings regarding yesterday’s deployment, we were all dispatched for an addition deployment in completely different environment. One of the most symbolic moments in this deployment was when the convoy which is made of the radar, the mission stations, that launchers and the rest of the coaches arrived to the site. We call it the calm before the storm. A second after the whole convoy arrived at the deployment site we each began running with our might so we could each fulfill our assigned duties. It’s a time when everyone runs and is pumped with adrenaline and no one stops to rest until we heard the fire command. You feel like time is at a standstill and the moment comes when the radar broadcasts, launches are ready, and we have the ability to intercept the target.

We begin our journey to our first officer ranks in the Air Defense Division with a commander’s course, and later as cadets in Officers School and in the final months we studied the duties of an Air Defense Division Officer. We experienced field weeks in which we exercised command, organization and deployment of “Iron Dome” battery systems, and in my case the “Patriot” and “Arrow” systems. We studied the different phases of deployment from A-Z, and we commanded over the battery operating soldiers, in which we had to ensure that each of the soldiers has eaten, drank and slept.

This week, Brig. Gen. Zwika Haimovitch, the commander of the Air Defense Division, came to visit the battery we deployed the night beforehand. “The main goal that I advise you to aspire to as a commander”, he told us, “is that your subordinates will address you with every question or problem they face”. This is my main goal, to preserve excellent interpersonal relations with my soldiers.

Second Lieutenants Daniel and Omer that recently neutralized armed terrorists are just like you, just in for more months”, he continued. The sentence that the Division commander repeated during his is it made me think that even though we were talking about a four month gap between us and Second Lieutenants Daniel and Omer, the same thing might happen to anyone of us and that a commander must operate with decisiveness and perseverance in similar situations.

I can’t wait for the moment in which I’ll stand in the parade ground and receive my ranks and Air Division Officer Pin.

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