Meet the Outstanding Soldiers of the IAF

Corporal Lital Shakro, who moved to Israel from Belgium to enlist as a defense instructor


Meet the Outstanding Soldiers of the IAF

“This is our chance to value you and thank you, commanders who take charge and do not hesitate”, said Major General Eshel


In honor of the upcoming Israeli Independence Day, officers and executives of the IAF gathered to express their gratitude for leading commanders, lone soldiers and outstanding personnel. “It’s a chance for us to show appreciation to the people who go the extra mile in order to complete their missions”, said IAF Commander

Shir Golan

The IAF will soon celebrate 65 years of independence. Just like every year, officials and soldiers from around the force will receive a token of appreciation from Commander of the IAF for their special work. “Our abilities are based on many things, but primarily on our people”, says Major General Amir Eshel. “It’s a chance for us to show appreciation to the people who command, show leadership and responsibility without hesitation, commanders who go the extra mile. We need you in order to complete our missions”.

“Suddenly, I realized the significance of my duty”

Aside from the chosen outstanding commanders of the aerial arm, 20 soldiers of the IAF received tokens of the appreciation from the President of Israel. In the upcoming Israeli Independence Day, they will stand on the stage of Mount Hertzl and receive a certificate of excellence from President Shimon Peres. Amongst the chosen soldiers stands A’, a 669 Search & Rescue fighter from California who made Aliyah to Israel all by himself. “I began my college degree but then realized that I was looking for a different way of life, more challenging surroundings”, says A’. “Enlisting was very important to me. During my military duty, I have experienced things that I couldn’t have in any other place”.

Throughout his years in the IAF, A’ experienced several watershed moments. “I will never forget my first rescue,” he reminisced. “It was the middle of the night, a car crash between two civilian cars. When we got to the scene and saw what happened I was horrified. That was the moment I realized the significance of my duty”. Only a few months ago, during Operation Pillar of Defense, he had to deal with combat scenarios for the first time, leaving his friends and family thousands of miles away. “I felt like I was really contributing, but it wasn’t easy at all”, he shares.

Soldiers from all around the World

Unlike A’ who made an Aliyah on his own, Corporal Lital Shukrun, who arrived in Israel three years ago from Belgium, continued a long-held family tradition. “My brothers served as infantry soldiers so it was obvious to me that I had to enlist”, she says. After a year of studying the Hebrew language, Lital was recruited to the IAF and became a defense instructor. “I instruct soldiers as well as executives”, she explains. “I feel like I contribute a lot because I know that what I do can save lives”.

During his stay, Major General Amir Eshel met with the force’s lone soldiers who serve in various units and struggle in order to contribute. “We want to thank you”, said Commander of the Force. “It’s not a given, that soldiers who live alone and experience a different kind of service are motivated and inspired. You are an example to all of us. We are your family, and we promised that you’ll never be alone”.