Photo Courtesy of Guy Ashash
As it does annually, the IAF marks the end of the year rife with action and the beginning of the New Year with outstanding soldiers, senior commissioned and non-commissioned officers and lone soldiers. The Commander of the IAF presented certificates of appreciation and wished the soldiers of the force: “May we successfully carry the burden placed on our shoulders”
At the IAF house in Herzilya, traditional Rosh Hashana events were held in the presence of Commander of the IAF, Major General Amir Eshel: awarding of senior ranks, awarding of certificates of excellence, and a toast with 150 lone soldiers who serve in the force. Among those present, stood Sergeant Alexei Goldberg, a lone soldier from Russia who immigrated to Israel alone and was drafted as a combat soldier to the Iron Dome. “Even before I made the decision that I wanted to go to Israel, I went on a trip with my school to Poland and I visited Israel, ever since then I felt that the right thing to do would be to immigrate to Israel and draft into the army”, explains Alexei, “My parents supported my decision and explained to me that I will always have somewhere to go back to, but drafting into the IAF and the Iron Dome in particular was the best decision I ever made in life. Ever since I immigrated, I have managed to take part in some of the moments of operation of the Iron Dome”.
Later, one after another, commanders of the force took the stage to receive their new ranks from the Commander of the IAF: The senior rank of Lieutenant Colonel and the senior rank of Chief Warren Officer, which is the most senior rank for a non-commissioned officer. “You all deserve to be here”, said Major General Eshel. “It does not get easier from here, and you have to remember that it is Israel that sends us into battle and our job is to provide the IDF with the capabilities of the IAF in the best way possible”.
To end the ceremony, outstanding soldiers were asked to approach the stage, where they were awarded certificates of appreciation for their service. “I want to wish everyone the following: May we successfully carry the burden placed on our shoulders”, the commander of the force announced. “This is a heavy burden and there are many tasks, but when there are good people, anything can be done”.