At a ceremony held today at the IDF headquarters, the IDF’s new Chief of Staff, Benny Gantz, took up office after the Prime Minister and the Defense Minister gave him the rank of Lieutenant General
Gantz, together with the outgoing Chief of Staff, Lt. Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi, entered the ceremony to the sounds of the IDF Orchestra and the applause of their families, representatives from the army’s respective corps and guests.
Later that day, members of the Chief of Staff’s forum met for their first discussion led by their new commander, but not before they raised their glasses in honor of the outgoing Chief of Staff Ashkenazi.
“I would like to tell you that my replacement, Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz, the man who takes upon himself today the standards of Chief of Staff, is a dedicated commander, professional and rich in experience”, wrote Ashkenazi in a special letter.
“I have no doubt that the wisdom of his years, his unique peacefulness and his human capabilities will grant him the ability to guide you and navigate decisively and surely the ship of security of the IDF towards safety.”
“A review of the Middle Eastern sky”, said Gantz, addressing the commanders and troops of the IDF, “covered with threatening clouds, near and far, places before us a sensitive reality, one that is ever changing and saturated with deteriorating dangers. When we direct ourselves, today, towards a sober look at the future, it is clear that the mission is not over, and that the road is still long and full of potholes. But with you and because of you, as we stand together as one man with one heart, I have no doubt that we will be able to conquer any summit and respond to any challenge.”
Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz is the 20th Chief of Staff for the IDF. He began his career more than 30 years ago as a paratrooper.
The new Chief of Staff had the opportunity to get to know the Air Force when he commanded the force’s commando unit. Since then he has served in a number of senior positions, including the commander of the Northern Command and the Deputy Chief of Staff.