Kochavi replaces Eisenkot in ceremony in Tel Aviv; Kochavi rank raised to Lieutenant General by Defense and Prime Minister Netanyahu; Kochavi: Now as chief of general staff, when in front of me are the foundations of the national security and the good of the nation, I swear it anew.
The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) received its 22nd Chief of Staff Tuesday, Lieutenant General Aviv Kochavi.
The Major General was promoted to Lieutenant General by Prime Minister and Defense Minister Netanyahu in a ceremony in Tel Aviv on Tuesday. He replaced Lt. Gen. Gadi Eisenkot, who referred to Kochavi as “a commander worthy like no other to stand at the head of the Israel Defense Forces.”
Kochavi previously served as the IDF’s Military Intelligence Director, as well as head of the Northern Command. Kochavi is married with three daughters and holds master’s degrees from Harvard University in Public Administration and Johns Hopkins University in International Relations.
Kochavi took the oath of the IDF Chief of Staff, stating “It has been 2,000 years, and this wall of protection has expanded and become the Israel Defense Force. I swore in front of generations of soldiers and became another link in the chain of generations that come each in turn to defend the state.”
During his address, he spoke of the marvels of Jewish and Israeli history, and the determination of the IDF to protect the State of Israel and her citizens. On the IDF and Israel’s history in relation to his new role, he stated, “The national home that was founded here is an unmatched marvel in the history of the nations… In order to protect this home, a clear vision is needed, an able military force, the willingness to use it, judgment and determination; in this spirit, we shall act… I shoulder the responsibilities with awe and see my role as a privilege granted to me with the help of many that are deserving of thanks…”
Addressing IDF soldiers, he referred to each soldier as a “precious asset that we have received to safeguard, and the care for those who serve is a decree.” He added, “So too is the memory of our fallen, the strengthening of the bereaved families and the wounded, and our commitment to bringing home the missing.”
On the morality of the IDF, Kochavi stated, “The IDF is a professional fighting force, led by its commanders, ready for every mission, which operates according to the law and the decisions of the Israeli Government… The IDF is the military of the people, for the protection of the people, which respects its soldiers from all its people, draws its strength from the people and embodies the best of the people.” He added, “Now as chief of general staff, when in front of me are the foundations of the national security and the good of the nation, I swear it anew.”
He swore to protect and serve the State of Israel as its new military head, stating “Now, in my turn, since I have accepted the responsibility to lead the military, I vow to devote all my efforts, in a critical and demanding way, to strengthen our defensive shield, and to suit it to the challenges of the present and the future… We must focus on enhancing our ability to strike the enemy and positioning a powerful, efficient, and innovative military which preserves its purpose and uniqueness.”
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