Some 4,000 career officers will be retired in the coming four years, but at the same time, 1,000 new positions will be added to the army's cyber and intelligence units. The project comes after months of staff work under the supervision of IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz.
The widespread retirements will take place within the framework of the IDF’s
new multi-year program, Oz, which replaced the prior, Halamish. The decision was reached several months before the elections, with the intention of streamlining military ranks. The cutbacks will cover non-combat operations, including the technology, logistics and adjutant general branches. Outsourcing, which has been done in the past, is also under consideration.
This is a continuation of cutbacks from the end of 2011, which included the retirement
of 1,000 career officers over a number of years. This means that when considering the 1,000 positions which will be added to cyber and intelligence units, cutbacks will grow from 5% to 7.5% for all career officer positions.
The new government is expected to support a cut of NIS 3 billion in the new defense budget.
The move will make it difficult to keep quality personnel in the military, and will diminish the options of career officers and talented non-commissioned officers.
The army emphasized that this is the re-structuring of new positions, as opposed to retirements. The army will reach retirement agreements with veteran career officers,
without refilling their positions.
The IDF's Spokesperson Unit said in response: “Due to budget challenges and in line with multi-year planning, we are currently examining a series of steps to increase efficiency, as with any other manpower issue. In line with the priorities of the General Staff, and the IDF program of improvement, there is a re-focusing of manpower, with an emphasis on commanders and General Staff, which will allow for an increase in the number of combat soldiers.”