The last three years have seen a 27% drop in the number of combat soldiers who attend officers' training, Yedioth Ahronoth reported on Sunday.
According to officials in the IDF's Human Resources Directorate and the GOC Army Headquarters said motivation to attend officers' training decreased sharply in the aftermath of the Second Lebanon War.
An official report drafted by the GOC revealed that the most recent combat and maneuvering corps officers' training course began with the lowest number of soldiers ever, and the number of those who graduated was also an all-time low.
'I followed my own dreams and values'
IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi recently reprimanded the commander of the Armored Corps' 74th Battalion after learning that not even one of the unit's soldiers attended officers' training in the last year-and-a-half.
"This is primarily a failure of the commanding officers," a senior IDF official said. "A battalion or division commander who cannot supply enough soldiers to the officers' training course has failed in his mission and should be held accountable."
An official in the army's Human Resources Directorate said there were other reasons for the worrying phenomenon besides the recent war against Hizbullah.
"The drop in motivation to attend officers' training correlates with the general drop in motivation to enlist in the IDF, particularly for combat units," he said.
An officer who recently graduated from the course had a different take on the matter. "There is a feeling that the public does not hold the officers in the highest regard. Once it was every parent's dream, but mine told me 'it is enough that you served in a combat unit while your friends served in the Kiryah (military compound in the heart of Tel Aviv)'. I followed my own dreams and values, but I guess others broke down."