"Although you've been training for three days you looks full of energy," President Shimon Peres told IDF reservists during a visit to Zeelim base in Israel's south.
Peres arrived at the base accompanied by Chief of Staff Benny Gantz, as part of a week honouring the Reserves.
During their visit, they watched reserve soldiers from the Hermon Brigade perform an exercise simulating warfare, which included tanks and a Skylark drones.
Peres with reservists. (Photo: Ben Kelmer)
Afterwards, Peres and Gantz spoke to reserve soldiers, who complained that there is only a small group shouldering the burden without being recognized or rewarded.
Gantz responded by saying, "There is no doubt that not everyone carries the burden. We need to try and expand this scope.
"Societies have always been led by elites. We, as a state and as an army, need to make sure that you are recognized and rewarded, and we are constantly aiming toward that goal. Continue to be a leading team," he said.
Peres, Gantz exchanging smiles (Photo: Ben Kelmer)
Peres also addressed the soldiers, telling them: "You are the backbone of Israel's existence. You do what you do, sometimes without getting a reward."
David, a reserve soldier, told the president and the chief of staff that often reservists lack equipment during training sessions, which creates an absurd situation in which civilians need to pay out of their own pocket in order to serve in the reserve.
Gantz replied, saying he would have wanted to be able to give everyone all the necessary equipment, but "it is a process. We try to improve it all the time, and I am happy to hear these things. One must remember that in order to operate such a large army you have to balance your resources."
After speaking with the soldiers, Peres commented on the latest developments in Washington, saying "we have a good relationship in all matters relating to security between the United States and Israel."
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