During a particularly scandalous ceremony held at the IDF's Rabin Base (the Kirya) in Tel Aviv on Monday, IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz and Defense Minister Ehud Barak promoted Uri Cohen, the deputy military secretary in the defense minister's office, to the rank of colonel – in contrast to army protocol.
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The promotion sparked outrage among senior IDF officers because Cohen was promoted from major to colonel in just five years and has served in only two positions during this time. Some of the officers said they plan to approach Gantz and demand that the promotion be annulled.
IDF officers normally serve in at least three different combat posts between promotions, and at least four if their positions are administrative in nature.
"This is a scandal," one IDF officer said. "A lieutenant colonel in the field is required to serve as a battalion commander, deputy brigade commander and as a divisional intelligence officer – without seeing his family – before he is even considered for a promotion. In this case, the defense minister's bureau promoted an officer twice simply because he is a crony."
High-ranking officers, some of whom are considered supporters of army chief Gantz, also criticized the move. "How could he authorize this promotion? It's a spit in the face of commanders in combat units," one of them said. "What kind of message is he sending?"
The IDF Spokesperson's Unit called Cohen an "excellent officer with many achievements. He met the relevant criteria and was found worthy of a promotion."
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