Major-General Gadi Shamni, the outing IDF military attaché in Washington is retiring from the army. He will be replaced in Washington by Maj.-Gen. Yaakov Ayash.
Shamni had been in the running to replace former IDF Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi two years ago but eventually lost the appointment to Benny Gantz. The IDF chief thanked Shamni for his 35 years in service.
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Shamni's announcement affects the race for the role of deputy chief of staff which will be decided next month. It is possible he retired after realizing he had only slim chances of landing the job.
Currently, the leading candidate to replace Yair Naveh is Maj.-Gen. Gadi Eisenkot who holds no official capacity in the army and is a favorite with Gantz.
Other candidates include Northern Command chief Maj.-Gen. Yair Golan and former Central Command chief Avi Mizrahi. The deputy chief of staff has a serious advantage going into the race for the chief of staff position.
Sharon's military secretary
Having enlisted in the army in 1977, Shamni climbed up the ranks until he was appointed a company commander in the Paratrooper's Brigade.
He then spent time in the United States on a training program in the US military. In 1990, while serving as a battalion commander, he was seriously injured after his jeep overturned near the Lebanese border.
In 2001, he was appointed chief infantry and paratroopers officer and later took on the role of military secretary to former prime ministers Ariel Sharon and Ehud Olmert.
In May 2007, Shamni was appointed Central Command chief and in 2009 he relocated to Washington to serve as the IDF's military attaché.
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