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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.”