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IN PHOTOS: What does it mean to be an IDF commander?
We've asked commanders from different combat units in the IDF to capture in one photo what the commander's spirit means to them.

It's not easy being a commander. They go to sleep after their soldiers, wake up before them, and constantly carry the burden of responsibility for the safety and welfare of those under their command.

 

 

We've asked commanders to try and capture the commander's spirit in the IDF on land, in the air and at sea.

 

Navy Underwater Mission Unit (UMU) - A troop of divers led by unit commander Lt. Col. Ido Kaufman.

 

 

"The unit's soldiers operated under complicated conditions, at great depths, in darkness and without communications," Kaufman says. "Under these conditions, we adapt with our own special communications. At the Underwater Mission Unit, the commander doesn't have to say 'follow me' for his team to have his back." 

 

Home Front Command's Search and Rescue Division - The fighters of the Search and Rescue Division, led by Maj. Asher Benishti, a moment before beginning a training exercise.

 

 

"At the Search and Rescue Division, there's a sense of a higher calling. On the one hand, you are protecting the lives of citizens, and on the other hand you're always ready to go and save lives in Israel and around the world," Benishti says.

 

INS Eilat – troops aboard the missile ship INS Eilat at a naval base in Haifa after operations in the Mediterranean Sea.

 

 

"The command and the service alongside the fighters of the INS Eilat are a source of pride and the feeling of immense responsibility. We're a close family," says their commander, Lt. Col. Eitan Paz.

 

Caracal Battalion – The Caracal Battalion's men and women, under the command of 2nd Lt. Roi Harel.

 

 

"The people behind me are the next commanders for both male and female soldiers. I have the great privilege of leading them at the beginning of their journey. I trust that they know the most important thing in command is the people—to love them, to have expectations of them, and to see them grow."

 

Knights of The Twin Tail Squadron – the pilots of the Knights of the Twin Tail flying in formation during routine training, under the command of Lt. Col. N.

 

 

"I see my service as a calling. Commanding the squadron for me is a personal experience and a professional challenge of the highest degree," Lt. Col. N. says.

 

Armored Corps' 118th Division - soldiers from the 71st Battalion during a training exercise in the Golan Heights, under the command of Lt. Roi Diamond.

 


 

"I became a commander because I wanted to my circle of influence to grow. Slowly, I learned how to maintain a commander's distance on the one hand, while being close to my soldiers and knowing everything about them on the other hand," Diamond says.
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