The Chief of Staff, Lt. Col. Aviv Kochavi, in a letter from the Chief of Staff sent to IDF servicemen regarding resilience, daring and backing.
Kochavi: “The State of Israel is flourishing and prospering in an area plagued by violence, social crises and many security threats. This is a testament to the great success of the IDF for seventy-three years, which gives the State of Israel and its citizens the protective power without which all this would not have been possible.
Defense requires fighting and fighting requires sacrifice. Fighting situations are characterized by battle fog and changing circumstances, and decisions are often made with uncertainty and in a short period of time. Therefore, there can never be errors, and those that are sad can lead to casualties and deaths. There is no role and no profession in which no mistakes are made, and in fighting against an enemy in particular. There is no commander who has not made a mistake and many commanders have lost soldiers they love and they carry them with them all their lives. It is our duty to interrogate sharply, to get to the truth and to learn lessons, but for mistakes in judgment on the battlefield neither blame nor punish.
The IDF defends along the borders and our soldiers are deployed as a buffer between the enemy and the citizens of the country. This is our destiny! We swore to protect the civilians at the cost of our lives as well. Haim is pulling the trigger to hit the enemy, so we have rightly hit the enemy, in countless cases in the north, in the Judea and Samaria area and in the Gaza Strip.
We will continue to do so, while being careful to be an offensive and moral, militant and value-based army.
I know how much you take care of your soldiers, and take care of them in training and routine. I know how many right decisions you have made and will make, and they affect the execution of the mission and the security of the soldiers. Generations of soldiers return home in peace after a long military service that includes operations and wars, all thanks to the quality of the commanders in the most dangerous profession.
Our enemies do not disappear, the challenges we face are many, and maintaining the State of Israel is our mission. A company that does not back up its soldiers and commanders even when they are wrong, will find that there is no one to fight for it. The willingness to bear losses is a condition for national resilience, and resilience is a condition for continued existence.
Commanders and soldiers – I fully support you. Continue to initiate and take responsibility, dare and bear the consequences. The backing we give you expresses first and foremost a backing for the method of command and leadership in the IDF. We will not change it, we will strengthen it. It is not just a matter for the IDF, it is a matter for the State of Israel. Be bold. It was a successful year, in which we acted and attacked in all arenas, and went out to defend the citizens of the country with a deep sense of mission.
It was a year where we also had events from which to learn and improve. In honor of the new year, I wish we could accelerate the process of change and renewal that the IDF is going through, which is all based on your quality and dedication and is designed to improve the defensive force. We will continue to concentrate on defending Israel, I appreciate you very much, trust you, and wish you, the families and the whole house of Israel a happy new year. “