President, Defense Minister, and Chief of Staff address reserve units; Defense Minister: “I know you are ready for every test”
Israeli President Shimon Peres, Defense Minister Ehud Barak, and Chief of the General Staff Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz awarded citations of excellence to outstanding reserve units in an annual ceremony held at the president’s residence this evening (Sunday, September 2).The three leaders presented citations to 16 outstanding reserve units, whose activities have been characterized by great devotion, determination and perseverance even after the conclusion of their compulsory military service.
During his speech, the president addressed the security challenges ahead of Israel. “Today, the Middle East is very turbulent, overflowing with threats both old and new. These are not to be trifled with. But we shall not panic from them,” he said. “Today, Israel is stronger than ever. Israel has defensive tools of its own – those developed in the past and those developed today and those that will be developed tomorrow.”
“You reservists contribute more than many others,” President Peres added. “Israel is fortunate to have reservists like you – who always volunteer out of their own will in the moment of truth, in every trial by fire, facing every demanding test.”
Defense Minister Ehud Barak spoke of the importance of familial support. “Without them, you would not be here and without them you cannot be a combat soldier in the reserves,” he said. “I know you are ready for every test. I stand with you, trust in you, and hope we will not need you.”
Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz thanked the president, saying, “You have been with the IDF since its inception, and still today keep a warm corner in your heart for our soldiers and commanders.”
Addressing the outstanding unit commanders, Lt. Gen. Gantz said, “For all that you’ve done and will do in the service of this country and its people, I thank you on behalf of the IDF and the Israeli people, from which you come and to whom you return at the end of training or deployments.”