Sergeant Eden Chen is an inspector in Personal Security Unit form Haifa
My job is divided into two main parts. The first is the inspection we conduct before the Chief of Staff or another member of the General Staff Forum arrives at a location. We arrive a few hours early, scan the site, check bushes and trashcans and everywhere else, to make sure there is no sign of anything that can harm the person who is arriving. The second is the inspection of people. Usually when there are events such as the flight course graduation ceremony at which the Prime Minister arrives, we spend a whole there and turn the place into a sterile location which no one is allowed to enter for several hours prior to the event and everyone entering is checked and must present an ID.
Before I was drafted, my data and personal abilities were checked. When I arrived at the induction center and spoke with the assignment officer, I mentioned that I wanted to do something meaningful and not be a secretary. He saw that, according to my data, I was appropriate for this job and he sent me to a side room for an interview. They told me I would be drafted in a month. Of course, at first I didn’t know anything about the job, like most girls who are assigned to it. But once I realized what it meant, I was happy.
The best part of my job is falling asleep after a day of running around from place to place knowing that because of me there is someone who is also going to sleep, safe and secure. Our job is behind-the-scenes but every time I see in the newspaper that the Chief of Staff visited a base, I know that part of the reason that the visit went well was because of me. This gives a sense of satisfaction. I feel like I really contribute in my job.
We get the schedule for the next day every night, although the schedule is not certain, which means we need to be very flexible. We never know in advance where we will be the next week and we can be summoned at all times. This is tough, but we are talking about someone who is the Chief of Staff, and his schedule changes from minute to minute.
One of my memories is at a Palmach event. We were checking people at the entrance and I noticed a man standing outside for a long time who was just watching. It appeared strange to me and I approached him to do a check. His behavior and mannerisms were suspicious so other security guards came with me. We discovered that his ID was fake and he explained that he was sent as part of a drill of another security unit and that we discovered him before they did. So this was not a real security incident, but I was happy that I noticed him. And because of this event, I was given an award by my unit.
Many times I hear: "Oh, so you just poke around in cans." But I explain that my job is much more than that. And my friends and family respect my job a lot.
In the past, the job was done only by men. A few years ago they made a change, and now the security guards are male but the inspectors are women. I think this is important because, among other things, women pay more attention to small details. This is a very important aspect of my job, and people also respond with more openness to a woman than a man.