Just back from Latrun (near Jerusalem) at a tekes (ceremony) for newly graduated sergeants and the like of the IDF. The ceremony is a pale shadow of anything the British Army would put on, almost completely free of spit and polish, and punctuated by the worst marching I am ever likely to see. (As they say here, marching is not important. And they mean it. They couldn’t keep in time for more than a couple of seconds.)
But though it’s different, that doesn’t make it inferior. There’s something refreshing about seeing families with picnics waving and greeting their enlisted loved ones, cameramen in denims recording the event, and shrieks of delight welcoming the announcement of individual prize winners. And when it was all over, as many family members rushed to get over the barriers and on to the huge stage, a flurry of hats was thrown in to the air, and some of the soldiers grabbed one another, hugged and started dancing with joy.
As the banner above says, here begins the command of the future. We are in good hands.