Sign up now to receive our regular news briefs.

IDF Officer Ignites Controversy for Drilling Near Naked Soldiers in the Snow

January 9, 2014 12:44 pm 8 comments

IDF soldiers were commanded to roll around in their underwear in the drill. Photo: Screenshot

Two days after the release of a video in which an Israel Defense Forces commander appears to force soldiers under his command to roll in their underwear in the snow, the embattled team commander responded on Thursday, saying that, “It was all done in good fun,” Israel’s Walla news reported.

With their commander barking orders, IDF servicemen from the elite “Maglan” unit, conducted a series of firing drills in the snow wearing only military vests, and their underwear.

The release of the video ignited a firestorm within the IDF and has sparked a national debate around the officer’s decision to drill his subordinates in the bitter cold.

A friend of the commander in question, himself an IDF lieutenant, said on Thursday that the unit commander at the center of the controversy is “a highly respected officer. He is a true professional, highly motivated and deeply respectful of the fighters under his charge.” Having spoken to his friend about the incident, the lieutenant relayed that the unit commander never meant to hurt his soldiers and that it was all done in good fun – as a way to create bonds between soldiers and their commander, Walla reports.

However, despite attempts to defend the conduct of the commander, other sources close to the incident have leveled strong criticism against the actions of the unit leader, Walla said. One of the soldiers who participated in the drill insisted that there were soldiers who refused to participate in the exercise because they feared getting sick.

According to the soldier, “Had soldiers taken ill as a result [of this drill], our operational ability would have degraded,” Walla reported.

Other IDF sources expressed concern that not condemning the unit commander’s conduct could set a dangerous precedent for other officers – and soldiers under their command – to follow, Walla reported.

8 Comments

  • kriskristian1@yahoo.com

    As a retired army officer, I must say that this is quite a new experience.
    I would not have liked to train like these soldiers did, but one must consider that soldiers have to work under all conditions and need to experience what this officer made them do.
    Good for him.
    This is a new way to make the soldiers know what canditions can be like
    It makes them tough

  • Has the Political Correctness that destroyed the United States Armed Forces spread to the IDF? Were Israel attacked during its recent blizzard, would the IDF have gone on leave? If IDF doesn’t toughen-up mighty quickly, Gilad Shalit will go from aberration to epidemic overnight.

  • How often does it snow in Israel?

  • The enemy will not allow them a “time out” to get dressed .

    Remember the picture of US troops in Afghanistan, one squadie was wearing his red shorts.

  • Ask the special forces in the US military, about the grueling conditions they train in?
    That is why they are tough as nails.

  • If “Maglan” the elite unit can not drill in snow and cold who can? I fully support the officer in charge, it was done in good spirit and cements the bond between the unit fighters.
    Elite units train in the harshest of weather and other conditions all over the world, for a darn good reason, to surmount all challenges before them that is why they are called “the elite” fighters. It builds character and stamina. Kol Akavod leMaglan.

  • It`s only good that the boys get some workout Maybe the ladies should of done it later.

  • Master Adrian

    They are soldiers! They are elite soldiers!

    They are soldiers who are supposed to give their lives when it is necessary, for their country, their mates and themselves!

    So, they are trained as they should: hard, tough and rough, and in ways that make them hard and tough!

    A cold is human, but I assume that these soldiers are healthy enough to stand a roll in the snow, in their full pack or in their underwear!

Leave a Reply

Please note: comments may be published in the Algemeiner print edition. Comments written in all caps will be deleted.


Current day month ye@r *

More...

  • Features World Graves of Jewish Pirates in Jamaica Give Caribbean Tourists Taste of Little-Known History

    Graves of Jewish Pirates in Jamaica Give Caribbean Tourists Taste of Little-Known History

    Tour operators are calling attention to Jamaica’s little-known Jewish heritage by arranging visits to historic Jewish sites on the Caribbean island, including a cemetery where Jewish pirates are buried. A report in Travel and Leisure magazine describes the Hunts Bay Cemetery in Kingston, where there are seven tombstones engraved with Hebrew benedictions and skull and crossbones insignia. According to the report, centuries ago, Jewish pirates sailed the waters of Jamaica and settled in Port Royal. The town, once known as “the wickedest city in the […]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Blogs Filmmaker Eyal Resh Embraces the Challenge of Telling Israel’s Story (VIDEO)

    Filmmaker Eyal Resh Embraces the Challenge of Telling Israel’s Story (VIDEO)

    JNS.org – Telling Israel’s story. It’s the specific title of a short film that Eyal Resh created last year. It’s also the theme behind the 27-year-old Israeli filmmaker’s broader body of work. The widely viewed “Telling Israel’s Story” film—directed by Resh for a gala event hosted by the Times of Israel online news outlet—seemingly begins as a promotional tourism video, but quickly evolves to offer a multilayered perspective. “I want to tell you a story about a special place for me,” a young woman whispers […]

    Read more →
  • Blogs Features Israel Geeks Out: Science, Art and Tech Event Embodies Jewish State’s ‘DNA’

    Israel Geeks Out: Science, Art and Tech Event Embodies Jewish State’s ‘DNA’

    JNS.org – The entrance to Jerusalem’s Sacher Park was transformed from April 25-27 by a fire-breathing robotic dragon, which flailed its arms and attempted to take flight. The robot, a signature feature at Jerusalem’s first-ever “Geek Picnic,” was one of more than 150 scientific amusements available for the public to experience. This particular dragon was designed by students from Moscow’s Art Industrial Institute in conjunction with the Flacon design factory, said Anatasia Shaminer, a student who helped facilitate the display. Children […]

    Read more →
  • Book Reviews Opinion The Syrian Virgin (REVIEW)

    The Syrian Virgin (REVIEW)

    The Syrian Virgin, by Zack Love. CreateSpace, 2015. The Syrian Virgin, by Zack Love, is a very interesting novel. Equally a political and romantic thriller, at times a real page-turner, it gets you intimately involved in the dire situation in today’s Syria, as well as in the romantic entanglements of its mostly New York-based characters — whose entanglements just might determine the fate of that dire situation in Syria. Along the way it introduces a really important idea that somehow […]

    Read more →
  • Features Unpacking the Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict and Its Ripple Effect on Israel’s Region

    Unpacking the Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict and Its Ripple Effect on Israel’s Region

    JNS.org – Aside from Israel itself, those with a vested interest in the Jewish state are accustomed to tracking developments related to Middle East players such as Iran, Syria, Jordan and Egypt. But much global attention has recently focused on the Caucasus region at the Europe-Asia border, specifically on the suddenly intensified violence between Azerbaijan and Armenia in the mountainous Nagorno-Karabakh area of western Azerbaijan. The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, while not taking place in Israel’s immediate neighborhood, does have what one scholar called […]

    Read more →
  • Blogs Features Earth Day 2016: Israel Shines in Water Technology, Recycling, Renewable Energy

    Earth Day 2016: Israel Shines in Water Technology, Recycling, Renewable Energy

    JNS.org – On Friday, April 22, 196 nations across the world mark Earth Day, the annual day dedicated to environmental protection that was enacted in 1970. Not to be forgotten on this day is Israel, which is known as the “start-up nation” for its disproportionate amount of technological innovation, including in the area of protecting the environment. For Earth Day 2016, JNS.org presents a sampling of the Jewish state’s internal achievements and global contributions in the environmental realm. Water conservation Israeli […]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture World New Documentary Explores Holocaust Humor, Role That Laughter Played in Death Camps

    New Documentary Explores Holocaust Humor, Role That Laughter Played in Death Camps

    Holocaust humor and the role that laughter played in the lives of Jews during World War II are the focus of a documentary that made its world premiere on Monday at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York City. In The Last Laugh, first- and second-generation survivors, as well as famous Jewish and non-Jewish comedians, discuss their thoughts on when joking about the death camps is appropriate or taboo. “Nazi humor, that’s OK. Holocaust humor, no,” Jewish comedic giant, actor and filmmaker Mel Brooks says in the film. “Anything I […]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Blogs Tragedy Culminates in ‘Celebration,’ Says Israeli Author Who Lost Son to Terror

    Tragedy Culminates in ‘Celebration,’ Says Israeli Author Who Lost Son to Terror

    JNS.org – Sherri Mandell’s life was devastated on May 8, 2001, when her 13-year-old son Koby was murdered by terrorists on the outskirts of the Israeli Jewish community of Tekoa. Yet Mandell not only shares the story of her loss, but also celebrates the lessons she has learned from tragedy. Indeed, “celebrate” is this Israeli-American author’s word choice. Her second book, The Road to Resilience: From Chaos to Celebration (Toby Press), came out earlier this year. The lesson: in every celebration, there is […]

    Read more →