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 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 →
  • Features Opinion For Alan Gross, Cuban Prison Didn’t Harden His Heart or Weaken His Ambition

    For Alan Gross, Cuban Prison Didn’t Harden His Heart or Weaken His Ambition

    JNS.org – Alan Gross used to be nothing more to me than a tragic headline. When I started my position at this news service in July 2011, Gross had been imprisoned in Cuba since December 2009 for what that country called “crimes against the state.” Gross, a subcontractor for the United States Agency for International Development, went to Cuba to help the Jewish community there access the Internet. After his arrest, he received a trial he describes as a “B movie,” […]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Features New Movie Shows How Global Economic Instability Grew From Very Local Greed

    New Movie Shows How Global Economic Instability Grew From Very Local Greed

    JNS.org – When I saw the recent Academy Award-winning film “The Big Short,” I was struck by the sheer genius of the financiers who devised the schemes and packaged the loans for resale, but it left me with unanswered questions about how the properties these loans represented were moved. “The Big Short” was largely about paper transactions, big money, and wealthy investors, and it mildly touched on the way the actual end-users — the home buyers and brokers — played into this […]

    Read more →
  • Blogs Book Reviews Psychiatry and the Spirit

    Psychiatry and the Spirit

    Why do we think so negatively about psychiatrists that we still insult them by calling them shrinks? Some medics might be quacks, but we don’t generally refer to them as witches! Shrinks; The Untold Story of Psychiatry, by Dr. Jeffrey Lieberman, is a sobering account of how psychiatry has swung from a marginal, unscientific mixture of weird theories into one of the most common and pervasive forms of treatment of what are commonly called “disorders of the mind.” Is it […]

    Read more →
  • Features Opinion At Forbes Summit in Israel, Entrepreneurship Is a ‘Common Language’

    At Forbes Summit in Israel, Entrepreneurship Is a ‘Common Language’

    JNS.org – Nine months ago, Seth Cohen, director of network initiatives for the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation, and Randall Lane, editor of Forbes Magazine, were schmoozing about the “vibrancy of Tel Aviv and soul of Jerusalem,” as Lane put it. They dreamed about how they could bring young and innovative millennials to the so-called “start-up nation.” From April 3-7, Forbes turned that dream into a reality. Israel played host to the first-ever Forbes Under 30 EMEA (Europe, the Middle East, and Africa) […]

    Read more →