Changing of the Guard at the IDF: New Chief of Staff Kochavi Officially Assumes Role
New IDF chief of staff, Lt. Gen. Aviv Kochavi, officially entered the role on Tuesday at an installation ceremony at the Israeli military headquarters in Tel Aviv.
Kochavi was met by an honor guard and then taken to a welcoming event where he was toasted by the participants, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Afterward, he led his first General Staff meeting.
“The national home that was founded here is an unmatched marvel in the history of the nations,” Kochavi said. “In order to protect this home, a clear vision is needed, an able military force, the willingness to use it, judgment and determination; in this spirit we shall act.”
“We must focus on enhancing our ability to strike the enemy, and positioning a powerful, efficient, and innovative military which preserves its purpose and uniqueness,” he added. “The IDF is the military of the people, for the protection of the people, which respects its soldiers from all [its nation’s] people, draws its strength from the people, and embodies the best of the people.”
“The IDF is a professional fighting force, led by its commanders, ready for every mission, which operates according to the law, the decisions of the Israeli government, and in the spirit of the values of the Jewish people,” Kochavi noted.
“In its purpose, the IDF is a defensive force, but offensive and proactive in character, with victory its only essence,” he stated.
Kochavi replaced Lt. Gen. Gadi Eizenkot, who retired after a military career that began in 1978 and culminated with a four-year stint as chief of staff.