For young Israelis, military service is compulsory — that is the responsibility for all who live in a country surrounded by enemies who wish her harm. But each member of the military has their own story to tell. Such is the case for Lt. A., writes JNS’ Yaakov Lappin, who tells of his unlikely journey to the Israeli Air Force (IAF):
Tags: aviation IAF IDF Israel JNS military Yaakov Lappin
Among the newly graduated Israeli Air Force cadets who received their wings at a graduation ceremony at Hazerim Airbase in southern Israel in late June was “Lt. A” (full name withheld), a navigator who will serve on-board a transport aircraft. Lt. A took an unusual path—one that was filled with determination—to become one of the air force’s newest navigators.
The 24-year-old’s military journey began in 2014, when he was drafted and completed his basic training at the IAF’s Technical School. He then enrolled in an IAF course though didn’t complete it, transferring instead to an intelligence unit in Jerusalem, where he served for two years.
As Lt. A approached the end of his mandatory military service, he still dreamed of flying. He was even thinking of getting a civilian pilot’s license before the soldier learned of another opportunity. The 178th IAF training course was, he heard, accepting candidates, including those serving in other units.
He went for the tryout, despite knowing that if he was accepted, he’d have to restart his military service. After passing a demanding pre-course trial period, Lt. A was assigned to become a transport navigator.
“I only want to contribute,” he said…