Israeli Commander Axed for Not Sending Sleep-deprived Soldiers to Train

Head of Northern Command calls it violation of norms expected of commander of combat company

Soldiers take part in an army drill.
Ilan Assayag

The commander of a company of reservists was removed from his position on Sunday for refusing to have his soldiers participate in a training exercise, claiming that they were sleep-deprived. The head of the army’s Northern Command, Maj. Gen. Yoel Strick, confirmed the decision.

According to a military source, the company commander’s superiors explained to him that the training exercises constituted a military order, adding that the soldiers could get caught up on their sleep later.

An army statement noted the contribution that the commander had made over the years to the IDF, but quoted Strick as saying that he considered the refusal to follow orders under the circumstances a violation of norms expected of the commander of a combat company.

The order confirming that removal of the commander comes the same day that a soldier in the IDF’s Maglan commando unit was removed from his position for fleeing from a teenage female Palestinian assailant in the West Bank rather than confronting her. The soldier was lightly wounded by a screwdriver. At least for the time being, the soldier will remain in Maglan, but not in a combat role.