Leadership: Israel Does Not Tolerate Poor Performance


April 11, 2014: Israel recently revealed the results of an investigation into a February 3rd friendly fire incident that left a young officer dead. This took place on the Gaza border when the victim was shot by another Israeli soldier who was confused about who was where. As a result of this the army decided to dismiss three soldiers from their jobs because of poor performance. The soldier who fired the fatal shot was dismissed from combat service. His company commander, who had planned and supervised the operation also lost his job and can never hold a combat command in the future. The battalion commander lost his job but can receive combat commands in the future.

Israel expects a lot from its combat troops, especially unit commanders. In Israeli society it’s a pretty severe punishment to be expelled from combat service, and especially to be barred from commanding combat troops. The incident happened because the combat commander did not adequately brief the troops who were sent on a mission to patrol the Gaza border fence to prevent the Islamic terrorists on the other side from placing bombs. These bombs are then remotely detonated when an Israeli patrol comes by. The fence is monitored electronically but troops are sent along the fence periodically to double check. During this incident, which occurred at night, the company commander used a poorly thought out patrol plan and did not adequately train all his troops how to tell friend from foe in the darkness. Thus the Israeli officer was mistaken for a Palestinian terrorist and shot dead.


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