Tuesday morning, last week, we were woken up without warning an hour early. All the commanders were fully dressed in field gear and painted faces. We were told we have 15 minutes to get really in full gear and be ready for the Masa. A Masa is a forced march over a long distance. In Combat units this is a big deal, there Masaot are like 40-70km in the middle of the night. They usually signify the end of training. Well ours was only 4-5km early in the morning. It was a lot of running, crawling, drills (shooting positions, grenade dives, and relaying messages.) We hardly walked and it was quiet fun. It really wore me out though. We also came up with our Tzevet’s moto word. חץ /Chetz /Arrow. Before we began, the Sergeant picked a soldier. She said that this was the loudest and hardest working soldier, her favorite. Well I was glad it wasn’t me because he ended up carrying the 15kg radio the whole way. He never even go to use it. My mifikedet also got to pick her favorite/best soldier in our tzevet. Once again I was relieved that it wasn’t me, well it should have been me, but anyways he had to run from tzvet to tzvet relaying stupid pointless messages the whole hike. LOL. I guess it pays to be the best and not recognized…story of my life. (wow, that was a bit self centered…).
Well after we were giving some time to shower, change, and pray. The rest of the day until 4pm was getting ready for the Swearing-In Ceremony (Teckes Hasbaah). It was supposed to be in the old city of Akko (An completely Moslem-Arab part of town), but due to the recent conflict in the sea near gaza, it was decided to keep the ceremony on base. Therefore we had a lot of time to burn.
Well it finally came, 4pm. I right away saw my friend Michele, Herbie’s girlfriend, from Ulpan Ramat Yochanan. I gave her my camera to take pics of us. The ceremony started and then I saw a big sign in the crowd with my name and my old Ulpan directors. My adopted family also drove all the way up to support me. They took a lot of good picture and video, but I don’t have them yet. Below are the pictures from my camera though.
The ceremony consisted of me saying the oath to protect and defend Israel and the Jewish people, swearing on the torah, getting my unit tag, and having a very short chat with the platoon officer and sergeant. It was very cool altogether, I felt very proud to be an official IDF soldier.
Enjoy the pics!