Thursday, 8 August 2013

Gilad Schalit and his capture - useful operational lessons

Gilad Schalit's capture: In his own words
Gilad Schalit's capture, in his own words, part II

2-part Jerusalem Post report on Gilad Schalit, the Israeli soldier who was captured, and kept in captivity for 5 years.

The reporter was a little condescending at certain junctures, but look beyond it, to read the details of the incident, which provides very useful learning points, to serving servicemen.

In Singapore, we often find ourselves limited in the real life case studies that are used. Many are from the way back in the past, either during World War 2, or the Konfrontasi.

opswarfare thinks there is real utility in using foreign case studies, especially when they are more recent, and involve conscripts. Our NSFs may switch off when they hear case studies from US, UK, etc, because they don't see the direct relevance, as those soldiers are fully professional.

But case studies like Gilad Schalit are hopefully more relevant. His candidness also helps here, e.g. he mentioned that he didn't pay attention to the security briefing, as he thought “The commander was listening, and that was enough. I trusted him.”.

This is a great example to show our NSFs, to tell them that one cannot always rely on your commanders. Every soldier needs to be armed, not just with their weapon, but with information.

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