In a welcome sight for the dati leumi tzibur, two officers who are Shomer Shabbos were recently appointed to prestigious posts. Colonel Kobi Heller, 41, has been appointed as the commander of the Commando Brigade. Colonel Avi Blot has become Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s new military secretary.
Heller, who was raised in Karnei Shomron, is a graduate of the Yamit Yeshiva Hesder that was in N’vei Dekalim before the expulsion from Gush Katif.
He entered the IDF via the Golani Brigade’s elite Pulsar unit, later serving as its commander. He later commanded the 51st Golani Battalion during Operation Defensive Shield as well as the elite Egoz unit. He served in other command posts as well, and his unit was the recipient of the Chief of Staff Award for excellence during Operation ‘Good Neighbor’ in dealing with wounded Syrians brought for treatment to Israel. He also commanded the elite Duvdevan reconnaissance unit which is part of the Paratroops Brigade during ‘Operation Protective Edge’, and the unit also received the Chief of Staff’s Award during his command.
He is the third kippa sruga officer to command this relatively new brigade, established three years ago. To date, all of the commanders have been religious officers.
In addition, last week, Colonel Avi Blot, another Shomer Shabbat officer, was promoted to brigadier-general and to serve as the new military secretary to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)