Major General Benny Gantz was appointed IDF Chief of the General Staff and received the rank of Lieutenant General today, February 14th 2011, at a national ceremony held in the Prime Minister’s office. The appointed Chief of the General Staff, Lieutenant General Benny Gantz, will replace Lieutenant General Gabi Ashkenazi, who served as Chief of the General Staff during the last four years, and is retiring from the IDF after 40 years of service. Lt. Gen. Gantz is Israel’s 20th IDF Chief of the General Staff. The ceremony was held in the presence of Israel’s Prime Minister, Mr. Benjamin Netanyahu, Defense Minister, Mr. Ehud Barak, ministers, members of the Cabinet, the General Staff and other honored guests. Also attending the ceremony was Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the United States Military, Admiral Michael G. Mullen, who arrived in Israel especially to participate in the farewell events for Lt. Gen. Ashkenazi. Below are the curriculum vitae of Lt. Gen. Gantz and Lt. Gen. Ashkenazi.
Lieutenant General Benny Gantz – Curriculum Vitae
Lieutenant General Benny Gantz, born 1959, recruited to the IDF in 1977 and joined the Paratroopers Brigade.
In 1979, he graduated from the IDF Officer School and was positioned as a Platoon Commander and later as a deputy Company Commander in the Paratrooper Brigade. In the 1982 Lebanon War he replaced an injured company commander, fighting alongside his soldiers in western Beirut.
Between 1987-1989 he served as Commander of the Ef’a Battalion in the Paratroopers Brigade.
Between 1989-1992 he served as Commander of the Shaldag Unit in the Israel Air force. Also during the same period, was a commander of the forces securing operation Shlomo, bringing Ethiopian Jews to Israel.
Between 1992-1994 he served as Commander of the Reserve Paratroopers Brigade.
Between 1994-1995 he served as Commander of the Judea Brigade in the Judea and Samaria Division.
Between 1995-1997 he served as Commander of the Paratroopers Brigade.
Between 1998-1999 received the rank of Brig. Gen. and served as commander of a reserve division in the Northern Command.
Between 1999-2000 he served as Commander of the Liaison Unit with Lebanon. He was the last IDF commander to leave the gates of Lebanon.
In 2001 was appointed Commander of the Northern Command Reserve Core and received the rank of Maj. Gen.
Between 2000-2002, during the start of the second Intifada he served as Commander of the Judea and Samaria Division.
Between 2002-2005 he served as Commander of the IDF Northern Command.
Between 2005-2007 he served as Commander of the IDF Ground Forces Command.
Between 2007- 2009 he served as the IDF Military Attaché in the United States.
In 2009 he was requested by the Minister of Defense and the Chief of the General staff to serve as the Deputy IDF Chief of General Staff, a position he filled until November 2010. During this period, Lt. Gen. Gantz implemented the Tefen multi-year plan in addition to leading other processes in the reserve forces, human resources, the IDF budget and numerous others.
On February 2011 he was appointed by the Israeli government as Israel’s 20th IDF Chief of the General Staff and received the rank of Lieutenant General.
Lt. Gen. Gantz is a graduate of the Command and Staff College and the National Security College and a US Military Special Forces course (one of only three IDF officers to graduate from the “Green Berets” training course). He has a Bachelors degree in history from the Tel Aviv University, a Masters degree in Political Science from the Haifa University and another Masters Degree in Management of National Resources from the National Defense University in the United States.
Lt. Gen. Gantz is married and is a father of four.
Lieutenant General Gabi Ashkenazi Curriculum Vitae
Lieutenant General Gabi Ashkenazi was born in 1954 in Moshav Hagor. He is a graduate of the Military boarding school by the Gimnasia Hertzlia in Tel Aviv.
In 1972, Lt. Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi was recruited to the IDF Golani Brigade.
In 1973, During the Yom Kippur War Ashkenazi participated in the battles along the southern front and in 1976 participated in the Entebbe operation.
In 1978, while serving as a Deputy Battalion Commander in the Golani Brigade, Ashkenazi was wounded while participating in the Litani operation.
Between 1979-1980- took part in the Barak Command and Staff Course, which he completed with honors.
In 1980 was appointed Commander of a Golani Battalion, and in 1981 received the rank of Lieutenant Colonel.
In 1982, during the War in Lebanon, Ashkenazi was appointed Deputy Commander of the Golani Brigade. He commanded the forces which captured the Beaufort, Nabatiyah and Jabel Baruch.
Between 1983-1984 participated in the Command and Staff Course of the US Army Marines.
In 1984 was appointed Operations Officer at the Headquarters of the Infantry and Paratroopers Corps.
In 1985 received the rank of Colonel and became the Commander of a Regional Brigade in the IDF’s Northern Command.
In 1987 was appointed Commander of the Golani Brigade.
In 1988 was appointed Operations Officer of the Northern Command.
In 1992 was appointed Commander of the IDF Liaison Unit to Lebanon and in 1994 was appointed Commander of the IDF Operations Unit within the General Staff.
In 1996 received the rank of Major General and served as Assistant Head of the General Staff Branch, in the IDF’s General Staff.
In 1998 was appointed GOC Northern Command.
In 2002 was appointed Deputy Chief of the General Staff and in 2005 Ashkenazi retired from the IDF.
On February 4th 2007, the Government of Israel decided to appoint Gabi Ashkenazi to be the 19th Chief of the General Staff.
On February 14th 2007, Gabi Ashkenazi received the rank of Lieutenant General and was appointed Chief of the General Staff.
Lieutenant General Ashkenazi holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from the University of Haifa and is a graduate of the Harvard Business Management program for senior executives. He is married to Ronit and is the father of Itai and Gali.
For more photos of Lt. Gen. Gantz’s inauguration ceremony, please view our Flickr page.