Israel Defense Forces officers are strong in offensive tactics but are lacking in defensive strategy, a military assessment obtained by Israel Hayom has revealed. The examinations were designed to assess officers holding the ranks of lieutenant-colonel and colonel.
Combat examinations of colonels and lieutenant-colonels in combat units are conducted every two years. Since April, 2009 seven military assessments have been completed, but the 2012 test marked the first time that all army officers completed the examination. The IDF attributed this success to Commander of the IDF Army Headquarters Maj. Gen. Sami Turgeman, who has been appointed as the new GOC Southern Command.
An analysis of the test results revealed that many lieutenant-colonels were relatively weak in defense strategy, answering on average 74% of the questions in this field correctly. They scored significantly higher in offensive strategy, with an 84% success rate. In addition, the officers showed relative expertise in infantry and combat intelligence methods, but underperformed in questions relating to artillery and armor guidelines.
The colonels recorded similar results: a 75% success rate on defense as opposed to 85% in combat strategy. The officers demonstrated remarkable knowledge in both command and control, which are related to coordinating offensive strikes, achieving a 91% success rate in these fields.
Both lieutenant-colonels and colonels achieved average scores on basic doctrine and operational achievement, with 78% and 76% respectively.
Still, the officers scored 83.9% overall in the 2012 tests, compared to 82.2% the last time around. Colonels scored higher than their lieutenant-colonel counterparts: 86.3% compared with 82.6%. In total, two officers failed the tests, compared to six officers the last time the tests were administered.
Reservist officers serving in the Southern Command's Sinai Division were the highest achievers from this round of testing, scoring an average 92.85%. The Northern Command military headquarters received the lowest average score, 75.3%, but only three officers were tested there.
Lieutenant-colonels serving in Division 91 on the northern border with Lebanon scored an average of 85.63%, and those in Division 36 protecting the Syrian border achieved 83.2%. The 98th Paratroopers Division scored 86.1% and officers stationed along the Israeli border with Egypt received 80.2% scores.
The Armored Corps recorded the highest scores in IDF combat doctrine, scoring an average 86.41%, while Combat Intelligence Collection Corps recorded the weakest score at 82.22%.
The tests included 60 questions on various topics. Administrators granted officers an extra hour to complete the test, in addition to the two-hour extension the officers received in the last round of testing. In addition, questions were added that reviewed Israeli strategy in the wars since 1948, with an emphasis on newer written material on IDF doctrine. The IDF sought to emphasize that the tests varied between examinees, and that there was a different number of test takers in every unit.