Life of Talia
Written by Talia Goldberg, Community Shlicha
In September 2016, a young 18 year old me, had to draft to the Israel defense forces. I was assigned to the Education Unit. It was a weird day for me on my first day in the army. I was so confused and had no idea what was going on. Lucky for me, the same day I drafted, my best friend from childhood drafted to the army as well. She was placed in the same basic training as me. There's nothing more you can ask for on days like that then a familiar face. We even got so lucky to be placed in the same room, and I got to choose the top of our mutual bunk bed.
Basic training, I have to say, felt like a joke most of the time. But I was also all scared to death of our commander. They had the power to give us “hours in the home leaving”, which meant if we did anything wrong we could have our hours at home reduced. I remember thinking to myself that it's like the computer game, Mario Kart, where you have 3 lives and the rules are don't lose. That approach helped me get only 15 minutes less at home once in all of basic training.
After basic training, where we learned the essentials of being a soldier, like shooting and obeying orders, we got to move on to our professional training. In professional training, we started to learn to do what we would be doing as our job in the army. I was learning to be a tour guide in a unit near Ashkelon. Those were beautiful and wonderful times since we spent our days studying really interesting places far away from anyone else and touring the area.
After my professional training, I was stationed in Ramat Gan and would be in control of the education unit and help develop the units that did tour guiding in the army. I loved that job! I learned so much and I made great friends from all around. The unit felt like a family to me, and I’m glad I served my time there.
One day, about 8 month of doing my new job, my commanders, both named Lior, asked me to come into their office. They told me they wanted to promote me to be an officer in the IDF. They thought I was ready for the promotion. At first, I refused since I didn't want to be “yellow”, which means someone who loves the army and plans to make the army their career. But I thought about it some more and I told them I'll try and see what happens. I then found myself standing at the entrance to Bahad 1, the IDF’s officer school.
There’s more to this story but you’ll have to wait for Part 2.