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In first, IDF appoints female officer to lead brigade

Reut Rettig-Weiss will serve as commander of 99th division’s artillery brigade, promoted to rank of colonel by military chief Aviv Kohavi

Emanuel (Mannie) Fabian is The Times of Israel's military correspondent.

IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Aviv Kohavi, left, awards Reut Rettig-Weiss the rank of colonel, July 16, 2022. (Israel Defense Forces)
IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Aviv Kohavi, left, awards Reut Rettig-Weiss the rank of colonel, July 16, 2022. (Israel Defense Forces)

For the first time in Israel’s history, a woman was nominated on Thursday to serve as a brigade commander in the Israel Defense Forces.

Reut Rettig-Weiss was promoted to the rank of colonel by IDF chief Aviv Kohavi, and will soon serve as commander of the IDF’s 99th division’s artillery brigade, as well as head of an artillery unit at the military’s Tze’elim urban warfare training center in southern Israel.

According to the IDF, she was the first woman at this rank to serve as a combat officer in the Artillery Corps.

Rettig-Weiss previously commanded the Artillery Corps’ elite Sky Riders Unit, which gathers intelligence before and during missions using small, relatively low-cost drones.

According to a recent tally by the Walla news site, there were 47 women serving in the IDF at the rank of colonel, an increase of nearly 50 percent since 2016, when there were 24 female colonels.

Last year, Kohavi announced plans to increase the number of female senior officers in the IDF by 50 percent within the next five years.

In recent years there has also been a growing trend of women serving in combat units and in other roles previously held by men, with the IDF opening up more combat positions to women as recently as last week.

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