For the first time in Israel’s history, a woman entered the role of military secretary to the president’s office on Sunday.
Brig. Gen. Naama Rosen-Grimberg replaced Brig. Gen. Alaa Abu Rokun, who served in the position for the past three years, during a ceremony at the president’s residence.
“Naama, you are making history here today. The first woman in a sensitive and important security position, and you got here only by merit,” President Isaac Herzog said in remarks provided by his office.
“Thanks to you, thanks to your skills, your abilities, your achievements, and the status you have carved out for yourself in a variety of roles in the Israel Defense Forces in general and the intelligence branch in particular,” he said.
“We are very happy to welcome you into the family of the President’s Residence,” Herzog added.
“It is a great privilege for me to serve and work alongside the president, a man who made it his goal to unite Israeli society and works tirelessly for the future of the country and the Jewish people,” Rosen-Grimberg said.
Rosen, 40, has served in the IDF for 22 years, and is a longtime veteran of the Military Intelligence Directorate. For the last two years, she was the IDF Central Command’s chief intelligence officer, also a first for a female officer.
Rosen holds several academic degrees in Middle Eastern history. She is married with two children and lives in central Israel
Abu Rokun is retiring from the IDF after 32 years.
במעמד מרגש עבורנו, אנו נפרדים היום מהמזכיר הצבאי לנשיא המדינה, תא״ל עלא אבו רוכן. עלא, מטובי בניה של מדינת ישראל, חותם היום מסע צבאי מרשים של 32 שנות שירות. צירוף המילים ״מזכיר צבאי״ קטן מלתאר את כל היקפיו וחשיבותו של התפקיד, בוודאי כפי שמילא אותו עלא בשלוש השנים האחרונות. pic.twitter.com/SeCPjlYsDA
— יצחק הרצוג Isaac Herzog (@Isaac_Herzog) July 31, 2022
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 last month.
Last month, IDF Chief of Staff Aviv Kohavi nominated the military’s first female combat brigade commander, Col. Reut Rettig-Weiss.
Last year, Kohavi announced plans to increase the number of female senior officers in the IDF by 50 percent within the next five years.