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In first, president appoints female officer as military secretary

40-year-old Brig. Gen. Naama Rosen-Grimberg, who has filled series of intelligence roles during 22 years of service, hailed by Herzog for ‘making history’

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

President Isaac Herzog (left) and IDF chief Aviv Kohavi (right) award Naama Rosen-Grimberg the rank of brigadier general at the President's Residence, July 31, 2022. (Haim Zach/GPO)
President Isaac Herzog (left) and IDF chief Aviv Kohavi (right) award Naama Rosen-Grimberg the rank of brigadier general at the President's Residence, July 31, 2022. (Haim Zach/GPO)

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.

Brig. Gen. Naama Rosen-Grimberg speaks during a ceremony marking her entering the role of president’s military secretary, at the President’s Residence, July 31, 2022. (Israel Defense Forces)

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.

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.

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