Maj. Gen. (ret) Gaby Ashkenazi, 53, is nominated Israel’s next chief of staff after Olmert finally endorses Peretz nominee

Ashkenazi quit the armed forces eighteen months ago as deputy chief of staff after serving four years as OC Northern Command and 30 years in uniform. Six months ago, he was appointed director general of the defense ministry by Peretz. From 1972, Ashkenazi served in the Golani Brigade. He climbed the ranks to take over its command in 1986. As a young infantryman he fought in the 1973 Yom Kippur War and took part in the Entebbe rescue operation in 1976. Ashkenazi also served in the 1982 Lebanon War. The new chief of staff has distinguished himself as a specialist in large-scale ground and armored battles – in sharp contrast to the general he replaces, Lt. Gen Dan Halutz, who came to the job from command of the air force.
Ashkenazi attended US Marine Corps training courses, has a bachelor’s degree in political science from the Kennedy School of Government and a degree in business administration.

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