The IDF promoted its top lawyer, Sharon Afek, to the rank of major general, making him the first openly gay officer to achieve that rank in the IDF, and emphasizing the importance of his role in the army, The Times of Israel reported Thursday.
Afek, the IDF’s military advocate general (MAG), had his new insignia attached to his uniform by Chief of Staff Gen. Gadi Eisenkot and his father at the IDF’s headquarters, called the Kirya, in Tel Aviv.
The rank of the MAG had been reduced in 2015 to brigadier general, but the IDF decided to restore the position to the rank of major general earlier this year. Along with the higher rank, the IDF also set the term of the MAG to five years with an option for a sixth. Previously, the position had no set term.
Future MAGs will not receive the rank of major general immediately, but after serving in the position for three years, as Afek has done. According to the IDF, the increased rank reflects the growing consideration of conducting modern warfare in lines with international law.
“The rank promotion expresses the great responsibility of the military advocate general to act, shoulder to shoulder with commanders, in order to ensure that the IDF is able to fulfill its goal and win, without giving up on the rule of law,” Afek said at the promotion ceremony.
“Even in the times of the most complicated and difficult fighting, the IDF was strict, is strict and will be strict in remaining within the bounds of law and justice. This dedication of the IDF to law and justice is a source of strength and not weakness. It allows us to operate as a people’s army in a democratic state and to preserve the trust of the public,” he added.