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SECURING AMERICA, STRENGTHENING ISRAEL

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2013 Military Academies Program Highlights

Click here to read the full program highlights

In 2013, JINSA was again able to generate two consecutive summer trips to Israel for a combined total of 57 cadets and midshipmen and five escorts.

The rigorous two-and-a-half week itinerary was planned to provide a positive, in-depth experience for the next generation of America's military leaders. It imparted the reality of Israel, its past and recent history, its security requirements, and the capabilities Israel brings to meeting its own defense needs and supporting Western interests in a crucial part of the world.

The schedule emphasized having the American cadets and midshipmen meet and engage in discussion with young Israeli officers, highlighting the role of the military in democratic countries, similarities and differences in officer schooling, and building bridges for future contact between their respective military establishments. With the support of the IDF, JINSA arranged for a group of Israeli junior officers to be embedded with the cadets and midshipmen for seven full days, ensuring that a sharing of experiences would occur and enabling the American participants to get to know their Israeli counterparts on a close, personal level.

The trips included high level and expert briefings and extended question-and-answer sessions with Israel Defense Force (IDF) officers, retired senior intelligence experts, leading academics, and ordinary Israelis.

The participants traveled nearly the entirety of the country. They visited Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Haifa, the Galilee, the Golan Heights, Beersheva, and the Dead Sea. They climbed Masada, went rafting in the Jordan River, and hiked in the Negev Desert.

The program's success is continually assessed through post-trip surveys and essays submitted by trip participants. Each year, JINSA compiles these essays to analyze the participants' views on the program's overall impact on them as future military leaders of our country, how their misconceptions about Israel were changed because of the program, and what made the biggest impression on them.

This year's participants clearly indicated that their understanding of the complexity of Israel and the Middle East was dramatically enhanced. Nearly all participants commented on the differences between the Israel they have seen on television and the Israel they visited. They consistently note that the information obtained on the program will make them more successful American military officers, having obtained a great understanding of Israel's democracy, civil society, and culture, a deeper knowledge of the U.S.-Israel alliance, and the global security issues in the Middle East.

2013 also saw the two most senior IDF officers in the United States brief past and future cadet and midshipmen participants in JINSA's Military Academies Program in Israel. Major General Yaakov Ayish, Defense and Armed Forces Attaché to the United States and Canada, met with and briefed cadets at the United States Military Academy at West Point, while Brigadier General Yaakov Shaharabani, Israel Air Force Attaché & Deputy Defense Attaché to the United States and Canada, did the same at the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis.

The meetings and briefings are an important component to JINSA's Military Academies Visit to Israel program and, ultimately, are of great benefit to the cadets and midshipmen who participate in the program.

Click here to read the full program highlights

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