History made: Woman becomes IDF military secretary to Israeli president

Naama Rosen Grimberg is replacing Brigadier General Alaa Abu-Rochen, a member of Israel’s Druze community who served in that position for the past three years.

By Gil Tanenbaum, TPS

History was made in the IDF on Sunday. At a ceremony held at the Presidential residence in Jerusalem Colonel Naama Rosen Grimberg became the first woman soldier ever to be appointed to the post of military secretary to the President of the State of Israel.

Rosen Grimberg was also promoted to the rank of Brigadier General.

Upon receiving the rank, Brigadier General Rosen Grimberg became the sixth Brigadier General currently serving in the IDF.

Rosen Grimberg is replacing Brigadier General Alaa Abu-Rochen, a member of Israel’s Druze community who served in that position for the past three years.

The ceremony was held in the presence of President Yitzhak Herzog, IDF Chief of Staff Major General Aviv Kochavi, and members of the General Staff Forum. Senior officials of the IDF and the security establishment and the families of the incoming and outgoing military secretaries also participated in the ceremony.

The Military Secretary to the President serves as the link between the President’s House and the security system in all its branches: the army, the Shin Bet, the Mossad, the Israel Police, the prison service and more.

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In this role, she will be trusted with the president’s updates on security matters and with handling his meetings with security officials. She will also coordinate the president’s visits to military positions in the field, as well as to all of Israel’s security agencies.

Rosen Grimberg has served in the IDF for 22 years, and for the past two years served as the intelligence officer of the Central Command. She made history in that role too as the first woman to serve as an IDF command intelligence officer.

She has previously held a series of command positions in a variety of units in the Intelligence Division of the IDF, including the Research Division, Unit 8200, the Northern and Central Command, and more.

Naama Rosen Grimberg, 40, is a married mother of two children and holds degrees in the history of the Middle East.

‘You arrived here only by merit’

During the ceremony, President Herzog thanked outgoing secretary Brigadier General Abu-Rochenin for his service and acknowledged how it has helped to advance the position of Druze in Israeli society.

Turning to Brigadier General Rosen Grimberg the President said, “Naama, you are making history here today as the first woman in a sensitive and important security position, and you arrived here [to this position and rank] only by merit.”

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“[This is] thanks to your skills, your abilities, your achievements,” he added, “and the status you have carved out for yourself in a variety of roles in the Israel Defense Forces in general and the intelligence system in particular. Your personal story and your place of residence are also very moving.”

The President wished the general success in her new task and concluded his remarks by saying, “Many thanks to all of you and to the life of the IDF and the security system and to the life of the State of Israel.”

Brigadier General Rosen Grimberg also had the opportunity to say a few words at the ceremony. She commented on how for 22 years she served and commanded a variety of units in the Intelligence Division of the IDF, and was a partner in operative and strategic processes “designed to ensure the security of the State of Israel and its citizens.”

Rosen Grimberg also had a few words of praise for President Herzog. “It is a great privilege for me to serve and work alongside the president of the country,” she said, “a man who made it his goal to unite Israeli society and works tirelessly for the future of the country and the Jewish people.”

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“In my role as the president’s military secretary,” added the general, “I will do whatever it takes to faithfully represent the security activities at the president’s house and help advance the national and security interests of the country in Israel and the world and in the implementation of the president’s policies in the security system,” she said.

At the same time, I will continue to work with humanity and sensitivity to foster the relationship with the bereaved families, the wounded of the IDF and the security system, the families of the captives and the missing, victims and victims of hostilities,” she added.