Tsevet Mikey, named after Michael Levin z”l, began when three former IDF lone soldiers, Sam Auerbach, Mike Domb, and Sgt. A’, felt the need to further prepare lone soldiers for their time in the IDF. All having experience as leaders in the army, they saw a gap between lone soldiers in the IDF and Israelis. Despite being bright and capable soldiers, many lone soldiers are not able to live up to their full potential in the army simply due to lack of preparation. All volunteers at the Lone Soldier Center after their service, Sam, Mike, and A’, felt as though they could put their experience to use by creating a program that would help prepare lone soldiers for leadership positions in the army. “At first we participated because we needed Chessed (community service) hours, but we continued it because we wanted to make a change,” says Mike, one of the founders of Tsevet Mikey.
A multi-faceted program, participants attend Tuesday night sessions where they learn what it takes to be the best soldier that they can be. Those sessions can be based on topics such as leadership, command or self-esteem. The lessons are then put into the field on Monday and Wednesday when the tsevet along with their commanders go to Gan Sacher for combat fitness training. Mike describes the trainings as “teaching these kids to be more than just soldiers carrying a stretcher. We teach them how to make an impact and lead a tsevet while carrying a stretcher”. The sessions and trainings are aimed at helping future lone soldiers be as prepared as possible to get the most out of their service, whether it is a year and a half or three.
Tsevet Mikey has an immense impact on each soldier’s experience in the army. By giving them the tools necessary to not only be good soldiers in the army but to take on leadership positions, lone soldiers who participate in tsevet mikey tend to be more prepared than even native Israeli soldiers. “Tsevet Mikey has changed the definition of what hard work is for me” explains drafting lone soldier Ovadia. “I have learned how to deal with pressure and how to operate as a unit. For me it is about always giving your most and pushing past boundaries.”
While the main purpose of tsevet mikey is to prepare soldiers for the army, that is not all it does. By training with a consistent group of people, you become part of a family. Whether you are crawling through mud in Gan Sacher while groaning through the pain, or raising the stretcher at the end of a 30 km Masa (journey), each experience is shared between every member of the tsevet. Ovadia says that aside from the physical and mental training he is “extremely appreciative of the community that he has been welcomed into”.
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