Openly Gay IDF Officer Sharon Afek Promoted to Major General

Military Advocate General (Brig.-Gen.) Sharon Afek, a top member of the high command of the Israeli army, has just been promoted to Major General, becoming the first openly gay officer to hold the second-highest rank in the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF)

Afek came out last year in an interview with Israel Bar Association’s official magazine: “When I was a young officer I was worried that if it was known I might have hit the glass ceiling, but today and since it has been known I have never felt it was an issue.”

He said it was important for him to send a message to the many young LGBT teens on the verge of being drafted into the IDF, “it is important for them to know that there is no glass ceiling that will hold them up in the IDF. Their success depends on them and only them. It is possible to rise to the top of pyramid.”

News of his promotion has quickly spread across social media, drawing support and praise, including this from Consul General of Israel in New York Dani Dayan.

In an interview last year, the Hebrew news site Walla reported, Afek said, “It’s important for me to serve as a role model…The IDF is the people’s army, and it embraces everyone who wants to contribute and develop in it, and I will be happy if many follow in my footsteps.”