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Bernardo CT - Fighter, Defender, Trainer, and Protector

Bernardo CT - Fighter, Defender, Trainer, and Protector

Länge: 1:44:28
Bernardo CT made Aliyah from Mexico City in 2006, and spent over 16 years in Israel’s security forces, during which time he carried out hundreds of operations. His expertise covers high-risk police tactics, special operations (SOF), dignitary protection (CP) and close quarters battle (CQB). He  served as a Federal Air Marshall, personal bodyguard to the Chief of Staff (IDF), a combat instructor and counter assault team member within the Israeli Security Agency.
Bernardo is also the founder of Tsevet Lohamim ("team of warriors"),  a non-profit organization dedicated to mentoring lone soldiers, minorities, & at-risk youth, unlocking their leadership potential in preparation for military service. It was through that program over 12 years ago that I met the men who remain among my closest friends to this day.  
But there are a lot of things Bernardo’s resume won’t tell you. When I first moved to Israel, craving interactions with people my own age, but lacking the money to move to Tel Aviv, Bernardo and his two roommates Rachel and Daniel allowed me to move into their living room free of charge until I could afford to pay rent.  
Prior to the trip on which he enlisted in the IDF, Bernardo had never been to Israel. Though he was among the strongest in the tryouts for the special forces of the Nahal Brigade, he accidentally quit in the middle by raising his hand, not yet speaking enough Hebrew to understand what the commander was saying.  After losing friends in the Lebanon war, Bernardo re-enlisted, this time into the special forces (Palsar Nachal). Many of those training him were suffering from PTSD from the war, and they took that out on Bernardo and the other trainees. 
We spoke of some of the tougher experiences of Bernardo's combat service - one of his commanders was hit with an IED, and friends were shot. 
After spending some time as an officer in the dignitary protection unit, Bernardo decided to go back to combat service, and tried out for and was accepted into Yamas, one of the most active and elite units in Israel.  Yamas specializes in utilizing low visibility undercover tactics to capture violence criminals in high risk areas and counter terrorism throughout Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria. 
Bernardo’s job on the team was to break doors, which came with a great benefit: “Even if the mission was not successful, I at least got to break down a door, and that’s always fun.”  We discussed violent missions, but also the many occasions on which Bernardo used restraint when the rules of engagement would have allowed him to shoot to kill.  
He told me the powerful story of a mission (on which he risked his life and many of his teammates were injured) to arrest a Palestinian who had killed another Palestinian. Israel risking the lives of it’s elite soldiers to bring about justice for Palestinians in Area C (sovereign Palestinian territory) is a story that is not often told in the media.  Bernardo served alongside Jews, Druze, Christians, and Muslim Arabs in Yamas, another fact that is often missing from the media's narrative.
We spoke about Israel’s edge in undercover operations as compared to other armies, and closed with Bernado's advice for future lone soldiers. Bernardo is an instructor at Tactical Fitness Austin, which will be partnering with Legion Alpha in February to bring subsidized Krav Maga to the Austin community.  Bernardo can be found on Instagram, Linkedin, and reached by email at Bernardo@TacticalFitnessAustin.com.
Folgen-ID: 1000590112203
GUID: Buzzsprout-11868816
Erscheinungs­datum: 14.12.2022, 04:00:00


What motivates someone to move halfway across the world to enlist in the IDF? Among the ranks of the Israeli Defense Forces are several thousand soldiers known as "Lone Soldiers," meaning they have no family in Israel supporting them. Many of these soldiers move to Israel from abroad, leaving their friends and family behind them to pursue their dream of IDF service. Between 2010 and 2013, I served as a lone soldier in a combat unit of the Israeli Defense Forces. In this podcast series, I interview former lone soldiers to learn about their motivations for enlisting, their experiences in the IDF, and how those experiences have shaped the rest of their lives.


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