Here is a couple week old article from HaAretz, one of Israel's leading newspapers in English and Hebrew, about my brigade. Just yesterday our platoon commander was reprimanding us, and he pulled out the big guns:
"How can any of you give up so easily? Everyone that gets to Golani has to fight to get here. Right now, today, for every spot in our brigade there are four applicants. That's the highest ratio in the army. Like it or not you're here, so start acting like Golanchikim. It hurts. It sucks. You're tired. You're depressed. That's Golani. That's why they say 'Golani... GLORY."
I caught myself nodding my head and clenching my fist.
Here's the article about why they say glory:
"The IDF's Golani Brigade: Always first on the scene at the front line
By Amos Harel, Haaretz Correspondent
At the eye of the Gaza storm is the Golani Brigade. Golani is currently operating in the sector in which the IDF has seen the toughest battles with Hamas, the eastern part of Gaza City. Two days ago, Staff Sgt. Dvir Emanueloff of the brigade’s engineering company was killed in action, and last week an ammunition NCO, Lutfi Nasereldeen, was killed by a mortar on an army base near the Strip.
Golani has a complex image within the IDF. On one hand, it is known as a brigade that struggles with no small number of disciplinary problems and scandals, caused by bad behavior ranging from revolts against commanders to abuse of Palestinians. On the other hand, whenever the army finds itself taking on missions demanding determination, verve and esprit de corps, Golani is among the first brigades it calls.
The brigade carried much of the combat burden in both the second intifada and the Second Lebanon War. Since 2003, Golani has also been involved in combating Palestinian terror groups in Gaza, a task formerly fulfilled mainly by the Givati Brigade. While Golani operates under GOC Northern Command, its units are sent to combat zones on a number of different fronts in both the West Bank and Gaza.
In virtually every conflagration, Golani is rushed to the conflict point. In April 2002, during the intifada, the brigade played a central role in Operation Defensive Shield and the missions preceding it, and Golani’s actions in the Jenin and Tul Karm refugee camps led to the elimination of a number of wanted militants.
It was largely the low casualty toll, and the mass surrender of armed militants in Tul Karm, that gave the political and security establishments the confidence to conquer the major West Bank cities in that massive operation.
Golani participated in the siege on Yasser Arafat’s Muqata compound in Ramallah, the capture of the casbah in Nablus ‘(along with the Paratroops’), and in the difficult fighting in Jenin refugee camp.
In 2005, the brigade participated in the disengagement from Gaza, including the evacuation of the Gush Katif settlements. In the following year’s Second Lebanon War, it saw fierce battle with Hezbollah in the villages of Maroun al-Ras and Bint Jbail and suffered 14 casualties between two battalions.
As in Defensive Shield, the combat took place in tight urban areas, and Golani soldiers were highly awarded with citations.
Golani’s current commander, Col. Yossi Peled, has been in the position for only a few months. A veteran of the occupation of southern Lebanon, he later spent several years in the West Bank and was lightly wounded by a suicide bomber in Jenin refugee camp during Defensive Shield.
Now commanding in Gaza, he and his subordinates have chosen to remain in the field with the troops, unlike commanders in the Lebanon war, many of whom preferred to monitor the battle via TV screens far away from the fighting, rather than by observing developments on the ground."
I don't know you, but I have no words to describe how much I admire you for what you're doing. My little cousin is a Golanchik so I have a slight idea of what you're going through -- both in terms of training and the obnoxious kids you have to put up with. I'm in complete awe of your willpower.
In an earlier post you mentioned meeting another immigrant from Virginia. I live in Richmond, and I don't know if there's something in the water here in our beautiful state, but I'm getting ready to make Aliyah too. I'm glad I found this site, your writings are very inspiring and I'll be checking back often.
Golani? You? I am very, very impressed and I salute you!
A while ago I visited the Egoz Brigade. I haven't heard about them in the news recently. Are you aware how they're doing?
Thanks Jenny. Good luck!
Nooyawka -- I have a friend in Egoz, but he's in training. So, I don't really know the story. The gdudim are doing the basic fighting right now, and it seems the air force is taking out the big dogs, so maybe Egoz isn't getting much action - or they're taking out mid-level people. Who knows? These things are secret until afterwards anyway.
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