Brothers in arms

Brothers Eitan and Benzion Gilad serve side by side proudly as officers in the Nahal Brigade’s reconnaissance battalion

Date: 19/02/2013, 6:07 PM     Author: Yael Livnat

It is natural for two officers in the same combat unit to work from time to time together in the field, but in the case of brothers Cpt. Eitan Gilad and Lt. Benzion Gilad – both officers in the Nahal Brigade’s reconnaissance battalion – they also happen to meet from time to time at their family home for a Friday night Shabbat meal.

Cpt. Eitan, 27, serves as commander of the Raven Company in the Nahal Brigade’s reconnaissance battalion while his 23-year-old brother Benzion currently serves as the vice-commander of the brigade’s reconnaissance company. Both brothers live in the Golan Heights, and are used to alternating places at the family table, when one goes home for the weekend and the other stays on base.

The brothers’ first meeting in the army happened when Eitan was a trainee in the company commanders’ course and Benzion was training at the same time to be a squad commander. “Since [the course] we’ve met a number of times, for instance when I was a company commander for basic training at the brigade training base and Benzi was a platoon commander in a parallel company,” Cpt. Eitan said.

The Nahal Brigade is currently in a training period in the Golan Heights, before which the brigade’s reconnaissance battalion was stationed for operational deployment in South Mount Hebron. There too, the brothers met a number of times during the course of operational activity.

“Our parents really try to support our service. Even if they are very worried, they don’t show it to us,” Lt. Benzi said. The two also met in the staging areas outside the Gaza Strip during Operation Pillar of Defense. The brothers said that each had thoughts of the other in their heads, but made sure not to let it affect their respective roles during the operation.

Apart from the red boots and green beret that they both wear with pride, the brothers also share hobbies such as bike riding together – something which draws the two even closer together whenever their weekend leave matches up.