Legendary Master Sergeant passes away

Command Sgt. Maj. Yaakov Asahel, who immigrated to Israel alone, served as Master Sergeant of the Armor Academy for nearly 30 years

Date: 03/10/2012, 4:23 PM    

Command Sgt. Maj. (CSM) Yaakov Asahel, one of the most well known Master Sergeants in the history of the IDF (Zahal), passed away yesterday (Tuesday, October 2). One of the great architects of the discipline of the Armored Corps, CSM Asahel guided and supervised generations of soldiers, many of whom went on to serve as senior officers.

“Love for people and love for the State of Israel always guided him,” his son, Yaron, told the IDF (Zahal) Website. “When I asked him as a child why he chose work like this, which required him to leave at 5:30 a.m. on Saturdays and holidays, he explained to me that even on Saturday somebody had to make sure that the soldiers have food, that they get the things that they need. That is exactly the personal motto that guided him.”

CSM Asahel immigrated to Israel in 1949, making the journey from Greece alone. Immediately after the 1956 Sinai Campaign, he became the Master Sergeant of the Armor Academy. He served in that post for nearly 30 years, until the Academy was moved to the Shizafon base. He was known both for his strict discipline and for the care that he displayed toward the many soldiers under his command.

The history of the Asahel family is deeply ingrained within the Armored Corps. His son, daughter, and son-in-law all served in the Corps, his son eventually becoming an officer. CSM Asahel also met his wife in the Armored Corps.

“My father wanted me to become at least a Company Commander, but after becoming Deputy Company Commander, I decided to pursue my studies,” his son recounted. “He was a military man with every cell in his body, but he was decidedly modest and shunned the spotlight throughout his life.”

The IDF (Zahal) salutes CSM Asahel on his great contributions to Israel’s security and shares his family’s sorrow.