This week, soldiers embarked on a grueling march to earn their place as fighters in the IDF (Zahal)’s Golani Brigade.
It’s a brisk winter day and over five hundred soldiers, recently drafted into the Golani Brigade, begin their grueling march up a hill in northern Israel. Upon completion of their journey, these soldiers will receive their official tags and formally enter the Golani Brigade.
Filled with adrenaline, the soldiers prepare to embark on a march that will become one of the defining moments of their IDF (Zahal) service. With over twelve kilograms on their backs, the march begins. Israeli flags are waving in the wind and the soldiers begin chanting and singing as their officers lead the way. “Completing this march and receiving this tag makes you a part of the Golani family,” says Lt. Col. Avinam Stolovich, Commander of the Golani Training Base, as the soldiers head out.
The Golani Brigade was formed in 1948 and remains one of the largest brigades in the IDF (Zahal), guarding a significant sector in Israel’s north. The brigade has participated in all of Israel’s wars and major operations.
The march culminates with the soldiers running with stretchers held high above their heads.Their commanders meet them with a ceremony at the end of their journey to mark this important day. ”When I wear my tag I know how much history is behind it and the family I am part of,” says Pvt. Noam Balti, one of the new Golani recruits.
These soldiers will go on to serve their country proudly, wearing the Golani tag of courage and leadership that they earned with their brothers.