Almost two years ago, the famous Golani Brigade had its first ever non-Jewish commander, a member from the Druze community in Israel, take over as its chief. Col. Ghassan Alian has served in the IDF (Zahal) since 1990 and brings with him combat experience from the Second Lebanon War and from operations in the Gaza Strip.
A historic moment in IDF (Zahal) history was when Col. Ghassan Alian became the second ever Druze officer to command an IDF (Zahal) infantry brigade, the only other being Imad Fares who commanded the Givati Brigade. Before he became the chief of the Golani Brigade, Col. Ghassan Alian commanded the Menashe District Brigade near Jenin. After serving as the deputy head of Golani which oversee operations on the volatile Israeli-Syrian border, Col. Ghassan Alian climbed the ranks to secure the nomination from Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz in 2013.
Col. Ghassan Alian has dedicated his life to defending Israel and all of its citizens, having fought in the Second Lebanon War to the most recent operation in Gaza, Operation Protective Edge. During Operation Protective Edge, the Golani Brigade endured some of the heaviest fighting, which included the Colonel himself getting seriously wounded with his battalion. After getting evacuated to a hospital, he brushed off his injuries and demanded to join his soldiers back in the field.
That is the kind of bravery and dedication that the IDF (Zahal) seeks to inspire to all of its soldiers, and Col. Ghassan Alian is a perfect figure that instills that kind of motivation unto his soldiers.