Israel SF Units: NAHAL
http://www.nahalharedi.orgNahal Brigade Nahal (pron. Na'hal) -(Hebrew)
1. Acronym for No'ar Halutzi Lo'hem - Fighting Pioneer Youth.
A branch of the IDF that combines agricultural work and military service.
Allegiance: Branch: Army Infantry
Role: Combat service for distinct population
(Haredi Jews, Moshavniks, New Immigrants etc)
Command structure: Israel Centeral Command
Current commander: Brigadier General Roni Numa
In the Israeli Defense Forces,
the rank of Brigadier General is called Tat Aluf and is the third highest rank,
below Aluf (Major General) and Rav Aluf (Lieutenant General or General).
Motto: "The Human Advantage"
Colors: Light Green berets
March: "Ha-Nachal Kan" ("The Nachal is here")
Notable battles or wars: Operation Peace for Galilee
Nahal, aHebrew acronym for Noar Halutzi Lohem (lit. Fighting Pioneer Youth), refers historically to a program for Israeli youth that allows them to combine their compulsory three-year military service with volunteer-type 'civilian' service - organizing social welfare projects in neighborhoods and towns suffering from socioeconomic difficulties, acting as counselors for youth organizations, or founding and developing new agricultural settlements.
There is a general Nahal command which organizes and coordinates these projects, and also other educational endeavours such as Gadna, a week-long 'introduction' to the military for high-schoolers in which they become acquainted with the history, traditions, and routines of the military that they are about to join.
Nahal is also the name of one of theIsrael Defence Forces infantry regiments, along with Golani, Givati, Tzanhanim (Paratroopers), and others. In addition there is an infantry unit formerly associated with the Nahal command called Karakal that allows women to serve as combat soldiers alongside men (the first IDF infantry unit to do so). Lastly, there is another infantry unit formerly associated with the Nahal command called Nahal Haredi, an attempt by the IDF to reach out to the ultra-religious community and persuade them to serve in the military (most orthodox Israelis are exempt from military service).
Nahal Haredi, which has recently changed its name to Netzah Yehuda, combines regular infantry service with religious elements and allows orthodox Israeli youth to complete their service in an ideal religious environment (special kosher food, religious instruction, etc.).
The history of the Nahal reaches all the way back to the early days of the Jewish state. In 1948, in a famous letter, a gar'in (seed) committee sent a letter to Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion requesting that he allow all gar'in members to enlist into military service as a group, instead of being split up at random into different units according to the military's needs. A gar'in is essentially a 'cell' of a larger youth movement, such as the Israeli Scouts, usually formed by youths of high school age in order to take part in various public welfare activities. In the years before and slightly after the creation of Israel, gar'inim were mainly involved in settlement, but have expanded their activities to all manner of charitable volunteerism. Gar'inim are usually tightly knight groups, identified often with communist and/or democratic socialist philosophies, and continue living together on communes for many years, sometimes decades, after their military service, though this has become less common. In response to the letter, Ben-Gurion created the Nahal program, which allowed the gar'inim to combine their military service with volunteerism. Gar'inei Nahal served together in various army units, most famously in the Nahal Mutznach battalion (Airborne Nahal) of the Paratroopers Regiment, the reserve battalion of which was instrumental in the Israeli victory in the Battle of Jerusalem during the Six Day War (1967).
Nahal settlements can be found in the Galilee, the Negev, and the West Bank
(as well as formerly in the Sinai Peninsula and Gaza Strip).
As of 2006, Nahal may refer to one or more of the following service programs:
The Nahal Regular Infantry Regiment: The Nahal Regiment was created in 1984 as a result of an increased need for infantry manpower in the IDF- a direct consequence of the conflict in southern Lebanon. The name Nahal was given to the regiment because the first battalion attached to it, the 50th, was the Airborne Nahal battalion, transferred over from the Paratroopers regiment (which was compensated with the raising of a new battalion). Two former patrol units, the 931st and the 932nd were also converted into infantry battalions and attached to the new regiment. Today, the 931st and 932nd are both high-quality, regular infantry battalions whose soldiers are drafted from the general population and serve a full three-year combat service. The 50th battalion, on the other hand, currently has a unique makeup. Half of the battalion's companies are made up of gar'inim, who serve two years military service and then one year civilian volunteer service, and the other half, including the battalion's veteran combat companies, are made of Bnei Mashakim LePikud, nick named Mishkonim. The Mishkonim are youths from kibbutzes and moshavs, who, prior to their military service were invited to and completed/passed a three-day gibush (selection phase involving various physical, mental, and sociometric challenges), and after their initial training are sent, most often within the first year, to Command Sergeants School. They also, as a continuation of 50th Battalion tradition, complete a paratrooper course after their advanced infantry training. The 50th is considered to be the IDF regular infantry battalion with the highest quality manpower, even more than the Paratroopers Regiment, as a result of the selection phase that the soldiers must pass prior to admittance and the fact that nearly 70% of its soldiers are qualified command sergeants, though only a few are picked to actually serve in this regard. The Mishkonim all serve a full three-year service and many continue on to Officer Candidates School. A fourth Nahal battalion was created in the early 1990s to serve as a special forces detachment for the regiment. Soldiers wishing to serve in this elite battalion must pass a three-day gibush, after which they are dispersed into specialized training programs for each of the three companies that make up the battalion: the Palsar (Plugat Siur, Reconnaissance Company), which is generally considered to be the most elite company (enjoying the highest budget, longest training cycle, and receiving first pick of the soldiers from the gibush- though, in truth, the difference in quality between it's soldiers and those of the other two companies is negligible), the Palnat (Pluga Neged Tankim, Anti-Tank Company), and the Palhan (Plugat Handasa VeHabala, Engineering and Explosives Company). The task of the battalion is to serve as a pathfinder force for the regiment, and to conduct special operations in accordance with each company's unique abilities.
In the current low intensity conflict, the companies usually act as counter-terrorist forces, raiding terrorist homes and hideouts. Nahal regiment soldiers are distinguished by their light green ("sticklight") berets.
Karakal: A light infantry battalion in which male and female soldiers serve together. Currently assigned to security missions on the borders with Egypt and Jordan.
Nahal Haredi: Netzah Yehuda Battalion - the unit for Haredi Jews.
The Nahal Band: A famous military band known for its canonical Eretz Israel songs which have become classics. The band gave birth to many Israeli entertainment talents such as Tuvya Tzafir, Neomy Polani, Gidi Gov and more.
Nahal Infantry Regiment Israel