The Golani Brigade is an Israeli regular service infantry brigade that is subordinated to the 36th Division and traditionally associated with the Northern Command. It is one of the five regular service infantry brigades of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). Its symbol is a green tree on a yellow background, and its soldiers wear a brown beret. It is one of the most highly decorated infantry units in the IDF. The brigade consists of five battalions, including two which it kept from its inception (12th and 13th), one transferred from Givati (51st), and two special forces battalions.
The brigade was formed on February 22, 1948 during the 1948 Arab–Israeli War, when the Levanoni Brigade in the Galilee split into the 1st Golani Brigade and the 2nd Carmeli Brigade. It has since participated in all of Israel's major wars and nearly all major operations, including the Sinai War, Six-Day War, War of Attrition, Yom Kippur War, Operation Entebbe, Operation Litani, the first and second wars in Lebanon, and various operations during the Palestinian intifadas.
Although the brigade is known for insubordination problems, three of its commanders, Mordechai Gur, Gabi Ashkenazi and Gadi Eizenkot, became IDF Chiefs of Staff. Many more reached the rank of Aluf (Major General).
ABOUT THE SYMBOL
The symbol of the brigade is a green olive tree with its roots on a yellow background. It was drawn by the 12th Battalion's intelligence officer, who came from kibbutz Beit Keshet, home to numerous olive trees. However, other sources claim it's an oak located in Yavne'el. The colors green and yellow symbolize the green hills of the Galilee, where the brigade was stationed at the time of its creation and the olive tree is known for its strong roots that penetrate and firmly hold the land, reflecting the brigade's connection with the State of Israel's heritage. The yellow background on which the tree stands reflects the brigade's role in the south of the country in the war of 1948, when it captured Umm-Rashrash, now Eilat, Israel's southernmost city.
Early Golani soldiers were farmers and new immigrants, so the strong connection to the land (earth) was important to symbolize. For this reason, Golani's soldiers are designated by brown berets. The brown symbolizes the brigade's connection with the soil of the Land of Israel.
The Golani Brigade's official song was written by Amos Ettinger, composed by Efi Netzer and popularly performed by Yehoram Gaon. The song mentions the brigade's many battles, including references to Rafah in the Sinai War, Tel Faher in the Six-Day War, and Mount Hermon in the Yom Kippur War.
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