Sayeret Golani

Sayeret Golani was created in 1951. It was originally named Machleket Siyur Meyuchedet, or Special Reconnaissance Platoon; a part of the 1st Golani Infantry Brigade. Since its creation, the members of the Golani's brigade reconnaisance element have proven themselves to be a effective force with many capabilities beyond the simple reconnaissance role. They have operated all over Israel and even beyond; in beruit, lebannon, Syria, and even Uganda.

Sayeret Golani has had a bloody but illustrious history. The unit assaulted and took Mt. Hernon's strategically located peak in a fierce battle during the Six Days War. In the beginning of the Yom Kippur War the elite Syrian 82nd Paratroop Regiment seized the mountain top from the small contingent of Israeli defenders. Sayeret Golani was tasked to retake the strategic location.

2000 hours on October 21, 1973. Sayeret Golani members begin scaling the steep cliffs at the base of Mt. Hernon. Six hours later, at 0200 the next day, they reached the top and the fighting began. By 0730 a firebase had been secured near the cable car to the top of the mountain. By this time the Golani fighters were using RPGs and rifle fired grenades liberated from dead Syrian defenders to augment their attack, causing many of the defending Syrians to flee or surrender. At 1100 hours, the Israeli and Golani brigade flags were raised to the top of the base's listening post antennae. The nine hour battle had killed 55 Golani members and wounded 79 others. Captain Vinnik (posthumously advanced to the rank of Major), leader of the Sayeret, was also killed. Even though mortally wounded in the beginning stages of the battle, he had continued to direct his commandos until he had finally been caried down the mountain in a stretcher.

Sayeret Golani uses grueling selection process that can end at any time--washouts are sent to the regular units to serve out their committments. Upon completion of the Gibush (selection phase), potential commandos are trained in a vast array of necessary skills. Training is said to last about a year and 8 months.

The curriculum includes a broad array of new techniques to learn and master. Skills such as parachuting, demolitions, escape and evasion, survival, and intelligence work are covered. The soldiers of Sayeret Golani are expected to be proficient with all of the weapons used in their area of operation. Due to the nature of their operations, they also have their own urban warfare training center, known as hell town.

Members who pass all the tests and training are rewarded with the badge of the Sayeret, a small metal pin with a flying tiger as the emblem. Dating back to the beginning of the Sayeret, this is their symbol and where they get their unofficial name, Ha'Namer Ha'Me'ufaf, the Flying Tiger.

Most of the above information was found in "The Illustrated Guide to the World's Top Counter-Terrorist Forces" Samuel M. Katz ISBN 962-361-602-3
Back to the Spec War web page.