05:30 AM 10:30 PM EST OCT 1, 2023 JLM 68°F
IDF Unveils New ‘Steel Shield’ Star of David Emblem for Armored Vehicles

Merkava 4 main battle tanks and Namer and Eitan APCs will bear the symbol.

In the 75th year of the State of Israel, the Director General of the Ministry of Defense, Major General (Ret.) Eyal Zamir, and the Commander of the Land Arm of the IDF, Major General Tamir Yedai, decided that a unique Star of David symbol, called the “Steel Shield,” will be stamped on all of the IDF armored fighting vehicles, such as tanks and armored personnel carriers (APCs).

The “Steel Shield” was unveiled Wednesday in a ceremony with the participation of senior IDF officers including the Israeli-Druze commander of the IDF Armored Corps and other senior officials.

The idea came from a battalion Commander from the IDF’s Armored Corps’ 460th Brigade Lt. Col. Itamar Michaeli, who, at the graduation ceremony for the training of Merkava Mark 4 tank commanders, mentioned his grandfather who was a Holocaust survivor. The colonel’s grandfather was himself a member of the IDF’s armored corps in its 7th Brigade, who took part in the battle at the Latrun fortress during Israel’s war of independence in 1948.

At that time, the IDF did not yet have any real tanks of its own, and certainly not the Israeli made Merkava (chariot) that would not come for another 30 years. The grandfather fought with armored personnel carriers and weapons Improvised and Colonel Michaeli served on Israel’s Merkava 4 tank, what the IDF calls the most advanced war machine in the world.

Latrun, an old police station constructed by the British during World War II, is located right at an important intersection on Israel’s main highway to Jerusalem, Highway 1. This road connects Jerusalem to Tel Aviv directly, and at the place there is located there is an interchange for travelers heading south towards Be’er Sheva and the Negev.

The IDF took heavy losses in attacks trying to take the Latrun fortress for the Jordanian Army – then called the Arab Legion – which held it. Because of its location the Jordanian military was able to block the resupply of Jerusalem which found itself surrounded. As a result, the IDF engineers had to build a new road somewhere else through the mountains in order to save the city.

Today, Latrun is the site of the IDF’s national armored memorial/museum. It holds one of every tank ever used by the IDF as well as the ones the IDF fought against. It was chosen, in part, because the lack of tanks prevented its capture in 1948. But during the Six Day War in 1967 IDF tanks bombed the area, forcing the Jordanian garrison to flee Latrun leaving it undefended.

The head of the IDF’s department for tanks and other armored vehicles Brigadier General Oren Giber and the commander of the IDF’s armored corps Brigadier General Hisham Ibrahim – an Israeli-Druze – turned the idea for the new emblem into the “Steel Shield” symbol.

“Today is a historic day. Exactly 75 years ago, the order of the day was published for the establishment of the Israel Defense Forces and to it was attached the oath of allegiance of the IDF soldiers, ‘I swear,'” said the Director General of the Ministry of Defense, Major General (Res.) Eyal Zamir.

“The symbol of the Star of David, designed by the National Army and the Armored Corps, will convey a message of strength and constant movement forward. This important enterprise will emphasize the connection and the endless commitment of the National Defense Ministry and the Ministry of Defense to the IDF soldiers. We will continue to equip them with the best and most protected land combat weapons in the world, which will guarantee them an advantage on the battlefield,” he added.

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Melvyn Moses 10:56 02.06.2023
Brilliant Idea Brigade Commander IDF Armored Corps Lt Coronal Itamar Michaeli, may G-d Bless & Protect you & all IDF at all times that use alrmored vehicles to protect Israel 24/7 Amen Am Israel Hai.