20 September 2015 - 7 Tishri 5776 - ז' תשרי ה' אלפים תשע"ו
Indian soldier amongst those awarded President’s Medal in Israel E-mail

A 22-year-old Indian soldier with the Israeli army has been awarded the President’s Medal of Excellence for his outstanding service.

Adiel Yosef, who immigrated to Israel from Mumbai four years ago, received the award for serving in the Israel Defence Forces (IDF). “I always felt that strong connection to Israel and wanted to serve in the IDF. My parents didn’t want to move to Israel, but on my insistence they first agreed to let me immigrate, but finally joined me when the time came,” Adiel told PTI.

“I was 153kgs when I came to Israel. I had always wanted to serve only in the combat unit but my physique didn’t allow for that,” he said. Adiel has a permanent smile on his face and has earned the nickname “Achi Chamud” (the cute brother) from his friends.

“The army, after several months of a Hebrew learning course (ulpan), sent me to guard a checkpoint. I was disappointed but didn’t give up. I worked hard to lose more than 40kgs and reached out to IDF again to consider me for a combat unit. Following laid-down procedures, I was accepted to an elite combat unit,” he added.

Following an exemplary service record in the combat unit, including his participation in Israel’s war in Gaza last year, the Indian Jewish soldier is now all set to join the officers’ course for which he was recently accepted. “It was a very proud moment for me. My father would tell me stories about Israel and its battles in the region when I was young. Those stories inspired me to choose this role,” he noted.

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