The Israel Defense Force will be holding its annual IDF Chief Honorary Awards ceremony on Monday, when the most outstanding IDF units will be honored for their hard work during the passing year.
IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen Benny Gantz will present the awards to the winning units, according to three main categories: Battalion, Brigade and Division.
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The IAF's Nachshon Intelligence Squadron won first place in the Battalion Category, followed by the Bedouin Reconnaissance Unit. The Bedouin brigade mostly consists of volunteers and is known for its ability to prevent terror cells from penetrating Israeli territory.
The IDF's Oketz Canine Unit made it to third place, alongside the Paratroopers Reconnaissance Brigade.
As for the Brigades Category, the Navy's Battle Ships Squadron was awarded first place. Coming in second was the GOC Central Command's 401 Tank Brigade, which deployed both in Gaza and in the Golan Height this year; and the IAF's Aerial Defense Unit, which operates Iron Dome batteries, rounded up the top three.
IDF soldiers in training (Archives)
The military's awards committee reviewed the various units' performance according to the Jewish calendar, which ended in September 2012; thus effectively excluding the various achievements marked during Operation Pillar of Defense.
The Galilee Division reached first place in the IDF's Division category; followed by the GOC Central Command's 98th Paratroopers Unit and the Judea and Samaria Division in third place.
Reserve units will also be commended in Monday's ceremony, with the 646 Division winning first place; the Home Front Command's Southern District Unit taking second place and the GOC Northern Command's Division 8 in third place.
The three leading training bases to win the IDF Chief's Award are the IAF Air Defense School, the Givati Brigade training base and the Adjutant Corps training base.
According to the awards committee, 63 units were in the running this year and 38 made it to the final list.
The awards criteria, set by Gantz, included operational competence and battle-readiness; quality of training, manpower management, resource allocation; efficiency and economization, responsibility to the welfare of the troops and commitment to ethics, humanitarian values and military values.
Additional awards were given to units the details of which could not be disclosed, specifically regarding units working outside Israel's borders or such that handle classified information.
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