Navy commandos from the elite Shayetet 13 unit were honored by IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz on Monday, for a series of successfully covert missions deep inside enemy territory.
IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz, Navy Commander Ram Rotberg, officers from the General Staff, Shayetet commanders and its fighters were all present at the ceremony that took place in the elite unit's base.
The citation is the fifth the Shayetet has received since its formation, and is awarded to it for more than 40 special operations its commandos conducted in the past year, most of them simultaneously over a short period of time - deep inside enemy territory.
Some of these operations, conducted in cooperation with other security forces outside of the IDF, are considered groundbreaking both in capabilities demonstrated by the fighters and the results achieved.
"What characterizes the Shayetet is an operational initiative," IDF chief Gantz said. "The Shayetet doesn't shy away from any mission, constantly seeking to join missions, how to influence, how to be involved. Its fighters conduct covert and secret missions, some missions that are out in the open and some that are less so.
"There's a great wealth of operations in the Shayetet, a wide-reaching operational culture, imitative and most importantly, modesty," he added.
"You have my full appreciation and that of the General Staff. We're convinced you will continue conducting the missions, whatever they may be," Gantz concluded.
Navy Commander Ram Rotberg said that "the citation, even though it does not fit with our character and modesty, is a sign of appreciation on dozens of operations done in between wars.
"These groundbreaking and unique operations are hard work done over short periods of time in several different locations with several different operations running at the same time.
"The citation is a testament to the planning, combative and personal abilities of each of the Shayetet men.
"The quality of the unit, which is shown in the quality of its people, is the story behind its success and includes the fighters, combat support, intelligence troops and all others who accompany the unit's activities.
"The unit's values include jointness and initiative, combativeness and ingenuity, daring and determination."