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Purity of Arms

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Migdal Teperson's "Lifetime Achievement Award"  E-mail
May 2009

A TRIBUTE TO A GREAT EX-SOUTH AFRICAN SOLDIER
COL. (RES) DAVID (“MIGDAL”) TEPERSON

Lifetime Achievement AwardAt the age of 83, Migdal’s career in the IDF spans a period of 61 years, and in recognition of his remarkable contribution to the IDF, he was recently presented with a certificate of a “Special Lifetime Achievement Award” by the Officer Commanding Ground Forces in the IDF.

Migdal started his long career as one of the 840 South African Machalniks who volunteered to fight in Israel’s War of Independence in 1948-49.  His service began in the Alexandroni Brigade in May 1948, but in August ’48, he “deserted” from his unit in order to join the 9th Battalion Jeep Company of the Hanegev Brigade, known as “The Beasts of the Negev”.  This battalion was involved in expelling the Egyptians from the Negev, the capture of Beersheba, the liberation of Sedom, and finally driving the Egyptians back into the Sinai Desert.

Following his discharge from the Army in August 1949, Migdal joined the 7th Armoured Brigade in 1950 as a reservist.  He was commissioned with the rank of First Lieutenant in 1954 and served in the 79th Battalion of the 7th Brigade, known as the “the Fist and Spear Brigade”.

Then came the Sinai Campaign in October 1956, the 6-Day War in 1967, the War of Attrition, and the Yom Kippur War in October 1973, when Migdal served together with his two sons, Gadi and Saffi, where all three members of the family fought in the Sinai and Egypt.

In 1974, Migdal established an Auxiliary Police Organization (Mishmar Ezrachi) in Kfar Shmaryahu with the rank of Major in the Police Force, and where he became known as the “Sheriff of Kfar Shmaryahu”.

migdalaward1In 1982 in the Lebanon War, Migdal served in his Armoured Brigade as second-in-command with responsibility for logistics.  His unit was responsible for all “movement control” in and out of Beirut.  He continued his yearly reserve duty whilst serving in Lebanon, on the Golan Heights, and along the Jordanian border.  Migdal was promoted to the rank of Lt.Col. in 1987, and he received promotion to the rank of full Colonel in 1997.  His reserve duty continued during the first and second intifadas.  

To sum-up, Migdal has served in the IDF from 1948 to 2009, a period of 61 years.  He established two memorial sites to commemorate and honour the 167 soldiers who served in his brigade and who were killed in action.

migdalaward2Migdal and his wife Shoshana have three children, Gadi, Saffi, and Idit.  He has written two books about his life in Africa and in Israel – “The Volunteer”, and “In the Eyes of the Beholder”.  Migdal is a member of the World Machal committee, and he also serves on the committee which is currently developing the World Machal website.

On behalf of my Machal comrades and myself, we salute Migdal for his remarkable career of unstinting military service and loyalty to the State of Israel, to his gallantry, and to his “esprit de corps”.

Smoky Simon, Chairman, World Machal