A special Army salute for a Special Olympics athlete

Gilad Rosedial is a 28-year-old Special Olympics swimmer who served in the Israeli army's prestigious Medical Corps.


Army Chief of Staff Benjamin Ganz (left) and Minister for Defense Ehud Barak with Gilad (centre)

Four and half years ago Gilad joined the Israeli army as a volunteer as part of a special project involving AKIM Israel - National Association for the Habilitation of Children and Adults with Intellectual Disabilities - the Ministry of Social Affairs and the Israel Defense Forces.

Critical Tasks

Sgt Gilad gets a fond farewell from his fellow soldiers who'll miss him on base

Gilad served within the prestigious Medical Corps.  His responsibilities within the unit were specialised and formed an integral part of the Army structure. 

He was responsible for preparing and maintaining to the absolute highest standards, the medical kits required for use by each soldier. This important task allowed no room for mistakes and Gilad performed his duties with distinction and precision.  His high standard of work was recognised by Army officials when they asked Gilad to remain on beyond the established fixed service term of 3 years.  Army authorities extended Gilad’s service by 18 months due to his outstanding work rate and professionalism.  His abilities and dedication to his job and service earned him not just extended service, but also a promotion to the rank of Staff Sergeant.

Special Thank Yous

Minister for Defense Ehud Barak thanks Gilad for his service to his country

Last week Sergeant Gilad Rosedial worked his last day of service in the Army and received a hero’s farewell salute by a host of national dignitaries, his fellow soldiers and superiors.

Israel President Shimon Peres and Minister for Defense Ehud Barak visited the Army base to thank Gilad and presented him with special gifts in honour of his service.  The Chief of Staff of the Israel Defense Forces, Benjamin Ganz also honoured Gilad with a heartfelt speech and a special presentation on behalf of the entire Israel Defense Forces.

A Proud Moment

Salute with a smile during Special Olympics training!

Gilad’s mother, Orit, spoke on the day of the farewell ceremony about how Gilad’s involvement with Special Olympics and his training in his chosen sport of swimming has given him such confidence and self-discipline. “He brought these qualities with him to the Army where he flourished as a person, soldier and athlete. I know civilian life for him will be just as exciting after his wonderful experience in the Army. Gilad has made us so proud as a family and I thank everyone involved who made the last four and a half years possible for him,” concluded Orit Rosedial, Gilad’s mother.

Congratulations Gilad, everyone in Special Olympics is very proud of you too.