Brigadier-General Gal Hirsch
“I have no doubt that we'll hear much more about Gal Hirsch. I'd like the people of Israel to derive benefit from his qualifications, experience, and skills.” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, October 2015
Israel Defense Force (IDF) Brigadier-General Gal Hirsch is the Chairman of the Board of Israel’s most innovative leadership school, The Israel Leadership Institute; the Chairman of Defensive Shield Holdings Ltd. (specializing in providing integrated-solutions to tech, cyber, and defense challenges, internationally) and is a research-associate at the most distinguished and recognized International Institute for Counter-Terrorism (ICT). Hirsch has taken part in all of Israel’s military confrontations since 1982, leaving a unique signature on a wide scope of strategic thinking, owing to his deep understanding of operational art and military planning.
During more than 25 years of service at the IDF his roles included: commanding the 91st ‘Galilee’ division, responsible for Israel’s northern border (2005-2007); commander of the IDF’s Officers Academy (2003- 2005); Chief of Operations at IDF's Central Command (J-3), and leading all IDF’s counter- terror activities during the turbulent period (1997-2003). He was badly wounded at terrorists’ ambush aimed at him, while serving as Chief of Operations of Central Combat Regional Division (G-3). After a long period of recovering (12 month in hospital) he returned to command the Regional, multi-forces (Benjamin) Brigade. Before that he served as Commander of the Elite Airborne Commando Unit “Shaldag” (Kingfisher) between 1993-1996, leading and commanding special operations, where he first implemented ground-fighting strategies with advanced use of modern technology and cyber tactics.
Hirsch retired from the military in 2007 and founded Defensive Shield Holdings Ltd., embarking in a successful business career. But it wasn’t long before he was called to return to the military and establish the new and advanced command of the IDF: The Depth Corps, formed to coordinate the IDF's long range operations deep at enemy’s territory. He served as the first deputy commander of the corps.
In 2009, Hirsch’s autobiographical book, “War Story, Love Story”, was published in Hebrew and instantly reached the Israeli bestsellers’ list where it stayed for many months. The book provides a description of his own personal journey of almost 30 years, in which he played a key role in the most significant milestones in Israel’s defense. In a new (2016) English edition of his book - “Defensive Shield” - a comprehensive, one-of-a-kind, contextual description of Israeli national defense developments is a valuable tool for understanding contemporary security challenges in the Middle East and world-wide. Besides his role at the Israel leadership Institute, training and developing the future generations of Israeli leaders, Hirsch lectured in recent years in many institutions and conferences, in three continents, specializing in current terrorist’ challenges to military and civilian/business sectors from the Technological and Cyber angle.
Gal Hirsch was born (1964) in a remote town in the Negev Desert of Israel and has dedicated himself to a military career since he was 14 years old, when he joined the military academy. He holds a BA in Mid-Eastern studies from the Bar-Ilan University, and an MBA from Tel Aviv University. Hirsch is married to Donna and has three children. They live in Rosh HaAyin.