Israeli Gen. Tal Honored by U.S. Armor Center
by Col. Bruce Williams
The U.S. Army Cavalry/Armor Foundation and the Armor Association honored M. Gen. (ret.) Israel Tal, Israeli Assistant Minister of Defense, for his contributions to the development of U.S. military systems and doctrine. The ceremony was held Dec. 10, 1996 at the Patton Museum, U.S. Army Armor Center, Fort Knox, Kentucky.
The highlight of the ceremony was the presentation of Gen. Tal's portrait, which now hangs on the "Armor Commanders' Wall" of the museum, next to Gens. George S. Patton and Erwin Rommel, the two leading World War II armor commanders. Commissioned by the Cavalry/Armor Foundation, Tal's portrait was painted by Mr. Jody Harmon, staff illustrator for Armor Magazine.
JINSA Israel Trip alumnus General Donn Starry unveiled the portrait following remarks by fellow alumnus and Cavalry/Armor Foundation director, Maj. Gen. Stan Sheridan, and by Commanding General of the U.S. Army Armor Center, M. Gen. George Harmeyer.
Gens. Starry and Sheridan spoke of Tal's personal contributions to the development of the M1 Abrams tank, and to the tactics and doctrine of mounted warfare. His military expertise contributed to the post-Vietnam warfighting capabilities of the U.S. Army and to the success of U.S. land forces during Operation Desert Storm, the generals said. They also discussed the IDF's contributions to the capability and design of U.S. weapon systems, particularly the M1 tank.
In response, Gen. Tal echoed the importance of joint U.S.-Israeli exchanges, and the mutual benefit of a close strategic relationship between the two countries.
Gen. Tal, a long time friend of JINSA, is the father of the Israeli-developed and produced Merkava tank and the Israel Defense Forces Armour Corps. In addition to Gens. Starry and Sheridan, other JINSA alumni present for the ceremony were M. Gen. Robert Sunnell, B. Gen. Philip Bolte and Col. Bruce Williams.
Col. Williams is JINSA's director of military alumni programming.