Lt. Gen. Moshe Ya'alon served as chief of staff of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) from 2002 to 2005. Born in 1950 in Kiryat Haim, he was drafted into the IDF in 1968 and served in the Nahal Brigade Paratroop Regiment. He served as a reserve paratrooper during the 1973 Yom Kippur War and participated on the Suez front. He returned to active service after the war and completed officer's training.
General Ya'alon held several command positions in the IDF Paratroop Brigade and commanded its reconnaissance unit during the 1978 Litani operation. He served in an elite unit between 1979 and 1982 and fought in Operation Peace for Galilee. He then rose to battalion commander before becoming deputy commander of the IDF Paratroop Brigade. Near the end of his term, he was wounded in Lebanon.
In 1986, General Ya'alon left to pursue advanced studies at the command and staff college in Camberly, England. When he returned to Israel, he became commander of the elite unit in which he had previously served. In 1989–1990, he retrained in the IDF Armored Corps and received a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Haifa.
In February 1990, General Ya'alon was appointed commander of the IDF Paratroop Brigade. In January 1992, he was appointed commanding officer for Judea and Samaria and promoted to the rank of brigadier-general. In August 1993, he was granted command over an armored division and the ground forces training facility at Tze'elim. In June 1995, he was appointed commanding officer for intelligence and promoted to the rank of major-general. In May 1998, he was appointed commander officer for Central Command.
On September 15, 2000, General Ya'alon was appointed IDF deputy chief of staff. On July 9, 2002, he was promoted to the rank of lieutenant-general and appointed the seventeenth IDF chief of staff, a position he held until June 1, 2005.
General Ya'alon is married and has three children.
Source: Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs