IDF’s Only Japanese Lone Soldier Earns Red Paratrooper’s Beret



Sol Kikuchi, the only lone soldier (without parents living in Israel) from Japan in the Israel Defense Forces, last week finished the grueling 31-mile march required to receive the coveted red beret of the IDF Paratroopers Brigade.

“The march wasn’t hard for me, but seeing my parents, who came from Japan [for my beret ceremony], was really emotional for me and for them,” Kikuchi, 21, told Israel Hayom.

When Kikuchi first enlisted in the IDF, he completed a three-month Hebrew-language course, and vowed he would then volunteer to serve in a combat unit.

“If I am serving, I might as well go all the way and serve in a combat unit like the Paratroopers Brigade,” he said.

“Obviously it’s not easy to be alone in a foreign country, but this is my home now and I am very at peace with my decision to serve as a combat soldier in the IDF,” added Kikuchi.


{ Israel}