Totchanim (Artillery)

Known as “the pillar of fire that goes before the camp” on account of its ferocious fire power that paralyzes and destroys enemy targets throughout the IDF zone of operations. Totchanim assists the IDF maneuvering forces, at the place, time and with the firepower required.

History of Artillery

Artillery is one of the oldest divisions in the IDF. It was established with the establishment of the state of Israel in 1948. The division used the cannons that were in the hands of the Jewish underground defense. The first soldiers were new immigrants that served in foreign armies that gained experience in the field of Artillery. Initially the head of the unit purchased from Switzerland and France several anti plane cannons with the diameter of 20 mm while normal cannons have a diameter of 65 mm, 105mm. and several 4.5 inch while the IDF had to survive with these cannons. Today Israel posses some of the most advanced, modern Artillery in the world.

Totchanim has participated in all of the wars of Israel since the establishment of the state of Israel. During the Sinai war totchanim supplied fire power to help the infantrymen fighting in the Suez Canal. During the Yom Kipur War totchanim supplied a shelter for the trapped soldiers in the Golan Heights And in the First and Second Lebanon War totchanim provided fire power for the penetrating forces

There are three main regiments 

Otzvat HaGolan (Golan Formation) – Otzvat HaGolan contains three regular service battalions “keren” (Ray) and “Namar” (Leopard) which operate the primary weapon of totchanim the M109 self propelled 155 mm howitzer which can shoot up to tens of kilometres.

The third battalion in Otzvat HaGolan is “Raam” (Thunder) – MLRS multiple rocket Launcher. 

Otzvat Amud Haish (Pillar of fire formation) – contains two battalions “rashaf “(Flash) and “darcon “(Dragon) they operate the m109 self propelled 155 mm howitzer.

Special Forces

Kela David Formation – “Matar” (string) Acceptance into the Matar unit is based on a 3 day “gibush” tryout at the beginning of totchanim service. Soldiers receive a year and 4 months training. 

In addition there are 3 more specialty units

Tickshov (communications) – this unit is responsible for communications amongst the artillery batteries. Consisting of an officer that moves with the infantry troops called a kasha (Katzin kishur arteleri) that is responsible to direct the fire while in the field

Mazlatim (drones) – Information drones that are operated by totchanim. the most popular is rocav shamayim. There is a selective process to be accepted to this unit. 

Icon (preparedness) Icon contains two specialty squads, one that operates a system called norit which detects the exact range of the targets. The other squad is theMeteorologists squad. On account of the missiles that are fired in the air and travel far distances and heights they are influence by weather conditions, moister, wind and more. Soldiers learn how to deal with these factors and are able to calculate the best methods and report them back to the troops in order to gain accuracy. 

Acceptance to Totchanim
There is no “Gibush” tryout for Totchanim. Acceptance is determined by availability and request

Medical Profile 
Profile required (72 and over)

Length of service required for Machal
18 months

A few days after arrival to the division's training base, one can tryout for Special Forces “Matar”.

After completing basic training, soldiers join the various battalions to continue training and tour of duty. Basic training is two months (03) During basic training, soldiers learn basic infantry content, weaponry, camouflage implementations, shooting, live fire battle drills, war history, a series of education and more. 
Basic training is followed by two months advance training where soldiers learn how to operate cannons. After advance training those that qualify will be sent to become commanders. Commander’s course for totchanim is 3 months. Soldiers that qualify for officers training will continue for another 3 months in officer training. Those soldiers that do not continue to become commanders will begin daily security operations.

Tour of Duty
Tour of duty includes patrolling in jeeps, ambushes, house arrests and various other missions.

Area of Tour of Duty
Lebanaon border, Gaza, Juda and Samaria


M4 Carbine 

Tichum VeOtzma (sophistication and might) 


Red and Black

Turqoise Beret, Black boots, TotchanimTag and Pin.