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Jewish Generals and Admirals in America's Military


Brig. Gen. David Zalis:
A Veteran of Desert Shield
and Desert Storm

by Seymour “Sy” Brody

Brigadier General David Zalis served three years in the Army and upon his release in 1974, he entered the Army Reserve. In 2001, Zalis was promoted to Brigadier General and became the Assistant Chief of Chaplains for the Army Reserves. He is a veteran of Desert Shield and Desert Storm.

Zalis had served in more than 90 assignments which included ministering to the troops in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Iraq, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates. He was involved in the relief operations during Operation Andrew in Florida.

He also served in support of Operation Joint Endeavor and ministered to the personnel in Hungary and Bosnia-Herzegovina.

Zalis graduated from The United States Army War College in 1995.

He was married to the former Esther Chanys and they had six children. One of his daughters was Chana. She was the star of “The Unkosher Truth,” an emotional, highly personal, documentary about a secular Jewish Israeli woman and her Orthodox rabbi father, who is a U.S. Army general.

Chana said, “During my childhood I had a good relationship with my dad. I admired him and he was a good father, and that was lost over the years.” Brigadier General David Zalis is the unmistakable star of the film.

Brigadier David Zalis has received many awards:
● The Bronze Star
● Defense Meritorious Medal
● NATO Medal Kuwait Liberation Medal
● Liberation Medal from the Government of Saudi Arabia
● Liberation Medal from the Government of Kuwait
● Kosovo Medal
● The Southwest Asia Service Medal with three Bronze Stars
● The Profess Sidney Hoenig Memorial Award for Outstanding Achievement as a Chaplain from the Rabbinical Council of America, 1993
● Reserve Officer Chaplain of the Year Award, 1994
● Chaplain of the Year Award, JWB Jewish Chaplains Council, 2000


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