The Nahal Brigade was founded in 1948 by David Ben-Gurion as a program that combined military service and the establishment of new agricultural communities.
The goal of the "Nahal garinim" (cells of a larger Israeli youth social movement) was to supply the IDF with soldiers while providing the basic needs for the founding of kibbutzim and new communities.
The Nahal Infantry Brigade was created in 1982, due to the IDF's need for an increase in infantry manpower.
The brigade played a key role in the First Lebanon War and was involved in fighting in Beirut. During the First Intifada, the brigade focused on cities in the West Bank and developed combat doctrine against Palestinian terrorism, in urban Palestinian areas. By the time of the Second Intifada, the brigade was well trained and experienced, setting an example for other brigades. Nahal soldiers also performed admirably at the Second Lebanon War.
The brigade is composed of three battalions and a reconnaissance battalion. Nahal soldiers wear a green beret and red shoes.