While in high school, Sharon joined the Haganah, a paramilitary group fighting for Israel's independence. He joined the Israeli army in 1949 , quickly gaining a reputation for innovation, courage and unconventional approaches.
In the War of Independence, he commanded an infantry company. In 1953 , he created Unit 101, special commando unit which carried out retaliatory operations against terror groups behind enemy lines. Sharon was appointed commander of a Paratroop Corps in 1956 and fought in the Sinai Campaign. He commanded an armored division in the 1967 Six Day War and led the crossing of the Suez Canal in the 1973 Yom Kippur War.
Sharon’s success as a fighter earned him a growing popularity, but many of his tactics were viewed as reckless and he often argued with superiors. After the 1973 war, Sharon retired with the rank of Major General and, like several other Israeli generals, built his political career on his military reputation.