IDF alters definition of combat soldier

By
May 31, 2013 01:45

The term “combat soldier” will be limited to infantry soldiers, members of the Armored Corps, navy sailors, and air force pilots.

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IDF soldier sits atop a tank just outside northern Gaza

IDF soldier sits atop a tank just outside northern Gaza 370. (photo credit: REUTERS/Amir Cohen)

The army is set to change its definition of “fighter,” and limit the category to those who risk their lives and directly engage the enemy on a battlefield.

The term “combat soldier” will be limited to infantry soldiers, members of the Armored Corps, navy sailors, and air force pilots. The new category will ensure that those in it receive the largest payments.

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A second category – “combat support soldier” – will include soldiers who enter battlefields to carry out critical supporting roles, such as members of the Logistics Corps, but who do not directly fight the enemy.

The new definitions come amid fast-paced changes to the modern battlefield, in which certain functions, such as soldiers who operate anti-rocket batteries, have been classed as fighters even though they do not fire on enemy forces. Others in the gray area include those who take part in cyber warfare, and drone operators.

Such soldiers will be placed in a third category, under the heading of “combat weapons operator.”

Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen.Benny Gantz and Maj.-Gen. Yoav Har-Even, head of the Operations Branch, have approved the recommendations, made by a committee set up to examine the army’s categorization of soldiers.


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