March draft brings record combat assignment requests

According to the IDF, 79.5% of youths enlisting this month asked to serve as combat soldiers, compared to last years 75.8%.

March 13, 2011 23:59
1 minute read.
IDF soldiers marching

IDF soldiers marching (R) 311. (photo credit: Reuters)

The IDF began its March draft on Sunday noting a record high number of soldiers who asked to serve in combat units.

According to the IDF, 79.5 percent of youths enlisting this month asked to serve as combat soldiers, in comparison to 75.8% last March and 73.3% in March 2009.

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Most of the soldiers drafted asked to serve in the Infantry Corps. In total, 54.7% of the soldiers asked to serve in the prestigious IDF infantry brigades Golani, Givati, Nahal, Kfir and Paratroopers in comparison to 51.3% last year.

“The increase is impressive but is not coincidental and is the result of the IDF and society’s overall efforts to educate people about the importance in maintaining a “people’s army,” OC Human Resources Directorate Maj.-Gen. Avi Zamir said.

The increase in motivation to serve in combat units comes as the IDF continues to try and curb the rising number of 18-year-old males and females who dodge the draft. The desire to serve in combat units has risen steadily in recent years, particularly since the Second Lebanon War in 2006.

Dozens of haredi youths are expected to enlist this month with the IDF opening two new tracks for the ultra-Orthodox – drivers and heavy machinery operators. Haredi youths are already drafted in limited numbers into special programs in the Israel Air Force, Military Intelligence and the IDF’s C4I (Command, control, communications, computers and intelligence) Directorate.

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