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.
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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.
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
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.
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.