Counter-terror Commandos

The man who gets soldiers ready for special ops tells Post about training regime

capt boaz 521 (photo credit: IDF)
capt boaz 521
(photo credit: IDF)
On any given day, members of the IDF’s elite Duvdevan (“Cherry”) unit might be found in the West Bank running through an alley on their way to carrying out an arrest of a terror suspect.
The unit is famous for sometimes disguising its soldiers as Palestinians and surprising its targets. Duvdevan’s main aim is to thwart terrorist activity through special operations and lightening raids.
Before going into the field, the soldiers spend around seven months undergoing specialized training, under the watchful eye of Capt. Boaz, who is in charge of getting the 18-year-olds into the best shape of their lives, and preparing them for face-to-face combat.
“The two most important qualities we instill in our soldiers are determination and pugnacity,” Boaz told The Jerusalem Post. “They strive to reach their goals and not to quit until they reach it.”
Duvdevan conscripts reach Boaz after undergoing seven months of advanced infantry combat training. Once they enter the Duvdevan program, they begin firearms and orienteering training, as well as spending no less than 180 hours practicing Krav Maga self defense.
Throughout the training, the soldiers are instilled with what Boaz described as “aggressive capabilities which they can switch on like a button, taking them from a state of calm to 100 percent speed and power to neutralize a terrorist who can harm them or others. We teach the soldiers not to fear contact.”
After passing through grueling training, “the soldiers go from a stage in which they couldn’t do more than 50 pushups when they got here, to reaching a state of mind where we can give them any number of push-ups to do, and they say, ‘Fine, no problem.’ The notion that they can’t do it is absent from their mind. They realize their bodies can do everything, within physical limits,” Boaz said.
“We demand this from them. Not to give up. They will have to enter a building, and perhaps get through a crowd of 10 to 15 people before catching and neutralizing a terrorist. At the end, he learns there’s nothing he can’t deal with,” Boaz stated.