August induction begins with Golani Brigade

Commander Major Benny Meir says he is undaunted by stats that indicate a slight drop in combat service motivation.

Golani Fighters 370 (photo credit: Abir Sultan/IDF Spokesman)
Golani Fighters 370
(photo credit: Abir Sultan/IDF Spokesman)
This year’s August round of enlistment of IDF draftees began on Sunday, as soon-to-be soldiers destined for the Golani Brigade gathered at collection points ahead of their induction.
The draft was accompanied by a figure indicating a drop in the motivation among draftees for service in combat units. According to questionnaires filled out by the draftees, some 70.3 percent of draftees wish to serve in combat units – a drop from 73% in 2012, and 76.2% in 2011.
The figures for combat service motivation have fluctuated over the years. The IDF’s target is to maintain the range in the 70 to 76% range.
Maj. Benny Meir, commander of the training school for recruits in the Givati Brigade, told The Jerusalem Post on Sunday that he was not worried by the figures.
”Each generation of soldiers is getting better over the years. The issue of statistics is not significant. I’m getting quality people who are very highly motivated,” Meir said.
“They have high awareness and are much smarter than members of my generation when they were drafted,” Meir said. “Their [the new recruits’] understanding is higher, and they can carry out multiple functions at the same time.”
Meir said the recruits he was seeing are highly patriotic. “You can see the Zionism in their eyes. They want to contribute. This is a boost for me.”
The training school commander noted that statistics can vary over the years and do not represent a full picture.
“The results can change depending on how the question is asked. I go on what I see with my own eyes. We have the very highest level of soldiers,” he added.
The Givati infantry brigade has been at the forefront of combat missions in recent years, Meir stressed. “Every brigade has its own DNA. What makes Givati unique is its ability to develop commanders,” he added.
Givati has been key to missions in the North and South, and operates in a range of arenas, from the border with Gaza to the Golan Heights.
“I am sure Givati will be the first to lead [in any future mission],” Meir said.
The brigade’s training base, located at Ktziot, near the Egyptian border, is where recruits sleep in tents and get a thorough field education, Meir added.
Conditions are tough, and there’s a scarcity of shade and water – all factors that help prepare the soldiers for battle, the commander affirmed.
According to figures released by the IDF on Sunday, 42.2% of draftees expressed a preference for serving in infantry units.
A rise in the number of female combat soldiers was also noted this year.
The head of the IDF’s Human Resources Branch, Maj.-Gen. Orna Barbibai, said: “The security challenges that stem from instability in our area strengthen the need for a strong military, based on a significant and prominent human advantage. As the nation’s army, the IDF gives expression to all sections of Israeli society, and provides everyone with an equal opportunity to contribute and have an influence.”