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Easier to become combat soldiers Photo: IDF Spokesman
Easier to become combat soldiers Photo: IDF Spokesman
 
 

IDF eases female soldiers' path to combat units

Drop in number of women seeking to join combat units leads IDF to test waters with new admission process; cancels special prep courses

Yoav Zitun
Published: 08.02.12, 14:15 / Israel News

In light of a recent drop in women seeking to become IDF combat soldiers, the GOC Army Headquarters has decided to temporarily suspend the special prep-courses for female recruits, in favor of a screening process that includes interviews but no initial physical trials.

 

The pilot program was launched with the July recruitment class. A conversation with GOC Army Headquarters Human Resources Branch Commander Colonel Effi Rosen revealed that initial results indicated an increase in the number of female combat recruits.

 

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"The drop in motivation stemmed from the growing variety of technological roles available to women in the military," Rosen said.

 


"הצבא לא צריך כיום עוד גדוד חי"ר קל" (ארכיון) (צילום: דובר צה"ל)

Women in combat training (Photo: IDF Spokesman)

 

"The (roles) require qualitative human resources found among female (recruits) and now the percentage of female combat soldiers in the fighting corps stands at 1.6% and with female recruits to the aerial defense section (Iron Dome) and the Home Front Command the number will reach 2%."

 

Discussing the Caracal infantry combat battalion, the only infantry battalion that integrates male and female soldiers, Rosen noted that the IDF did not establish another unit like it because "currently the military doesn't need another light infantry battalion whose main duties include maintaining the borders. You need to remember that each female combat soldier is a volunteer."

 

Rosen further revealed that in a bid to increase the number of female combat soldiers in the IDF, GOC Army Headquarters and Human Resources Branch are considering the possibility of cancelling the requirement that mandates female combat soldiers to serve for a third year, rather than the two-year military service other females are required to perform.

 

According to Rosen, "The next phase in the process is that the female soldiers enlist for general basic training, start with a 'lighter' version of basic training than combat basic training and from there choose whether to take the combat course."

 

As an alternative to the special prep courses, the candidates took part in a screening process, met with organizational consultants and underwent an interview process.

 

Rosen noted that in the initial stages they registered a 15% increase in female combat recruits.

 

 

 

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