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(Illustration( Photo: Reuters
(Illustration( Photo: Reuters
 
 

Decline in number of IDF recruits seeking combat role

March enlistment rates show that only 71.6% of able recruits request combat role, a major decline from last year. IDF Spokesman: 'Motivation to serve in combat positions especially high'

Yossi Yehoshua
Published: 03.10.13, 14:54 / Israel News

The number of recruits seeking to serve in IDF combat units has declined, according to the initial March enlistment rates, Yedioth Ahronoth reported on Sunday. The rate of recruits with the required combat fitness who requested to enlist to combat units stands at solely 71.6%.

 

This figure is in line with the ongoing decline witnessed since the end of the Operation Cast Lead, over four years ago.

 

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The IDF hopes that the decline in motivation is temporary and will cease to exist and claimed that this data must be compared to parallel enlistment periods with similar distinguishing qualities.

 

However, a decrease exists in comparison with the March 2012 combat enlistment period. One year ago the requests for combat stood at 72.4%, presently it stands at 71.6%.

 

Amongst those who are requesting to serve in combat units, the most requests are for the Golani Brigade, then the Paratroopers', Givati, Nahal, and finally, the Kfir Brigade.

 

In Golani, for every spot open, there are five candidates, for the Paratroopers' four contenders and for Givati, Nahal and Kfir, two each.

 

However, enlistment requests for the Engineering, Artillery and Armored Corps are very low and on more than one occasion, the military induction center must forcefully send new recruits to these corps' training bases.

 

An additional problem with which the IDF must contend is the difficulty in filling the ranks of new female combat frameworks including in the Home Front Command and aerial defense deployment.

 

The IDF is aware of this but in the meantime, they have no specific explanation for the decrease in motivation. One of the claims is that war raises motivation to serve in combat units however, it is apparent that even though Operation Pillar of Defense ended in November 2012, no such rise has been seen.

 

The IDF Spokesperson's Unit responded by saying that "in the past few years motivation to serve in combat positions has been especially high: An average of 71%-76% of recruits who are qualified to do so express a desire to serve in combat positions and are placed in a wide-range of roles.

 

"The level of motivation for combat is significantly higher than it was up until four years ago, when the average rate stood at less than 70%."

 

 

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