The number of new IDF recruits requesting to serve in combat units passed the 70 percent mark on Monday, an all-time high.
The November 2006 draft got under way at the recruitment center at Tel Hashomer on Sunday.
During his visit to the recruitment center, IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Dan Halutz was presented with the figures by Maj. Gen. Elazar Stern who heads the army's human resources directorate.
During last year’s November draft, 69.6 percent of recruits asked to serve in combat positions.
The figures are particularly encouraging in light of the military’s failures during the recent war in Lebanon, which placed the future soldiers’ motivation in question.
The highest demand was for the Golani Brigade with 1.9 candidates for each place. The Nahal Brigade had a rate of 1.7 candidates for each available place.
The Givati Brigade registered a slight drop in demands to join its ranks, having one candidate for each available place.
The newly established Brigade 900 registered 1.1 more demands to join its ranks than available.
Maj.-Gen. Stern said the more combat the brigade the more candidates wanted to join its ranks.
The IDF has frozen plans to reduce military service under a plan submitted by former defense minister Shaul Mofaz. Defense Minister Amir Peretz is set to rule whether to slash the period of military service.
"The question of shortening the service depends on a number of factors – including the drop in the scope of the pool of recruits and the reserve service law. We need to do a study of all the fact against the missions and security needs. Some of these things are in our hands and some are in the hands of the political echelon," he said.
Stern said that the project that started last year to allow them to donate marrow is ongoing. So far, 33,000 soldiers underwent suitability tests, with 67 percent found suitable for patients and 14 donating marrow.
"Soldiers created a situation where the chances in Israel to find marrow grew by 10 percent, and this is touching and warms the heart," Stern said.