Photo: Shaul Golan
New recruits (archives)
Photo: Shaul Golan

IDF: Number of recruits requesting combat service at record level

Data show 73% of November 2009 recruits asked to serve in combat units; IDF attributes trend to success of Operation Cast Lead

Data gathered by the IDF's Human Resources Branch indicate a dramatic increase in the number of new recruits looking to join combat units, Yedioth Ahronoth reported on Friday.


According to the data, some 73% of teenagers who are eligible for combat service in the November 2009 draft have requested to serve in combat army units, compared with 67% who asked to join combat units during the same period last year.


The number of those seeking combat service in the November 2009 draft is the highest recorded over the past decade, this at a time when one in every four teenagers don't enlist at all.


The IDF attributed the trend to the success of last winter's offensive in Gaza and the army's efforts to curb draft-dodging and increase motivation among high schoolers.


The IDF's efforts are backed by the Education Ministry and local councils, which have launched a project in the framework of which teenagers visit battle sites and observe military exercises.


However, the data also show that 27% of able males and 45% of able females do not enlist at all. Some 11.5% of teenagers who do not enlist claim exemptions on the grounds of being religious, 2% do not enlist for medical reasons, 5% receive psychological exemptions from the draft, 4.5% dodge the draft or have a criminal record and 4% of those who do not enlist live abroad.


The IDF said the majority of able females who evade the draft claim "religious modesty" as grounds for exemption, but the army believes at least 8% are lying.


The IDF has been employing a number of methods in order to battle the phenomenon, including private investigators who track the girls' behavior on the weekend. 


פרסום ראשון: 11.13.09, 10:37
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