Sunday, November 22, 2009
Combat Units are Top Choice for IDF Recruits
Hana Levi Julian
Sunday will see the launch of the new IDF recruits for November 2009, and this month's cycle saw a significant increase in willingness to serve in combat roles, with motivation at the highest level it's been in a decade.The vast majority of recruits -- 73.7 percent of all field units -- sought to serve as fighters, compared with 67.2 percent in November 2008.
In November 2009, about 30 percent of all candidates are expected to join the IDF this calendar year. In this cycle, boys and girls will be designated for combat field units, support systems and administrative positions. About two-thirds of the girls who join in the near future are expected to be designated for volunteer units.
All those placed in field units, without exception, were sent to one of their top three preferences -- an increase of five percent over November 2008.
There was more than a 10 percent increase in the number of Armored Corps recruits over last year -- 89 percent this November, up from 73 percent in the same period 2008, and an even greater jump in Artillery -- 75 percent this month, up from 45 percent a year ago, among others.
Among those who joined the ranks were 270 new olim (immigrants), most of whom joined various infantry brigades.
In recent years, there has been a decline in the number recruits, for various demographic reasons. To cope with this phenomenon, the IDF initiated several new projects this year to encourage high school students to look ahead with greater anticipation and encourage significant future army service.