A significant statistic for IDF commanders is the number of new inductees with combat profiles volunteering to serve in elite combat units. That number has been declining and senior military officers are concerned.
In March 2011, that number was 79.5%, dropping to 73.3% in August 2011, then moving up a bit to 76.2% in November 2011, and then an almost continuous downward trend.
March 2012 – 72.4%
August 2012 – 72.3%
November 2012 – 73.3%
March 2013 – 71.6%
Among those requesting to serve in combat units, the most popular remains the Golani Brigade; followed by paratroop, Givati, Nachal and Kfir in descending order.
In Golani, there are five applicants for every spot, in paratroops four for each slot, and in Nachal, Givati and Kfir, two per available slot. Regarding the artillery corps and armored corps, the number of inductees wishing to serve is quite low and at times, inductees are assigned against their will. There is also a manpower shortage in the Homefront Command, particularly in units providing aerial defense such as the Iron Dome.
(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)