IDF Concerned; Motivation to Become a Combat Soldiers Wanes

(Sunday, March 10th, 2013)

idf1A 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)


  1. mms601 says:

    But still, somewhere in a yishuv there’s a mother who can’t sleep at night because her son chose combat, and that’s not fair. All mother must share the burden, and worry each night equally.

  2. Truehonesty says:

    Ah, and with thousands of chareidi inductees these figures are going to fall so badly….. How idiotic to force soldiers against their will! These unwilling boys are going to do their best to do the absolute minimum possible. Believe me, these Yeshiva bochurim are a lot smarter than their chiloni counterparts and those commanders are going to rue the day that they took in the Yeshiva bochurim. Motivated correctly, these yeshivaleit can be a huge asset, forced against their will, they will ruin the army from within.

  3. akuperma says:

    1. Those number seem pretty consistent to me. Over 70% of the recruits volunteer for combat when they could choose “soft” duty.
    These would all enlist even if conscription were cancelled.

    2. The units that have more volunteers than spaces are infantry – which is the worst place to be if you are a soldier. The units that are usually out of harms way have a hard time getting enough volunteers.

    3. It seems to me these figures such the IDF is doing quite well.

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