The March 2011 draft in the IDF began yesterday at the Central Reception Base (Bakum) near Tel Aviv. Precise numbers of new recruits are not released, for security reasons, but other stats showing record-high motivation levels are known.
Continuing a three-year trend, motivation among new recruits to serve in combat units hit a record level, with 79.5% of all those fit for field unit duty requesting to serve in combat positions. This compares with 75.8% last year, 73.7% the year before, and around 70% in 2008.
In addition, 54.7% asked to serve in infantry units, compared with 51.3% the year before.
For the first time, two new service frameworks have been opened for hareidi-religious soldiers serving in combat-support positions: Ongoing-security drivers and engineering-mechanical equipment operators. Dozens of new draftees joined up in these tracks this month.
100% of the new enlistees were recruited for one of their top three choices.
IDF Personnel Branch Commander Brig.-Gen. Avi Zamir said, “The impressive rise in the youth’s motivation to serve in combat roles is no accident. It is the result of ongoing joint activity by various IDF bodies and Israeli society. It is important to strengthen and continue this activity. We are very committed to the concept of the IDF as a ‘people’s army,’ and as such, we will continue to work to integrate different population sectors into the army, with a qualitative and values-based view.”