Not every new recruit can hope to be accepted for the Israeli military's newest and very exclusive assignment. Beginning with this January's military draft, just two soldiers will be able to become official IDF comedians. They will be deployed as early as the summer of

They will be deployed as early as the summer of 2008.

2008. Other potential assignments for the recruits of 2008 include IDF magician and IDF karaoke operator.

In recent years, the Education Corps, responsible for IDF entertainment, almost exclusively produced musical performances and stage plays. However, as part of an ongoing restructuring of the military, the IDF is expanding the variety of entertainment provided by and for its soldiers.

Once they've completed their basic training, the elite IDF comedians - one man and one woman - will be working with professional writers to create their stand-up acts. The soldier-comedians will perform before the troops at bases throughout Israel. It has yet to be decided if the comics will appear as individual acts or as part of a performance including music and other entertainment.

New recruits who want to audition for the job of IDF comedian will have to bring to the recruitment office endorsements from employers and evidence of their past experience as stand-up artists. Passing this stage, the soldier will be invited for a personal interview and an audition in which the would-be comedian will be asked to perform an original routine.  The final selection stage will be in February.

The IDF comedian is not a completely novel position, as military bands in the past included a non-musical entertainer, as well. However, the comedians disappeared from the entertainment troupes over the years. The first official army magician in Israel, however, only appeared in 2004.