Since the appointment of Gabi Ashkenazi to Israeli army chief-of-staff, the number of draftees in the Israel Defense Forces competing for the coveted Golani brigade open spots has increased.
Ashkenazi, a former Golani brigader, has influenced the army’s newest recruits.
“Not only did the war not diminish motivation, it unified everyone and caused many more draftees to want to serve in combat units,” said a senior officer in the Human Resources branch.
Second to joining Golani, the Nahal Infantry Brigades follows in popularity. Other combat units include the Givati Infantry Brigade and the newest Kfir Brigade.
Because of the high interest in combat brigades, the Israeli army is finding it difficult to fill positions in its artillery and armored units, the less popular jobs.
“In any case we don’t intend to lower standards, and everyone we need in the Armored and Artillery Corps will be there,” a high-ranking officer said.
The IDF also hopes to continue its mixed platoons, integrating ultra-Orthodox and secular recruits together.
Most soldiers fit for combat will be assigned to their first or second requested units. Another 30 percent will be given their third choice for where they will serve.