According to the army, there has been a 5% increase in motivation –as measured by requests – of female recruits as compared to last year’s enlistment, and the army is expecting a spike in female combat recruits in 2017 which will see over 2,500 female combat soldiers enlisting, a senior IDF officer in the Manpower Directorate told the Jerusalem Post. But one of the main challenges for the next generation of pilots is to train for the next war which will be completely different than in the past. Female pilots need to be very strong mentally to finish their course and “overcome all obstacles that may be in front of you,” he said.
Not in vain, a recent Defense Ministry report by IDF Ombudsman, Yitzhak Brick, found a significant decrease in the motivation of women to serve in combat positions. According to Brick, there is a discrepancy between the expectations of soldiers and the reality they face once placed in operational battalions which led to the decrease in the motivation of fighters. However, the senior Manpower Directorate officer disagreed with the findings of the report, telling the Post that the motivation in female combat soldiers continues to increase as well as the need for them to fill positions that have opened up due to the shortening of army service. “There is a significant jump in the recruitment of women into combat roles, and this is all due to their motivation to serve in those positions,” he said, adding that 15% of women volunteer to serve as long as their male counterparts. “That’s something we didn’t see in previous years. We should have put women in these roles even if we didn’t shorten the service period,” he said, stressing that the army “gives them the opportunity and they succeed. With women enlisting in increasingly greater numbers for IDF combat positions, a female Israel Air Force squadron commander is not far off."