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October 27, 2022 3:49 pm

IDF to Deploy Female Soldiers as Tank Fighters Following Successful Pilot Program

avatar by Algemeiner Staff

Female tank fighters in the Israeli military. Photo: IDF

For the first time, female Israeli soldiers will be permanently deployed as tank fighters in the Border Protection Corps, the military announced on Thursday.

The decision followed a “thorough and broad” two-year review, which included three full recruitment and training cycles, as well as a “significant” one-year period of operational activity, according to the Israel Defense Forces.

The female fighters served during the trial under the Paran infantry brigade through the mixed-gender Caracal battalion, the military’s oldest co-ed infantry battalion, which traces its roots back to 2000. This framework will now become permanent.

The trial saw the soldiers meet pre-established criteria, including in maintaining their motivation to serve as tank fighters, as well as their operational success overtime.

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IDF Chief of Staff Aviv Kochavi accepted the recommendation of Maj Gen. Tamir Yedai, commander of Ground Forces, and determined the pilot program a success.

“I trust the tank fighters to carry out the border defense mission, professionally and with great success, and to be a significant part of the IDF’s operational effort,” Kochavi said.

The news comes amid an effort by the Israeli military to increasingly integrate female soldiers into combat roles. As of 2021, 18 percent of its combat force was made up of women, up from three percent in 2012.

In July, the military appointed a woman — Maj. Or Livni — to head the Caracal battalion, which had previously only been commanded by men.

A month earlier, the military said it will experimentally allow female combat recruit to join Unit 669, which carries out aerial combat search and rescue missions; the elite commando engineering unit Yahalom; and a mobility division in the Infantry Corps.

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