10 Things You Didn’t Know about the IDF

Written by Ashley Burgess Gall

The men and women who make up the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) are some of the most highly trained in the world. You may think you know who they are, but here are 10 things you may not know:

  1. The IDF was founded in May 1948 by Israel’s then Defense Minister David Ben-Gurion.
  2. Every Israeli-born male and female is required to serve at age 18; women typically serve two years while men serve three.
  3. Lone Soldier: a term for someone that joins the IDF who immigrates from another country or who does not have biological parents in Israel.
  4. The IDF’s mission is to protect Israel, its borders and its people and are never deployed.
  5. Israel is the only country in the world that maintains obligatory military service for women.
  6. The IDF is recognized as the most moral army in the world, often going to extreme lengths to avoid hurting innocent civilians, to the extent of putting its own soldiers in harm’s way.
  7. Once a soldier has completed his or her military service, he or she is automatically assigned to the IDF’s military reserve force.
  8. To avoid politicization of the army, all soldiers must acquire prior permission before making a public appearance at any political event.
  9. One third of the IDF’s manpower is in the Israeli Air Force.
  10. The world record for enemy airplane takedowns, 17 in total, comes from the IDF’s Air Force pilot Giora Epstein.

Learn more about the IDF by visiting https://www.idfblog.com/.