The IDF has decided to change the service terms and training of women in the four mixed-sex combat battalions, CarCal, Bardales, Lions of Jordan and a fourth one yet to be named – due to the numerous injuries and falls experienced by combat women, Army Radio reported Wednesday.
One change will be extending women’s boot camp training by two weeks, simply to give them a chance to keep up with the men.
Also, women on combat missions will be carrying only four magazines, compared with the standard issue of six. The reason cited is multiple stress fractures combat women have been suffering.
Army Radio also reported that the mixed battalions will be relocated to their own boot camp base, apart from the rest of the infantry’s training facilities.
Meanwhile, the IDF is losing its rationale for encouraging women to join combat units, cutting men’s compulsory service down from 36 to 32 months, instituted by former Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon (Likud). Ya’alon’s replacement, Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman (Yisrael Beiteinu), on Tuesday announced that the IDF has given up that plan – he wants Israeli men to go back to serving the full three years.
According to the IDF, the shorter service, instituted mostly for economic reasons, made it impossible for the army to both prepare its special forces adequately and take advantage of their active service that follows.
The Defense Ministry will start negotiations soon with the Finance Ministry, according to Liberman, to extend the service back to what it was.