A female Israeli soldier taking part in an army drill. (illustrative) (Flash 90/Moshe Shai) Flash 90/Moshe Shai
IDF woman army drill

Women have advanced significantly within IDF ranks over the past decade.

By United with Israel Staff

History was made on Monday when IDF Chief of Staff Aviv Kochavi appointed a woman to the position of Chief Intelligence Officer for the IDF regional command.

Identified as “Major General N.,” after only her first initial due to security concerns, she is the first female officer in IDF history to lead an intelligence division at a command level.

Major General N. stated that she “continues to advance proudly in operational intelligence in the field and in military units. Proud to serve in the intelligence corps and excited about the responsibility. Thanking my commanders for the appointment.“

According to Israeli media reports, she was drafted into the IDF in 2000 and served in a number of positions within military intelligence

Israel is one of only a few countries in the world with mandatory service for women.

In 2000, an amendment was adopted in the Defense Service Law that gave every woman the right, equal to that of men, to serve in any position during her army service, unless the inherent nature of the position demands otherwise.

Since then women have been climbing the military ranks.

In 2011, Orna Barbivai was the first woman to be promoted to the rank of Major-General. In 2014, Or Ben Yehuda was appointed the first woman company commander in an infantry officers’ course.

In 2016, the Israeli military decided to test women’s ability to serve in infantry and special forces units. In January 2017, Israel’s first female tank operators completed their training.

In 2018, “Major T,”  was promoted to lieutenant-colonel of a flight squadron for the first time in Israel’s history.

Currently, women comprise 33% of all IDF soldiers and 51% of its officers, filling various roles within the ground, navy and air forces. Ninety-two percent of all IDF units are open to women, according to the Lone Soldier Center.

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