Units in the IDF

Combat Units

Nahal

Infantry

נחל

Color of Beret: Light Green

Basic Training Base: Negev

Description: Infantry unit mainly in the south that defends Israel’s borders and conducts operations when needed.

Minimum required profile: 82

Givati

Infantry

גבעתי

Color of Beret: Purple

Basic Training Base: Negev 

Description: Infantry unit mainly in central Israel that defend Israel’s borders and conducts operations when needed.

 Minimum required profile: 82

Golani

Infantry

גולני

Color of Beret: Brown

Basic Training Base: Golan 

Description: Infantry unit mainly in the north that defends Israel’s borders and conducts operations when needed.

Minimum required profile: 82

Kfir

Infantry

כפיר

Color of Beret: Camouflage

Basic Training Base: Jordan Valley

Description: Infantry unit mainly in “West Bank” that defends Israel’s borders and conducts operations when needed.

Minimum required profile: 82

Tzanhanim

Infantry

צנחנים

Color of Beret: Red

Basic Training Base: Negev

Description: Infantry unit mainly in central Israel’s that defends Israel’s borders and conducts operations when needed.

Minimum required profile: 82

(Gibbush required)

Magav

Border Police

מג״ב

Color of Beret: Dark Green

Basic Training Base: Benjamin Region

Description:  Border police unit that protects within Israel, the West Bank and Jerusalem. Deals with counterterrorism, law enforcement, and riot control. 

 Minimum required profile: 82 

(Co-ed Unit)

Totchanim

Artillery Corps

תותחנים

Color of Beret: Turquoise

Basic Training Base: Negev

Description: Artillery unit that defends Israel’s borders and conducts operations when needed. Includes elite missile units and advanced drone unit. 

Minimum required profile: 72

(Co-ed Unit)

Shiryon

Tanks Unit

שריון

Color of Beret: Black

Basic Training Base: Negev

Description: Armored Tank Unit that defends Israel’s borders and conducts operations when needed. 

Minimum required profile: 72

(Co-ed Unit)

Isuf Kravi

Combat Intelligence 

איסוף קרבי

Color of Beret: Yellow

Basic Training Base: Negev

Description: Field intelligence and recon unit gathering information close to and behind enemy lines.

 Minimum required profile: 82 

(Co-ed Unit)

Arayot Hayarden

Infantry

אריות הירדן

Color of Beret: Light Green

Basic Training Base: Negev

Description: Infantry unit that defends Israel’s borders and conducts operations when needed.  

Minimum required profile: 82

(Co-ed Unit)

Handasa Kravit

Combat Engineering

הנדסה קרבית

Color of Beret: Silver

Basic Training Base: Arava (Negev)

Description: Combat engineering unit specializing in explosives, road breaching, defense and fortifications, breaching minefields. 

Minimum required profile: 82

Karakal

Infantry

קרקל

Color of Beret: Light Green

Basic Training Base: Negev

Description: Infantry unit that defends Israel’s borders and conducts operations when needed. 

 Minimum required profile: 82 

(Co-ed Unit)

Chel Ha’avir

Air Force

חיל האוויר

Color of Beret: Grey

Description: Protecting Israel from aerial attack, conducting aerial missions and defending the borders.

Types: Pilots, UVA Operators, Missile Defense.

Minimum required profile: 72-97 

Chel Ha’Yam

Navy

חיל הים

Color of Beret: Navy Blue

Description: The Navy’s primary objectives are to defend and protect Israel from threats emanating from the sea, to warn of impending warfare and to achieve the goals set by the IDF during warfare. There are many positions for combat soldiers on ships.

Minimum required profile: 82

Chilutz Vehatzala

Search and Rescue

חילוץ והצלה

Color of Beret: Orange

Basic Training Base: Southern Israel

Description: Protects civilians during operations and wars, natural disasters. In times of peace, they guard Israel’s borders, in addition to other responsibilities, including search and rescue. 

 Minimum required profile: 72 

(Co-ed Unit)

Lechima Electronit

Cyber Warfare

לחימה אלקטרונית

Color of Beret: Black

Basic Training Base: Central Israel 

Description: Combat soldiers in cyber warfare positions. They operate both in and out of the field. Special application must be submitted three months prior to drafting.

 Minimum required profile: 72 

Special Forces

These are some of the most elite units in the world. Their training is long and very intense. They are only for the best of the best! Keep in mind, Lone Soldiers don’t always pass the requirements to join these units and complete the training. Also, a very high level of Hebrew and a 97 profile are required for these positions.

Shayetet 13

שייטת 13

Top combat unit of the IDF is formally part of the Israeli Navy. They specialize in sea-to-land incursions, counter-terrorism operations, sabotage, intelligence-gathering behind enemy lines and rescue, and vessel boarding.

Maglan

מגלן

An elite unit which specializes in operating behind enemy lines and deep within enemy territory using advanced technologies and weaponry.

Yahalom

יהלום

Specializes in commando and counter-terrorism missions, demolitions, defusing bombs, landmines, unexploded ordnance, maritime sabotage, obstacle breaching, and searching for and destroying smuggling tunnels.

669

Elite Search and Rescue

The IDF’s primary combat rescue unit. Tasked with airborne rescue and extraction of soldiers and civilians. Provides support for elite units in real-time.

Gadsar Nahal

גדס״ר נחל

Each Gadsar is made up of three specialized Plugot (companies), all with expertise in navigation and counter-terror operations. They then specialize in: Demolitions and combat engineering (Plugat Habalah Handasit, or Palhan), Reconnaissance (Plugat Siyur, Palsar) and Anti-Tank Missles (Orev).

Gadsar Tzanhanim

גדס״ר צנחנים

Each Gadsar is made up of three specialized Plugot (companies), all with expertise in navigation and counter-terror operations. They then specialize in: Demolitions and combat engineering (Plugat Habalah Handasit, or Palhan), Reconnaissance (Plugat Siyur, Palsar) and Anti-Tank Missles (Orev).

Gadsar Givati

גדס״ר גבעתי

Each Gadsar is made up of three specialized Plugot (companies), all with expertise in navigation and counter-terror operations. They then specialize in: Demolitions and combat engineering (Plugat Habalah Handasit, or Palhan), Reconnaissance (Plugat Siyur, Palsar) and Anti-Tank Missles (Orev).

Gadsar Golani

גדס״ר גולני

Each Gadsar is made up of three specialized Plugot (companies), all with expertise in navigation and counter-terror operations. They then specialize in: Demolitions and combat engineering (Plugat Habalah Handasit, or Palhan), Reconnaissance (Plugat Siyur, Palsar) and Anti-Tank Missles (Orev).

Shaldag

שׁלדג

Shaldag’s mission is to deploy undetected on behalf of the Israeli Air Force into hostile environments to conduct reconnaissance and establish assault zones, airfields, and enable air actions.

Rimon

רימון

A unit whose primary mission is to fend off and prevent terrorist activities in the south of Israel, both in urban Gazan settings and in the open desert.

Egoz

אגוז

An elite unit which specializes in both guerrilla and anti-guerrilla warfare, and more advanced ground-forces activity.

Palsar 7

פלס״ר 7

An elite recon and anti-terror unit for the Armored Tanks Corps.

Meitar

מיטר

An elite Artillery unit which protects all across Israel and prepares for future conflicts in artillery close to the borders.

Oketz

עוקץ

An elite unit which operates throughout the country and with other IDF units. Combat soldiers are paired with specially trained dogs, used to find terrorists, drugs, explosives and others.

Duvdevan

דובדבן

An elite unit that works in the shtachim carrying out counter-terrorism operations and specializes in operations within urban areas.

Matkal

מטכל

An Elite Intelligence unit tasked with the gathering of field intelligence, reconnaissance and sensitive information.

Non Combat Units

Chovesh

חובש

The IDF medical corps operate many medical clinics around the country and on every base. They are also responsible for training combat medics in every unit.

Chimush

חימוש

Deals with engineering, repair and ordinates for all units. They help with maintaining, testing and constructing weapons and machinery within the IDF. They also have many maintenance bases around the country and are spread throughout combat units.

Matpash

מתפ״ש

Coordinator of Government Affairs with Arabs in the shtachim. They provide communication with people in Yehuda, Shomron, and Gaza. Involved in humanitarian aid and communication with the Palestinian Authority. They are also tasked with approving and denying permissions to those residents such as work visas and other sorts.

Kishrey Chutz

קשרי חוץ

The international cooperations Unit maintains contact between the IDF, UN and other foreign forces operating under various security arrangements in the region.

Chinuch

חינוך

The education corps is unique to the IDF and the first of its kind in the world. They are responsible for many different areas of education in and outside of the IDF. They run many courses in the IDF (including the Hebrew course for Olim).

Modiin

מודיעין

A unit responsible for collecting intelligence information for the IDF. They also engage in counterintelligence and information security work and presents general assessments.

Mishtara Tzvait

משטרה צבאית

They are responsible for various law enforcement duties, including aiding IDF commanders in enforcing discipline, guarding the military prisons, locating deserters, investigating crimes committed by soldiers, and helping man the Israeli checkpoints.

Dover Tzahal

דובר צה״ל

The unit that handles media relations and information policy. They work with domestic and foreign press, managing public relations, disseminating information, publishing social media, and speaking on behalf of the IDF in public forums.

Mahal Service

The following programs enable young Jews from all over the world to volunteer for the IDF (Israel Defense Forces) and become regular Israeli soldiers. The programs aim to contribute to Israel’s defense and to provide knowledgeable and enthusiastic young leaders for Jewish communities.

*There is a new requirement for all machal soldiers to complete a 6 – week pre-army course. There are a few options of courses, at good option is Garin Mahal.

The Regular Mahal program is for men younger than 24 and women younger than 21. Eligible are non-Israeli Jews, descendants of a Jewish grandparent. The program consists of 18 months of IDF service of which you will be a full IDF soldier.

Netzah Yehuda was designed for the Haradim (Black Hat Community). The unit offers Glatt Kosher food, allocated time for learning. Shabbat observance is mandatory to enlist in the unit. There currently is no ulpan given to those with poor Hebrew. Soldiers learn Hebrew while training. For more info you can see the official site of Netzah Yehuda – http://www.nahalharedi.org

The Mahal Hesder program is for non-Israeli religious (dati) Jewish men younger than 24. The program consists of 6 1/2 months of studies in a Yeshivat Hesder (IDF Rabbinical College) followed by at least 14 1/2 months of IDF service, in total 21 months.

*Machal soldiers are not eligible to join elite units or become officers.

Overseas Israelis and their Children:

The duration of service will be the same as for the regular Machal program, if the candidate states that they plan to return abroad upon completion of army service. If the candidate decides to stay in Israel when they complete their service (by declaring their citizenship & filling out a residency form), they will have to complete additional service, depending on their age when they first arrived in Israel and their family status on the day they were declared a resident of Israel.

Garin Tzabar

This is an affiliate program of Israel Scouts which provides a framework for lone soldiers, coming outside of Israel, to join and serve in the IDF. The program begins in your home country with three seminars. In these seminars, you will learn about the IDF and process to see if this is what you want to do. You also get to meet the people that you will potentially live and serve with when you move to Israel.

You then will then make Aliyah on your own and meet up with your garin on a kibbutz in Israel. In the next three months you will prepare for you draft and service. The kibbutz will be your home during your service and Garin Tzabar will provide you with an excellent support system and a host family. There is also a staff of former soldiers that will prep you for service and help you with the draft process.

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