Five Most Hardcore Female Combat Roles

It would be a great temptation to use the role of women in the IDF as a template for America’s armed forces — which have been ordered to integrate women into combat units.

I think the comparison has notable weaknesses.

Israel is a tiny country, the size of New Jersey, with a tiny population. Surrounded by hundreds of millions hostile, if not genocidal, Muslims and Muslim states, Israeli female soldiers are an existential necessity. America is not routinely threatened with genocide. Nor do the American armed forces seem to be crying out for female combatants. The move appears  more as a politically correct movement to turn a killing machine into yet another compliant branch of the egalitarian left.

The following is from the IDF blog.

A record number of 5 female pilots graduated from the IAF Flight Academy.

A record number of 5 female pilots recently graduated from the IAF Flight Academy.

1) Air Force Pilot:

Women can become everything from fighter pilots to airborne navigators after undergoing one of the army’s most prestigious courses. Just last month, a record number of five certified pilots, each specializing in a different field, successfully graduated the IAF Flight Academy. So far, 27 female soldiers have graduated and became IDF pilots.


Caracal Battalion female soldiers in action.

Caracal Battalion female soldiers in action.

2) Caracal Battalion Combat Soldiers:

The Caracal Battalion was originally formed to guard Israel’s southern border from the threat of terrorist organizations operating in the Sinai Peninsula. In 2004 the unit was officially recognized as a battalion, and today consists of a vast majority of women, who do everything from border patrols to ambushing enemy forces and thwarting the next terror attack.


Oketz female soldier during combat exercises.

Oketz female soldier during combat exercises.

3) Oketz (“Sting”) Unit k-9 Fighter:

The Oketz Unit is considered to be one of the most professional canine fighting forces in the world, both for their counter-terror methods and their treatment of dogs. Each soldier – both female and male – is partnered to a dog, whom they train to sniff out explosives, track down terrorists and neutralize hostile threats. The soldiers go into the field with their canine partners and do everything together, from searching terror facilities to chasing down an escaped criminal.


IDF female combat soldier during live fire exercise.

IDF female combat soldier during live fire exercise.

4) 76th Battalion of the Combat Engineering Brigade:

A vital part of the Combat Engineering Brigade, the 76th battalion is a unique unit which combines male and female soldiers whose job is to neutralize ABC weapons live in the field during battle. These soldiers go into the heart of enemy territory along with other combat troops during wartime, and help protect them from unconventional weapons.


Snapir Unit female soldier instructs new recruits.

Snapir Unit female soldier instructs new recruits.

5) Snapir (“Fin”) Unit:

Soldiers in the unit operate a small, speedy motorboat modified with an attached machine gun (called “the hornet”). Their job is to safeguard Israel’s civilian ports, especially from incoming ships, and to protect the IDF’s naval bases. Among other things, the soldiers’ duty is to dive under military vessels to ensure that no explosives or mines were attached to them. Both men and women serve in the unit, manning the motorboats and presenting the first line of Israel’s naval defense.


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  1. Rahel
    Posted January 29, 2013 at 4:21 am | Permalink

    There’s an important difference between military service in the US and Israel. In Israel, military service — where a person served, in what capacity, the contacts they made — can have a strong influence on their life after the army, particularly when it comes to employment and salary level. Israeli women have long been aware that restrictions in army service put them at a disadvantage regarding later employment and advancement.
    Let’s also remember that in 1996, Alice Miller had to go to the Supreme Court for the right to join the pilots’ course in the Air Force, which was closed to women at the time. Ezer Weizman himself called Miller on the telephone during her struggle and asked her, “Maideleh, have you ever seen a man knitting socks?” (Weizman himself had been defeated in a mock dogfight by pilot Yael Rom decades before, reportedly after saying precisely where he thought women belonged.)
    Whenever I recall the story about Weizman and his phone call to Miller, I remember that in college I knew a young man in one of the ROTC programs who was an expert knitter. He created some of the most beautiful sweaters I’ve ever seen and gave me a scarf at one point. There’s nothing all that extraordinary about men who knit, after all — in the days of the guilds in Europe, guess who the members of the knitters’ guilds were. Not women.

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  2. Johnny
    Posted January 28, 2013 at 10:16 pm | Permalink

    I remember a debate about gays in the military where a proponent mentioned the Dutch navy allows gays to serve and had encountered no problems. The reply, which illustrates the biggest difference between the U.S. military and other countries, is that the Dutch navy usually sleep in their own beds each night and aren’t off on 4 month missions around the world as a routine part of their deployment.
    Proponents of women in combat units always couch their arguments in fairness and equality.  It is unlikely the army is going to be better with woman serving in a foxhole. The IDF though would have a much more difficult job if women were excluded. It would be great if they could get by with a few platoons manning entry checkpoints. But when a country’s existence  and survival depends on everyone contributing to its defense women are a necessity, not a luxury.

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  3. Nickie Clifford
    Posted January 28, 2013 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

    I so admire the women Israeli warriors.  And, as you mention – Israel is a tiny country surrounded by a sea of hostility.  For their very survival they are compelled to employ women combatants.  However, we are choosing this path not out of necessity, but rather, political correctness.  What a shaky foundation to base this policy upon.  I cringe to think of the debasement that will assuredly be perpetrated upon our women because they ARE in fact more vulnerable simply due to their gender.  Do these fools believe our enemies have undergone sensitivity training that involves restraint from maintaining a ‘hostile environment’?  Ludicrous, and reprehensibly naive.  There will be rape and torture – it will make us more vulnerable. 

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    • Robert J. Avrech
      Posted January 28, 2013 at 2:06 pm | Permalink


      Two points to add to your comment:
      1. Israeli female combatants are never the tip of the spear in times of war.
      2. Look for an explosion of sexual harrassment suits in the U. S. Armed forces.

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      • sennacherib
        Posted January 28, 2013 at 5:01 pm | Permalink

        Your point one is important. Israel tried it and discontinued the use of women at the “tip of the spear”, if my recollection serves me right.
        Also the introduction of women in line units by the US now makes all women fair game in warfare. Any woman is now a potential combatant, bet they didn’t think of that.

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        • Rahel
          Posted January 29, 2013 at 4:24 am | Permalink

          Sennacherib, to the enemy, women are targets whether they are combatants or not.

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          • sennacherib
            Posted January 29, 2013 at 4:10 pm | Permalink

            Rahel, of course you’re right. But Americans (at least the large majority of them) have always held that anyone who killed women or children in warfare, especially as policy were not to be considered lawful combatants subject to all that entails. If we now use women as line infantry how can we hold that position? I myself could care less if women serve in this role as long as they can meet the necessary standards, not socially engineered standards. For war has exacting and inflexible standards.

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