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Women in Tanks: IDF Treads New Ground

Female IDF tank instructor (Photo: flickr/IDF)

Israel is the one nation in the Middle East that treats women equally, and its military is no different. The Times of Israel's Judah Ari Gross takes a look at the IDF's new all-female tank crews, which are now training and will deploy along the Jewish state's borders with Egypt and Jordan:

In the next month, 15 female Israel Defense Forces recruits will begin the process of becoming the first women to serve in the Armored Corps, as part of a pilot program to assess fuller gender integration in the unit, a tank officer said Thursday.

The IDF announced in November that it was considering allowing women to serve in the Armored Corps, drawing blowback from former high-ranking officers and religious groups.

The 15 soldiers will be picked from a crop of new recruits drafted into mixed-gender combat battalions. They will go through standard basic combat training, before advancing in August to specialty tank training, where they will learn how to operate the Merkava Mark 3 model.

In December, they will take positions in the army’s 80th Division, which is responsible for the southern Negev and Arava deserts, and help guard the borders with Egypt and Jordan, the officer said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

They will serve in all-female tanks, in order to avoid issues of modesty. Serving on the Egyptian and Jordanian borders, they will be less likely to need to cross into enemy territory...

Tags: IDF

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