An internal survey conducted by the IDF’s behavioral science unit suggests an ongoing downward trend in the motivation level of prospective recruits, Israel Hayom detailed in an exclusive report.
The concerning development could explain why the IDF has stopped publishing figures on how many of its inducted personnel seek to join combat units.
The survey covered about 40% of the recent cohorts of recruits. According to the findings, the level of motivation to serve in a combat capacity in 2022 was the lowest in recent years. In December 2022, only 66% of the male respondents said they would like to join such units, compared to 73% in 2020.
Among women would-be draftees, the drop was even more significant: Only 48% said they wanted to be fighters, down from 50% in 2021, 53% in 2020, and 60% in 2018. In light of these trends, the figures for 2023 are likely to be even lower for both sexes.
IDF officials initially refused to provide data upon receiving a freedom of information request, but several months later—after legal action had been taken by the Movement for Freedom of Information—the military released the numbers.
Israel Hayom was privy to the information and asked the IDF to comment on the drop in motivation. At first, the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit said that this survey was for internal purposes only, but it later conceded that it has had no bearing on internal personnel planning processes.
The official response read as follows: “The survey was carried out by the behavioral science unit for internal purposes aimed at identifying trends related to the conscription of new recruits. It has no impact on the decision-making process when it comes to planning that deals with IDF personnel. The respondents taking part in the survey make up some 40% of the recruits from all backgrounds, who fill it out after they get their first draft notice and before they indicate their preferred unit. The survey does not reflect the official figures as to the motivation of all members of each cohort.”