Serving in the Israeli Defense Forces - The I.D.F.
Hebrew: שירות צבאי - צה"ל
Traveling Abroad Before Induction
Should you wish to travel abroad before your induction, you may do so without special permission and authorization from the army. You cannot be out of the country for more than 3 months and you have to be back in Israel at least 3 days before your induction date.
On Induction Day
On the day of your induction you will be required present yourself at a given location and time. From this location, you will be taken, by bus to the induction center - known as Bakum in Hebrew or בקו"ם - at Tel Hashomer, near Tel Aviv. Bakum is a massive army base. Here, you will be given your army identification card and tag, your uniforms, get your inoculations, your kitbag and a selection of other items. But before all this happens...
A short movie will be screened which explains the procedures and outlines the day's schedule.
You will be given a page of stickers with your identification details. Each time you report to a distribution station, you will present one of these stickers. The data will be captured in the computer. If you do not present the sticker, the system cannot record the information and it will assume that you have not completed the required step. You will have to repeat the process until all your data has been captured correctly.
- At the very first station you visit you will be given a cash advance on your monthly salary/stipend.
- At the next station, you will be photographed for your military ID. X-rays of your teeth will be taken and will be and you will have your fingerprints taken.
- The next step will be to verify that all your personal information is correct. You will also be asked to give the name of a person who you authorize to take care of your affairs should anything happen to you and/or your next of kin.
- At the next station you will be given 3 inoculations.
- Following this you will be given a Teudat Choger - תעודת חוגר - your army identification card. If you have been categorized as a lone solider - a chayal boded - חייל בודד, you will be given a Teudat Chayal Boded - lone soldier card or תעודת חייל בודד - which confirms this status.
Getting your Uniform
Once you have completed all of the above, you will be given your army uniform.
There are four different types of uniforms which are used in the various branches of the IDF
- Service dress - Madei Aleph - מדי אלף or the "Class A" uniform; your everyday uniform, worn by enlisted soldiers.
- Field dress - Madei Bet - מדי ב - or the "Class B" uniform; worn into combat, for training and work on base.
- Officers / Ceremonial dress - Madei Sharad מדי שרד - a ceremonial uniform worn by officers or during special events or ceremonies.
- The are also several Dress uniforms and also a Mess dress.
Each corps in the Israel Defense Forces has a different color beret and identifying insignia worn by the soldiers, independent of rank and position. When not on your head, the beret is placed beneath the left eppaulette of the service uniform (Madei aleph). IDF soldiers wear berets on their heads only on formal occasions.
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- Eran was a lone soldier, read his story
- The night before induction
- What to bring from home
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