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Compulsory Service: All eligible men and women are drafted at age 18. Men serve for three years, women for two years. Deferments may be granted to qualified students at institutions of higher education. New immigrants may be deferred or serve for shorter periods of time, depending on their age and personal status on entering the country.
Reserve Duty: Upon completion of compulsory service, each soldier is assigned to a reserve unit and may serve up to the age of 51.
Career Military Service: Veterans of compulsory service meeting current IDF needs may sign up as career officers or NCOs. The career service constitutes the command and administrative backbone of the IDF. Graduates of officers’ or pilots’ schools or special military technical schools are required to sign on for periods of career service.