Pre-army program gives a taste of high-tech military service

Hundreds of high school students experienced five days of army life, trying out the work involved in the IDF (Zahal)’s telecommunications jobs

Date: 30/08/2012, 3:39 PM     Author: Hadas Duvdevani

During this summer’s draft period, roughly 150 high school students participated in a five-day Gadna program focusing specifically on high-tech and telecommunications positions within the IDF (Zahal). As in other Gadna programs – which provide teenagers with a taste of life in the IDF (Zahal) so as to prepare them for their military service – these students wore uniforms and acted as soldiers throughout the program.

In addition, this program introduced the adolescents to a variety of high-tech and telecommunications realms within the army, in an effort to help the teenagers decide where they hope to serve within the IDF (Zahal). The program included classes on general IDF (Zahal) information, such as its structure, symbols, and values – as well as topics related specifically to high-tech positions.

“The goal of this Gadna is to show the future recruits, over the course of the week, the telecommunications and professional possibilities in the army. In this way, we want to raise their motivation to enlist in telecommunications units,” Maj. Sivan Assaf, commander of Gadna, explained to the IDF (Zahal) Website.

This Gadna included the Netta Project, which seeks out students from Israel’s periphery with promising high-tech skills, encouraging them to participate in the telecommunications Gadna. “The beauty is that students who come from the north and the south, from different backgrounds, and that through us they are integrated into excellent tracks [within the IDF (Zahal)]. To see them afterwards, in quality positions in different units, gives us the strength to continue and makes us want to strengthen our connection with adolescents,” said Maj. Naava Rimberg, head of the Localization Desk of the C4I Corps.

This was the seventh summer in which the high-tech Gadna has taken place. Participants are boys and girls with one year of high school remaining. Over one thousand students applied to participate in this year’s program, of whom roughly 150 were accepted.