Israel Hayom revealed in an exclusive report that an internal poll by the IDF’s behavioral science division indicates a persistent decline in motivation among potential recruits.
The worrying development may be why the IDF has ceased disclosing statistics on the number of newly enrolled troops wanting to join combat units.
About 40% of the most recent recruit batches were included in the poll. The results showed that in 2022, there was the slightest motivation to serve in a combat capacity.
Only 66% of the male respondents in December 2022 indicated they would prefer to join such units, down from 73% in 2020.
The decrease was even more pronounced among would-be female draftees: Only 48% declared they wanted to be warriors, down from 50% in 2021, 53% in 2020, and 60% in 2018.
Given these tendencies, the numbers for both sexes in 2023 will probably be considerably lower.
After receiving a freedom of information request, IDF authorities first refused to share information, but several months later—after the Movement for Freedom of Information had initiated legal action—the military released the data.
Knowing this, Israel Hayom requested an explanation from the IDF for the motivational decline.
The IDF Spokesperson’s Unit initially claimed that this survey was only for internal use but later acknowledged that it was irrelevant.
According to the official response, the behavioral science section conducted the poll for internal purposes to discover trends in the conscription of recruits. When it comes to planning that involves IDF troops, it has no bearing on the decision-making process.
About 40% of applicants from all backgrounds who participate in the poll fill it out after receiving their first draft notification before choosing their chosen unit.
The survey does not accurately represent the official data on the level of motivation among each cohort’s total membership.