The IDF has launched a new program, in which candidates for recruitment will receive a magnetic card before they enter the army, with whom they will be able to purchase clothing items tailored to their size. In advanced training after the basic training, they will receive a backpack with combat equipment that they will keep throughout their military service. This card also include pre-charged money.
Starting from the next recruitment rounds, the soldiers will enjoy new equipment systems which include upgraded combat items, in addition to the equipment that has been supplied so far. Among other things, drinking bags, protective eyewear and a combat helmet with a helmet cover and gloves will be given. In addition, pre-charged money cards will be issued for the new soldiers for purchasing personal equipment.
The IDF’s equipment revolution is starting: As a part of the will to provide a full service to the soldiers and the will to reduce the donations, the IDF has started a project in which each soldier will be supplied with a new and upgraded equipment kit in accordance with his tasks and role. The equipment will be supplied after training stage, which is consisted of basic training and advanced training. The equipment will be possessed by the soldier and will not be replaced throughout the whole service. The IDF Spokesperson said that this investment is valued in tens of millions of NIS.
The kit will contain all the equipment that was supplied to the soldiers so far and in addition, personal workwear, softshell jacket, 3 liter drinking bag, helmet, protective eyewear, helmet cover, CAT arterial tourniquet, personal bandage and equipment bag will be supplied. Special units will also also fighting uniforms. Last February 5300 kits were supplied to soldiers in combat units.
In addition to the standard issues items, the package will contain additional items:
The additional items for the artillery corps, armored corps and combat intelligence: combat vest, knee protectors and gloves.
The additional items for the mixed battalions / rescue and evacuation unit: combat vest with a backpack system, helmet cover and knee protectors.
The additional items for the combat units: combat vest with a backpack system, helmet cover, selective ear plugs, improved knee protectors and headlight.
The additional items for commando soldiers and special units: Combat vest with a backpack system, helmet cover, selective ear plugs, improved knee protectors, headlight and fighting uniforms.
The IDF says that 200 million NIS will be invested in 2017. In each recruitment round, 50 million NIS will be invested. In addition to the revolution in the fighting equipment, a revolution in the equipment purchasing in the pre-recruitment phase to the IDF is also planned. An additional stage of the program will include a “stars card” that works in the points method, which every new soldier will get. The stars can be used to buy equipment at the major stores before and during the service.
The needs of each combat unit were identified and it will receive custom equipment that is specific to its needs, and therefore every soldier will get equipment that was specifically chosen for his unit. The equipment will be distributed as a set of generic items that all combat units will receive and a set of items containing specifically chosen equipment to that unit will be added.
The equipment will be used by the soldier throughout his whole military service, and will not be replaced even if the soldier will be be out of the unit for a practice or will get another role in the same unit.
The program is actually divided into two stages: Each soldier will get a personal magnetic card with some “stars” in it. He will be able to purchase personal clothing items for all seasons, such as socks, underwear, shirts and more, according to his needs and size. In the advanced training, after the basic training, the soldier will get a backpack which contains new fighting equipment, valued at 8000-10000 NIS and will include will a new and unique helmet, double amount of uniforms, protective eyewear, advanced modular combat vest, knee protectors, winter gloves and combat gloves, identification flashlight that prevents friendly fire, camouflage helmet cover, shoes, drinking bag and more.
The personal equipment will be possessed by the soldier throughout his service in the IDF until the day of his release, thus eliminating the need to return the previous equipment and take new equipment every time he goes to courses or moves to other units throughout his service. This way the soldier will also take better care of his equipment and wear will be reduced. IDF made differential adjustments between the battalions and the special units, and the additional goal is to stop the issue of donations and the need for families to purchase this equipment for the soldiers, as today’s situation. This is equipment that the IDF is obligated to provide to its soldiers. In the future, we will also expand it to reserve duties.
According to the IDF, the process has already begun in the past year in a “secretly”, and so far, 5000 kits of personal equipment have been supplied to soldiers: In each round IDF invest 50 million NIS in the program and during this year IDF will invest 200 million NIS, in addition to 10 million USD of aid money for purchasing equipment abroad. In the past soldiers have felt somewhat bitter so far because they have not received all of the needed equipment. This program provides a solution, IDF will know if the project will succeed only in about two years, after it will be on the right track.