Gal Gadot is famous as Israel's fictional Wonder Woman but in 2018, real IDF female combat troops are trained, locked and loaded and defending Israel's borders.
In the first of our new Warrior Profile Series, we sat down with Sergeant Adi from co-ed infantry unit Bardelas to get her take on combat fitness, women in the IDF and what it's like to command men.
I have always been involved in sports. During high school I was captain of the school volleyball team. In the army we have very strict and demanding training routines to prepare us for the different roles. Part of the preparation for my commanding role included more training specifically aimed to best prepare me physically and mentally for the job. For example, navigation, short and long distance running in full combat gear, sleep deprivation, drills and firing different weapons.
I take my responsibilities very seriously and I am aware that the soldiers under my command look to me for guidance professionally and morally. In addition, I want to best represent the IDF, in or out of uniform.
In the past few years, women have proven themselves capable of becoming an integrate part of more and more military units that were considered off limits for them. I'm happy this stigma is being, slowly but surely, refuted in the civil sector as well.
There's no denying the physical differences between men and women but anyone determined and persistent enough can overcome these differences.
In my experience, women tend to have more discretion and perform well under pressure. Of course multi-tasking is also a known advantage women have.
I'd want to be in a Special Forces unit but they're not open to women...yet.
As a commander, what's the most important thing you can pass on to your soldiers?
The most important things I would like to pass on to my soldiers, male or female, are camaraderie, patriotism and discretion. I believe these values can provide them with the tools to cope with different situations in the battle field and life.
The toughest day I experienced physically and mentally was while we were launched on alert due to breach in the border fence. We were up all night patrolling in full combat gear, not knowing what to expect but ready to make contact at any moment.
I would recommend the infantry to anyone, male or female, that want to contribute in a meaningful way and is not deterred by challenges and the sense of accomplishment that comes with them.
What's it like to serve in a co-ed combat unit?
Men and women serving together in mixed environment is unusual and complex but it gives you friends for life. In a world of instant gratification it also teaches you restraint.
Sometimes I wish I had a desk job in the army with more free time to spend with my family and friends but then I think about my responsibilities and the privilege I have in my job.
I would tell them to use their power wisely, use discretion and not follow orders blindly. Know what you are fighting for and don't let outsiders influence you.
My favorite weapon is the M-203 grenade launcher.
What do you want to be "when you grow up"?
I am signed up for OCS (Officer Candidate School) so I'll be in the Army for a while. After that I'd like to continue to work in Israel's Security Services...
Of course I'm a patriot. I love my country, it's the only place I can call home. I will protect it at all costs.
If you are full time Military or Law Enforcement and want to be featured in our Warrior Profile Series, write to firstname.lastname@example.org
Unit 669, is the IDF’s elite Combat, search and rescue unit. Tasked with extraction, recovery and medical treatment of injured soldiers, combat pilots and civilians. Their specialties include helicopter extraction and infiltration, rappelling, fast roping, scuba diving and counter-terrorism.They are Israel’s guardian angels and heroes from the sky. They will not rest until everyone is brought home and accounted for.