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June 15, 2018

Up Close & Personal-Interview with a Female Combat Soldier

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. 

  • Where do you serve and what's your position?
I serve in the Bardelas Batallion which is part of the infantry. I'm a sergeant in charge of recruits who recently completed basic training. 
  • How did you train for your role in the army? Were you involved in any team sports?

    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.

    • Do you see yourself as a role model?

    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.

    • What do you say to the critics who think women should not serve in combat roles? 

    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.

    Adi Cohenco

    • Is there anything that makes females better soldiers than men?

     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.

    • If you could be in any other type of unit, what would you choose? 

    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.

    • What was your toughest day in the army so far?

    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.

    • Would you recommend the infantry for other young girls? 

    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. 

    • Do you ever regret becoming a combat soldier and wish you would have chosen an easier path? 

    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.

     

    • Agilite serves troops not just in Israel but allied forces around the world who fight similar threats, what would your message be to them? 

    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.

    • What is your favorite weapon? 

    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...

    • Do you consider yourself a Patriot?

    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 info@agilitegear.com





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