Male olim who arrived in Israel between the ages of 22-25 are required to serve six months, which is known as Shlav Gimmel. These recruits usually receive a draft notice to come in for a Tzav Rishon(Initial Testing) at least a year following their arrival in Israel. If someone who classifies as Shlav Gimmel is studying in university, he can defer army service, but will still have to fulfill his six month requirement as long as he has arrived in Israel before Aliyah between the ages of 22-25.
Soldiers serving Shlav Gimmel usually fulfill the following jobs – Truck Driver, Communications Technician, Armored Car Mechanic or Tank Mechanic. They will spend one month in Tironut (basic training), followed by a few weeks up to two months of a course for their specific job. After finishing basic training and a course, Shlav Gimelnikimwill finish their service in their specific jobs. They will finish their mandatory service exactly six months following the day they were drafted into the army, and will serve in miluim (reserves) as requested by the IDF. For example, if someone serves as a truck driver, they will spend one month in Tironut (basic training), two months in a course, and then serve as a truck driver for three months, equaling a six month service.
Length of Courses
Communications Technician – 2 weeks
Armored Vehicle or Tank Mechanic – 6-7 weeks
Truck Driver – 8 weeks
Using your degree/background
If you have an academic degree, there are opportunities to use your expertise in the army. If you studied Engineering, Architecture, International Relations, Political Science, Communications, Middle East Studies, or Law for example, there are positions for you in many areas of the army including Dover Tzahal (Spokespersons Unit), Kishrei Chutz (Foreign Relations), Nadar (Medical Engineering), Matpash(Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories), and other units that can utilize your background. It is important to note for most positions using your degree, you will have to sign on for a minimum of an extra four months, or ten months total. Many units, like Dover Tzahal, require you to sign on for an extra 1.5 years, or a total of two years.
When you have your Tzav Rishon, be sure to bring a copy of your degree and its certification by the Israeli Ministry of Education. This will help you start the process early to get a job using your background in the army. If you do not sort a position out before your draft date, you still have an opportunity to get a position using your experience in the army. You will meet with the Katzin Miyun (placement officer) on your draft day and during Tironut (basic training). If the Katzin Miyun sees you have a degree or background (foreign language for example) that can be used by a unit in the army), he or she will try and sort a position for you. Almost always, you will have to sign on for more time.