UK-Born Graduate Joins Israel’s First Female Tank Commanders

An Israeli tank rolls along the border between Israel and the Gaza Strip on May 6, 2016 as Israeli forces search for infiltration tunnels leading into southern Israel. Three days of mortar and tank fire between Israel and Palestinian militants, as well as Israeli air strikes, have raised concerns of …

The first female tank commanders have finished their Armored Corps training in Israel and a British-born graduate is amongst them.

Charlotte Feld-Davidovici, 20, who lives in Tel Aviv, is one of only four women to pass the Israel Defence Force’s (ADF) special pilot programme of the 460th Brigade. She is is now ready to take a senior frontline combat role within the IDF Armored Corps alonside her fellow graduates.

Feld-Davidovici, who made aliyah and moved from London two years ago, said: “My motivation is high because I made aliyah to serve in the IDF and I chose to be a combat soldier. I believe that the IDF must give a larger opportunity to women in all combat roles, in spite of the fact that the physiological makeup is different from men.”

A special team of experienced tank commanders, nutritionist, and medical and combat fitness professionals accompanied the female soldiers during the project.

According to Chief Armored Corps Officer Brig. Gen. Guy Hasson, the female combat soldiers went through exactly the same preparations and examinations as their male counterparts.

Charlotte Feld-Davidovici, 20. (IDF Spokesman Unit)

Charlotte Feld-Davidovici, 20. (Picture courtesy IDF Spokesman’s Unit)

“Today we know how to conduct the selection process (determining who is suited to go through basic tank training), what is the physical significance of being a tank crewwoman and how to accompany the soldiers’ training,” Hasson said.

“This move (of incorporating female soldiers as tank crewwomen) has a big potential for gain in the long run since it will enable us to use male combat soldiers for longer training and improve our readiness for war,” he added.

Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Gadi Eisenkot will now decide  how to integrate the female soldiers as tank commanders after consulting the Armored Corps and the border defense establishment.

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