IDF031 The Reservist
A reservist stands by a roadside with his CAR 15 rifle and backpack waiting for a passing motorist to take him to his unit. In Israel it is common for motorists to stop to pick up any soldier seen waiting by the road and deliver him to his unit free-of-charge.
Because of its precarious geographical and political position in a generally hostile neighborhood, Israel and its Defence Forces always have to be ready for conflict at a moment’s notice.
This is reflected in the size and composition of the Israeli Defence Forces. Although a relatively small country Israel has a total of 176,500 men and women on active service. The army contains most of them, about 133,000 of which just 26,000 are professional ‘regulars’ and the other 107,000 are conscripts.
These however are backed up by over 500,000 reservists who can be ‘called-up’ within hours of an emergency.