Survey by IDF’s Behavioral Science Department finds overwhelming majority of reservists believe in Israel’s army, have faith in their commanders, and say IDF can secure decisive victory in future conflict.
By Lilach Shoval & Israel Hayom Staff
The vast majority of IDF reservists — 83% — believe in the military’s ability to secure a decisive victory should hostilities with Gaza Strip-based terrorist groups resume, a survey by the Behavioral Science Department at the IDF’s Personnel Directorate has found.
The IDF surveys reservists twice a year to gauge issues believed to affect their motivation to perform reserve service.
The latest poll was held on the one-year anniversary of Operation Protective Edge and following an IDF decision to release 100,000 reservists from active duty and divert funds to training regular army units.
The findings, released Tuesday, said reservists’ faith in the IDF rose following last summer’s Gaza campaign. A similar question posed to reservists before the Gaza operation found that 75% of them believed in the military’s ability to reach decisive results in a conflict.
The survey shows a significant improvement in reservists’ faith in the IDF: A similar survey after the 2006 Second Lebanon War found that only 48% of reservists believed in the military’s fighting capabilities.
The latest survey also found that 75% of reservists have faith in the command skills and decision-making abilities of the top military echelon, up from only 28% following the Second Lebanon War.
Some 86% said they would report for reserve service without hesitation, a 6% rise from the survey before the Gaza campaign. Some 84% said they consider service their duty, and 80% said they had faith in their direct commanders’ skills.
Battalion and company commanders serving in the reserves were asked how they believed the decision to release thousands of reservists would affect their units. Some 28% of battalion commanders and 15% of company commanders said the move would adversely affect their units. Only 36% of battalion commanders and 47% of company commanders said the move would have a positive effect on their units.
Asked whether they were generally pleased with their reserve service, 62% of those polled following Operation Protective Edge said they were, compared to 67% who said the same following 2012’s Operation Pillar of Defense.
A slight decline was also noted in reserve commanders’ satisfaction from their assignments, 87% of them said they were pleased with their assignments as following the 2014 campaign, compared to 92% who said this following the 2012 operation.
Seventy percent of the reservists polled said they were pleased with their reserve unit assignments, a drop from 75% in 2012.
Asked how their current assignment affected their motivation to serve in the reserves, 55% said Operation Protective Edge had a positive effect on their desire to serve in the reserves, while 9% said they would rather not be called up for reserve duty in the future.
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