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Subject: Question concerning the IDF
smitty237    7/26/2014 11:49:44 AM
The Israeli Defense Forces have been releasing the names, ages, and ranks of soldiers killed while fighting in Gaza, and I have noticed that several staff sergeants killed in action are only 19 years old. I understand that the IDF conscripts soldiers at 17, but by modern US Army standards it would be very difficult for a 19 year old to achieve the rank of staff sergeant (E6). Why is it so easy for an Israeli soldier to promote to that rank?
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keffler25       7/26/2014 10:28:26 PM
Battlefield promotion comes quick in an army, especially when you are good at leading from the front in a service that preaches and practices it in battle. The IDF is very pragmatic. A LOT of their sergeants get killed..  
If you were to notice it, the US Army has suffered this recently? 
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smitty237    Keffler   7/28/2014 1:54:46 AM
Yes, battlefield promotions are common, but some of these 19 year old staff sergeants were killed early in the conflict, which would seem to indicate that they held that rank before hostilities were commenced. Under the most optimistic standards, it is almost impossible for a 19 year old American solder to achieve the rank of staff sergeant in such a short time. I'm just wondering if perhaps staff sergeants in the IDF hold a lower status than their rank equivalents in most Western nations.
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Tampa Turtle       7/31/2014 11:10:41 AM
(I gathered this from reading the Israeli papers and Wickipedia on IDF)
When KIA it appears that the IDF bumps everyone up a rank posthumously. So a Staff Sergeant was probably a Sergeant (or team leader) at 19.
Enlisted rank promotion appear mostly to be a result of time of service. Since everyone joins up at 18 (except for a few volunteers at 17) 
So you are 18 and you serve Corporal automatically after 4-12 months, and Sergent  18-24 months after enlistment.
So you could be a 19-1/2+ Sergeant (if you are good and a lot of the KIA appears to be in more elite units) and probably promoted after the fact. (What we would Staff Sergeant they call a Chief Sergeant and is the next rank up and only for careerist.)
This may also explain how long term units of reservists (who serve together as much as possible through out their lives) could have a whole lot of Sergeants. 
A little different but hard to argue with success. 
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