IDF appoints first female battalion commander

Oshrat Bachar to return to Israeli-Egyptian border, where she rose through the ranks, to make history

Yifa Yaakov is a breaking news editor at The Times of Israel.

Maj. Oshrat Bachar, the IDF's first female battalion commander. (IDF Spokesperson/Twitter)
Maj. Oshrat Bachar, the IDF's first female battalion commander. (IDF Spokesperson/Twitter)

IDF Maj. Oshrat Bachar made history late Wednesday when she was appointed as the Israeli military’s first combat battalion commander.

Bachar, a 35-year-old Petah Tikva native, was appointed commander of a battalion in the IDF’s Combat Intelligence Collection Corps, where she has served throughout her 17-year-long military career.

She is the first woman to be appointed to such a position.

She will begin serving as commander of a battalion stationed on the Israeli-Egyptian border within a few months.

In an interview with Channel 2’s website in 2012, the trailblazing commander said her attitude was that “no difficulty is insurmountable.” She said both she and her husband, who is also in the military, hoped to become battalion commanders — a goal she attained in the following year.

“I wouldn’t have made it without my parents’ support,” she said. “I don’t think any woman would have chosen to do it, but with help and support from parents and commanders, it’s possible — and I wouldn’t have succeeded otherwise.”

In the past, Bachar served as company commander and deputy company commander on the same border.

She was also stationed in the office of the IDF Chief of General Staff Women’s Affairs adviser’s office.

Bachar and her husband, Ohad, have one daughter.

The IDF is the only army in the world that requires women to serve. According to official IDF date, 92 percent of positions in the army are open to female soldiers, who make up 33 percent of the IDF.

The number of women officers holding the rank of colonel has grown by 100% over the last decade, rising from 2 percent in 1999 to 4 percent today. The percentage of women holding the rank of Lt. Col. grew by 70 percent, from 7.3 percent to 12.5 percent, in the same time span.

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