Co-Ed Army Unit Beret March
Karakal is a co-ed combat unit in the Israel military. Like all combat units in the IDF, basic training culminates with a long march, called a "beret march,"after which recruits are awarded a their unit's beret, signifiying their place as full-fledged members.
A few months prior to this march, soldiers in this unit came under fire near the border with Egypt. An IDF soldier from the artillery corps, whose unit was operating with Karakal, lost his life. Soliders from Karakal and the artillery corps returned fire and killed 3 gunmen, one of which had a suicide vest on. Later reports indiciated that a female member from Karakal hid during the attack.
The march is meant to challenge recruits, especially mentally, and push them to continue operating under adversity. Male officers in the unit, combat veterans, expressed nothing but the utmost confidence in the abilities of their female colleagues. One, a captain, said he would feel as comfortable fighting alongside the men and women in Karakal as with the all-male combat unit he was in previously-- and in some ways even more so.
The women in the unit expressed, almost universally, a strong desire to contribute to the security of their country, to do their part, as directly as possible.