Yesterday, while looking through some blogs trying to come up with new ideas for posts, I came across Susanna Sturgis’s blog, Write Through It , and found that she had partaken in the A to Z challenge, in which every day she would make a new blog post on the theme of writing, where the day’s topic would begin with that day’s letter of the Alphabet, so the first day was ‘A,’ second, ‘B,’ and so on. It was very fun reading through her posts in alphabet format, it gave a way to chop up a ton of writing advice into bite size pieces. So while this is only my second day at blogging, and it’s only been a day since I took on my last challenge, 100 smiles (Which I plan on writing some new posts to update you on that later on as well), I am eager to take on this challenge too, I hope I can keep up! The theme for my challenge will be “On Being a Lone Soldier.” I am looking forward to writing on this, because I believe it will be a fun way to share some of the significant aspects of my life right now. So, without further ado,
A is for Ambition
There are loads of lone soldiers, and every single one has their own unique reasons for why they chose to enlist, and often times they even change from day to day. But if you talk to a lone soldier, you will most likely find that they are incredibly ambitious. I was fortunate enough to have gone through the tryouts, in order to get accepted into one of the elite units of the IDF, and I have found that it’s not rare at all to find Lone soldiers in these units. My experiences in the tryouts were very enlightening. The first phase of tryouts was a very general 4 hour “Field day,” which consisted mostly of sprinting up and down sand dunes, crawling up and down the same sand dunes, and digging a hole as deep as you possibly could, as fast as humanly possible, at the base of these sand dunes. From what I recall, about 600 people arrived, probably about 200 quit, and at the end of the day, only about 100 received any invitation at all to continue in the next phase of tryouts. They do about ten of these for any given “season” of tryouts, and they all have similar results. I attended one of these, along with two of my other lone soldier friends. Other than the three of us, I don’t remember seeing any other lone soldiers there, but all three of us made it to further rounds of tryouts, myself and my friend Jordan were accepted to the same one along with about forty or fifty of the other finishers.
Two months later, I arrived with Jordan to the next phase of tryouts. This was a five day tryout split into two halves, in which, half way through there would be a cut, and they would send half of the candidates home. When we arrived there, we didn’t really know anybody, but we suddenly started hearing English, and soon found out that many other lone soldiers made it through the field day, and were also invited to this tryout. Suddenly, much to our surprise, we had made friends with several other soon to be lone soldiers. The socializing quickly ended however, and the hard work began. After two days of running up and down sand dunes from 4am until 10pm (This is speculation based on the sun, because we were not allowed to use a watch during the entire week), it came time for the cut, and of all of the lone soldiers that I had met 2 days before, only one didn’t make the cut. Two days later, at the end of the grueling tryouts, which eliminated 300 of the approximately 500 candidates, I remember there being a relatively significant lone soldier presence. Of the 200 candidates who made it through the tryout, there were probably 10 or 15 lone soldiers there. When compared to the total representation of lone soldiers in the IDF, a crowd that is over 5% Lone soldiers, drafting to the elite units is quite impressive! Many more lone soldiers also draft to the combat brigades, and they are found through the army in high achieving jobs within the IDF. A is for Ambition, see you soon for B!
Thanks for reading, and as always, keep exploring!