Qualifications Overview

The IDF SF units training regime ranges from 12 months to 22 months depending on the unit. It typically consists of six months of basic and advanced infantry training, followed by months of specialized training reflecting each unit's specific role. This specialized training is often a combination of internal unit training, formal schools, and joint training with specialized units.

The IDF SF schools courses are typically short in duration, covering only foundational capabilities, with the expectation that each unit will follow up and build on this foundation within their respective training regime.

To support further training, few members from each unit attend instructors course, which are longer than the operators course, and covers teaching methods, safety techniques and more in-depth learning of the subject matter. After graduation, these instructors return to their home units and support ongoing training. The instructors also maintain a constant connection to the schools so they can learn the latest techniques and pass on the knowledge within their unit. The instructors are typically operators who were injured and weren't able to complete their units' training regime.

Unlike western SF units, which are often relatively large outfits comprised of various teams specializing in different types of warfare, many IDF SF units are relatively small outfits specializing in a particular type of warfare or a geographical area. This is primarily due to the IDF three years mandatory service, which most conscripts serve, including both SF and regular personnel. As three years are often not enough to master all the skills required from the modern SF operator, the IDF opted to form small specialized units. In addition to specializing in a particular type of warfare, specialized units often serve as informal schools, conducting joint training with other SF units in their respective area of expertise.

Skills & Qualifications

School / Specialized Unit


IDF Counter Terror School


IDF Counter Terror School

Counter Terror & hostage rescue

IDF Counter Terror School

Krav Maga

IDF Counter Terror School

Rappelling and climbing

IDF Counter Terror School

Unit 669

Breaching and demolition

IDF Counter Terror School


Tunnel Warfare

IDF Counter Terror School



IDF Counter Terror School


Executive protection

General Staff Security Unit

Camouflage & fieldcraft

IDF Counter Terror School

IDF Counter Guerrilla School

Cold weather


Desert Warfare


Counter Guerrilla

IDF Counter Guerrilla School


Airborne operations

IDF Parachuting School

Maritime operations

IDF Combat Diving School

Shayetet 13

Canine usage


Driving and mobility

IDF Combat Driving School



Qualifications Guide