Nahal stands for the (in Hebrew) "Noar Halutzi Lohem". The Nahal combines military service in a combat unit with civilian service in a newly founded kibbutz or moshav.

First used in the 1948 War of Independence, they were created as a sub-unit of the Gadna or youth battalions, who's function was to maintain unity in new settlements. The Nahal has participated in the founding of more than 100 new settlements.

Nahal recuits receive extensive training starting before they join, while still in high school. Training includes:

Basic Training Agricultural Training at the outpost.
Security deployment, men at the border; women in administrative and rear duties
More advanced military training
Service at a kibbutz on nonĀ­paid leave
Further operational deployment
Further service at a kibbutz on nonĀ­paid leave

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