Rank and File: How These Influential Israeli Celebrities Served in the IDF

The average person’s right of passage might be considered going to college or getting a drivers license, but for Israelis, it’s packing up their bags and joining one of the largest military forces in the world!

Israel is one of the only countries where military service is mandatory for every citizen. Like everyone else, celebrities in Israel are not exempt from serving in the military.

See how some of Israel’s top stars served in the Israel Defense Forces. For many, the IDF even paved the path to their successful entertainment careers.

Gal Gadot

There’s a reason Gal Gadot does such a good job at playing Wonder Woman: She was a real-life superhero off-screen first, serving in the IDF for two years after graduating high school.

Gal was a combat trainer, specifically teaching gymnastics and calisthenics.

She even attributes being cast in her first movie, Fast & Furious, to her knowledge of weapons from her military background.

“The army wasn’t that difficult for me. The military gave me good training for Hollywood.”

Omer Adam

Photo Courtesy: Ofer Menachem Communications and Public Relations

One of Israel’s most well-known Mediterranean pop singers was already famous by the time he turned 18, when it was time to enlist in the army.

While he came from a family who all served in elite combat units, Omer didn’t follow in their footsteps, so he could simultaneously pursue his music career. Omer opted for a rearguard position in the Technology and Maintenance Corps for his three-year service.

Lior Raz

After serving in the elite counterterrorism unit, Duvdevan, Lior created the critically acclaimed series Fauda, based off his army experiences. He continues to relive his military days as he stars in the series as well.

Netta Barzilai

The award-winning singer and latest Israeli to win the Eurovision Song Contest served in the Israeli Navy Band, a precursor to her continuously flourishing music career.

Gidi Gov

One of Israel’s most legendary singers, Gidi joined the Israeli army singing troupe. During his service, he made life-changing connections and formed the roots of Kaveret, the famous Israeli band of the 1970’s, referred to by many as the Israeli Beatles.

Ayelet Zurer

Before this Israeli actress made it to the big screens of Hollywood, she served as a soldier in the Israeli Military Band as part of the Northern Command’s entertainment troupe.  

Eden Ben Zaken 

Photo: Aroma MUSIC / Ofer Menachem Communications

The X Factor Israel star started her service in Camp 80 and then joined the Ramat Gan Trio.

Noa Kirel

Israel’s most influential young pop star has recently made headlines for leaving the limelight to join the IDF as part of the orchestra corps; they performs in parades, official military and state ceremonies, graduation courses, and to entertain troops.

“I influence many young teenagers and it’s important for me to encourage them to enlist as well. I’m fortunate to experience many exciting things in my career, but the army connects me to my people. I’m about to go through something powerful, like every other girl my age, and I wasn’t about to give that up.”

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