From America’s Next Top Model To Israel’s Next Tank Instructor

Esther Petrack was on the way to being the next big thing, after competing in the reality show “America’s Next Top Model” and making seventh place, when she decided a change of pace was in order. For her, the next big thing was entirely different; she wanted to become an IDF combat soldier.

Ester Petrack, former 'America's Next Top Model' contestant

Esther Petrack, former 'America's Next Top Model' contestant, now IDF soldier

Esther was born in Jerusalem to a religious family and at sixteen, moved with her family to the United States. She made history when she became the first religious Jewish girl to compete in the “America’s Next Top Model“. She was on the fast lane to becoming a supermodel when things changed last year, during a visit to Israel for the first time in four years. Following her trip Esther decided to make Aliyah and join the army.

Esther during her days as a model in New York

Esther during her days as a model in New York

Upon enlisting, Esther was asked where she would like to serve. Though offered the chance to serve in administrative positions and office environments, she insisted upon the combat position of tank instructor.

“I wanted to do something I could never do in my post-army life. Tank instructor is unlike any civilian job—it’s physical, but also intellectually and mentally challenging.”

Esther Petrack. Former model goes IDF instructor

Esther and the tank she will be teaching in

When asked how a former model deals with the intensity of life in the field, Esther laughed and said:

“Well, one thing is for sure—my nails will never go back to what they used to be.”

Check out our interactive map of stories of IDF soldiers from around the world!