Guest Post: Enlisting to the IDF… Twice

Every IDF soldier remembers his first day in the army, but no one remembers as well as Sgt. Ephraim Dissen — the only soldier who enlisted to the Nahal Brigade twice. Today we feature a guest post written by him.

Sgt. Ephraim Dissen and friends

Sgt. Ephraim Dissen (left) and his comrade in the battalion

The decision to make Aliyah was not an easy one. I was born in Chicago, where I graduated high school. After more than 18 months of science and math studies,  I decided to enlist to the IDF.  So I did. That’s just the way I am.

I took part in the Mahal program, which brings hundreds of foreign volunteers to serve in the IDF. I enlisted to the Nahal Brigade (which is undoubtedly the army’s most awesome unit) and became a part of the Shaham battalion. After 14 months of hard service, I finished my service and went back to my previous life in Chicago.

Less than six months after signing up for uni, I decided I’d had enough. I packed my bags, and in a (slightly, ahem, rash) decision decided to return to Israel — this time for good. Coming back made it clear to me I was not done with my army service. AI arrived at the recruiting base — again — where I demanded to be a part of the Nahal Brigade. Again.

This time, I joined the battalion’s reconnaissance platoon. Looking back at my service so far, I have no doubt I made the right decision, and even after being released from the army, I plan to keep on living in Israel.

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