Organizational Structure

Primary Systems

Subordinate to the Chief of Staff and the General Staff (in its role as the supreme headquarters of the IDF) the IDF is organized according to two functional and organizational systems:

Functional: The Operational System - avenue for force activation

Organizational: Professional/Institutional System - avenue for force build-up

Bi-functional Systems (Operational and Professional)

Bi-functional system heads must simultaneously fulfill two roles - that of commander of an operational force and that of the commander of a professional body.

The following are examples of bi-functional systems:

Air Force
Homefront Command

Roles of an Operational System

Commanding of operational forces during wartime as well as during periods of calm in all its forms (including routine security operations).

Enhancing the preparation and readiness of operational forces.

Preparation of operational planning (including the defining of requirements and basic elements for action and for the activation of forces).

Implementing professional training within the framework of operational forces.

Defining the requirements of all needs mentioned above from elements in the professional system, and the participation in the undertakings of the professional system in the IDF.

Function of the Professional/Institutional System

Building, training, and placing an order of battle at the services of the operational system while reinforcing that order of battle should the need arise.
Formulating battle doctrines as well as techniques and philosophies for applying forces and utilizing military means.
Research, development, procurement and stockpiling of equipment.
Providing administrative support to the operational system by building and operating a strategic military infrastructure and sectoral administrative installations, all with the aim of enabling the operational system to devote its resources to achieving its unique aims without depriving it of its authority to define its needs, its method of functioning, its utilization, and its activation.

Sectoral Command

A command whose realm of responsibility includes a fixed geographical territory that serves as a trans-formational headquarters of one of the land operational sectors of the IDF. The command is the senior operational echelon in the land-based operational alignment subordinate to the General Staff.

The command is charged with assuming responsibility for the preservation of security, for the preparation of the forces and the sector in times of calm and during emergency situations with the aim of achieving the military-strategic aims of war as ordered by the General Staff.

The Ground Forces Command is the body responsible for force build-up of the Central Command and the units subordinate to the Central Command.


The first organizational level whose sub-units are themselves "formations" (brigades).
A formation which has a fixed, complete base.
The organizational framework optimal for extracting the maximum from - and activation of - all the alignments and power at the disposal of forces in the field, including those maneuverable units and all forms of combat and administrative assistance, in tactical fighting in all its forms.

Division's Mission

Independently fulfill demands of interorganizational mission
Manufacture and ensure the capability of the field units to:
Employ tactical methods in a continuous manner under all conditions and for as long a duration as necessary
Engage in interoperable (multi-corps) land battles in concert with the Air Force.

The Service

Military system which builds its military strength and supplies it in order to prepare for operations in a definted geographic dimension: Land, air, or sea. In the IDF, it is custom to label the organizational frameworks as services which build units and the air and sea formations as well as activate the air and sea forces. The General Staff is also Ground Forces Command in the IDF, however the network that forms and supplies units is separate from the operational system that activates those units.

The Corps

A secondary element in the service whose function is to establish, supply, and maintain the operational units in one of the professional formations of land, air, and sea forces. The head of the corps is a senior officer.

Corps Functions

• To represent a professional authority in its field.
• To develop warfighting docrine unique to the corps, including training exercises and routine orders to soldiers, and ingraining those instructions so that they take root within the corps.
• Formulating training regimens for the soldiers as well as carrying out, promoting, and nurturing the training of personnel.
• Managing personnel under its command, developing and planning the course of one's service and promotion through the ranks.
• Launching weapons development projects, instruments used to aid in warfare, and tools used for instruction; monitoring the development, and absorbing the finished product into the corps.
• Fostering a tradition of battle lore, pride in the corps, and treating of the wounded.
• Providing professional advice in its area of specialty.

General Staff

• In accordance with a decision by the Government, with its approval and as to implement its decisions - to define the military strategic aims of war in terms of required military gains, to establish the IDF mode of operation towards the aim of achieving one's goals, and to extract from these aims specific missions for the sectoral commands and services to execute.
• To determine method of fighting (defensive fighting, widescale assault, punishment, coercion, strategic assault) as well as to determine the order of the allocation of resources on land, in the air, and at sea.
• To determine and draw the sectoral boundaries of the main Commands, including front and rear boundaries.
• To prepare and disseminate all plans and operational orders issued by the General Staff or anyone of the rank of a General Staff officer.
• To manage the principle maneuvers of war by means of the Commands, the Services, and the remaining operational bodies of the General Staff, as well as to coordinate and preserve supervision over them while providing maximum assistance.
• To plan, prepare, and manage joint and special operations carried out beyond sectoral boundaries of the sectoral Commands.
• To plan and manage the public relations campaign of the IDF in accordance with continuous instruction from the Chief of Staff and the Defense Minister, including releasing statements and instructions on matters under the jurisdiction of the Defense Minister or the IDF to the civilian echelon.
• To ascertain the necessary achievements and priorities for force-building according to anticipated operational needs, and to decide which IDF needs require aid from without as well as from the national infrastructure.

Deputy Chief of Staff

The Deputy Chief of Staff serves as a head of staff of the army in all forms and functions.

• The Deputy's primary mission is to coordinate the institutional operations for force-building.
• The Deputy bears responsibility for the work of the General Staff in force-building as per the decisions and the policies of the Chief of General Staff.