Fitness Tests of Israel's Sayeret Matkal

Sayeret Matkal, also known as Unit 269 or "The Unit," is a renowned special forces unit within the Israel Defense Force (IDF). It is recognized for its exceptional skills in various environments and specializes in missions such as Hostage Rescue, Counterterrorism, and Long Range Reconnaissance.


  • 1957


  • "המעז מנצח" (Translation: Who Dares Wins)

Recruitment Process:

  • Candidates for Sayeret Matkal must be born in Israel. The recruitment process involves physical fitness testing, medical examinations, and intelligence assessments.
  • The journey includes Yom Sayarot (Pre-Selection Phase), followed by Gibbush Matkal (Selection or Qualification Course) lasting five days and an Advanced Basic Training Course.

Performance Standards (Selection Course):

  1. 3K Run:

    • Pass: 14:00 min
    • Good: 12:20 min
    • Great: 11:45 min
    • Elite: 11:05 min

  2. Squats:

    • Pass: +3 reps
    • Good: +8 reps
    • Great: +11 reps
    • Elite: +14 reps

  3. Suicides:

    • Pass: 14:00 sec
    • Good: 12:00 sec
    • Great: 11:00 sec
    • Elite: 10:20 sec

  4. Benchpress:

    • Pass: +3 reps
    • Good: +10 reps
    • Great: +12 reps
    • Elite: +14 reps

  5. Pullups:

    • Pass: +3 reps
    • Good: +10 reps
    • Great: +12 reps
    • Elite: +14 reps

Physical Requirements (Combat Fitness Test Level 3):

  • The test includes a 3000-meter run, 60 KG Barbell Squats, Suicides with a weighted 15 KG vest, 60 KG Benchpress for reps, and 15 KG weighted pullups.

Yom Sayarot - Selection Test:

  • Candidates endure rigorous training, including running up sandhills, carrying jerry cans, group activities, sleep-deprivation challenges, and weapons handling under pressure. Teamwork is a crucial aspect of evaluation.

Gibbush Matkal Selection:

  • The Qualification Course spans approximately 16 months, covering advanced basic training, navigation, warfare, SERE (Survival, Evasion, Resistance, and Escape) school, and specialized training.

Sayeret Matkal Training:

  • Emphasis on leadership, critical thinking, and teamwork throughout the 16-month course. Successful candidates undergo an additional 5 months of classified specialized training.

Characteristics of Sayeret Matkal Operators:

  • Desired traits include strong willpower, determination, adaptability, discretion, creativity, perseverance, self-confidence, and reliability. Operators are expected to be technically versatile and excellent team players.

Facts about Sayeret Matkal:

  • Operators do not wear insignia publicly to maintain secrecy.
  • After service, many join the Sayeret Matkal Reserves or pursue careers in the Mossad.
  • The unit closely modeled after the S.A.S., and operators receive the SAS book "The Ghost Commander" at graduation.

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