Defense Ministry data also show that 90 percent of the children of expatriate Israelis volunteer for service in combat units, and that the latest pilot's course includes a man and a woman who immigrated from the U.S.
Harris recently completed Paratrooper Brigade boot camp and is headed for advanced training with the brigade's Battalion 890.
"Despite growing up in the U.S. I always felt that my real home is here, in Israel, and if I don't help defend my home then who will," he asks.
Despite his parents
Harris's parents were fiercely opposed to his moving to Israel "Life is quiet there; they don't have the crazy news we get here in Israel," so he went to college, where he majored in economics.
"Once I graduated, I was already 21 and I presented my parents with a fait accompli," he said.
Today he lives on Kibbutz Maoz Haim, along with several of his comrades from the brigade who moved to Israel as part of a Scouts Movement program.
"Their preparation for service in the IDF starts while still overseas, as part of activity intensified in recent years by the Jewish Agency, the Immigrant Absorption Ministry, the Kibbutz Movement and the Scouts. Afterward they come to Israel and study Hebrew at an ulpan, and every soldier is adopted by a kibbutz family for the duration of service," says Udi Dror, aide to the head of the Defense Ministry's recruitment department.
American-born Tomer Regev, a soldier with Battalion 202 of the Paratroopers, says he always wanted to serve in the IDF.
He heard about the Israeli army from his father and other relatives who reminisced at family events.
Regev says his parents, who live in Los Angeles, are pleased with his decision.
He has not decided whether to stay in Israel after the army or return to L.A. to realize a new dream: playing professional football.