web analytics
August 29, 2015 / 14 Elul, 5775
At a Glance
Blogs
Sponsored Post


Home » Blogs » IDF Blog »

Autism in the IDF: Uniquely Talented Soldiers

Two veterans of the IDF and the Intelligence organizations, introduced an idea – to utilize the special strengths of people on the autistic spectrum for the needs of the IDF and Israeli intelligence.
Unit 9900 is an intelligence unit that utilizes the unique capabilities of soldiers on the autism spectrum.

Unit 9900 is an intelligence unit that utilizes the unique capabilities of soldiers on the autism spectrum.
Photo Credit: IDF Spokesperson's Office

Special intelligence Unit 9900 is dedicated to everything related to geography, including mapping, interpretation of aerial and satellite photographs and space research. Within this unit there is a small unit of highly qualified soldiers, who have remarkable visual and analytic capabilities. They can detect even the smallest details, undetectable to most people.

The uniqueness of this elite group of intelligence soldiers in Unit 9900 lies in the fact that they are all diagnosed on the autism spectrum. We interviewed Col. J, the commander of Unit 9900, in order to learn more about this inspiring group of soldiers. unit 9900 2

This a soccer field in Gaza. In depicts a before and after image of a hidden weapons Cache.

First time in history

“After many doubts and expectations the project came to light after almost a year of processing. There were many problems along the way. The actual process took about a year and I want to say that we started with the assumption that this could, should and would succeed,” says Colonel J, confessing that the success of this project exceeded the optimistic expectations of its initiators. “The concerns were understandable, because I knew nothing about autism. The result was a task of trial and error. Everything we did was happening for the first time in the history of the IDF. We planned, worked and focused until we achieved success.”

How does this group fit in with the other soldiers?

“They have excellent relations with the soldiers of the unit – from time to time, out of the building where they work I see them sitting with others in the unit, having lunch or just having a cup of coffee. No one forces them to do so. It is very natural, and I think that says it all.”

What type of work do they do?

“Their job is to take visual materials from satellite images and sensors that are in the air. With the help of their officers and decoding tools, they analyze the images and find specific things they need in order to allow those who are planning a mission to get the best data of the area.”

unit 9900 1

How it all began–The RR Plan

Mr. V and Ms. S, veterans of the IDF and the Intelligence organizations, introduced an idea – to utilize the special strengths of people on the autistic spectrum for the needs of the IDF and Israeli intelligence.

They contacted Unit 9900, who showed great interest in the idea and decided  to be a partner for the first trial – interpretation of aerial and satellite photographs.

They then Contacted the Ono Academic College – a private academic institution and registered NGO, which also has a school for health professions. Ono Academic College has a vision of “Changing the face of Israeli society,” and therefore its management decided to join the initiative, and together they set up the RR Program – (Roim Rachok – which in Hebrew means looking far beyond the horizons).

The aim of the RR Plan is to teach people on the autistic spectrum  professions that utilize their special abilities, thus creating a Win-Win effect. The courses take place in the Ono Academic College. After the students finish the 3 month course, they join the army, where the RR program is still involved in guidance and assistance of the soldiers and their commanders.

Today, when everyone can see the success of the first trial course graduates, the RR plan is developing two more courses that utilize other strengths of the autistic spectrum.  One course is for software quality assurance (QA) and the other is for information management. Both courses are developed in cooperation with Intelligence Units of the IDF, which will eventually be the home units for the course graduates.

Unit 9900’s special contribution
It is important to remember that people on the autism spectrum have strengths in music, mathematics, as well as the visual field. These autistic soldiers of Unit 9900 play a major role in intelligence gathering–a role not easily filled due to the difficulty of this task. The IDF believes in the ability of these autistic soldiers and will continue to work for their advancement in military and civilian life.

About the Author:

The author's opinion does not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Jewish Press.

If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

14 Responses to “Autism in the IDF: Uniquely Talented Soldiers”

  1. Anna Torres says:

    AWESOME U R A GREAT EXAMPLE OF GODS LOVE G2G-GAD!!

  2. Wow…some teachers in the past thought my son could have a mild form of autism referred to as Aspergers and he is good with details..an excellent video game player and learns best one on one. I am glad to read that there are specific jobs these young men are best at.

  3. Good to know. The IDF has a new special unit to utilize the special strengths of people on the autistic spectrum for the needs of the IDF and Israeli intelligence.

  4. it is a wonderful idea,and I shallsend it on to my friends who have autistic grandchildren

  5. If these boys can do it so can the Yeshiva boys !!

  6. Kol Hakavod to the IDF by what they are doing for handicapped people.

    I have said before. That the ultra religious MUSt perform their duty to the Jewish state of israel.

    They do not have to be combat soldiers, There aer so many jobs that need peoplr to fulfil.
    Not only wou;d they be serving their country, they would learn a trade or whatever, so that after 3 years, they could become self sopporting citizens and get the full respect of every Israel who has served in the IDF.

    Maybe the IDf should call meeting with these ultra religious people, so that they will understand what the IDF can do for them, and what they can do for Israel.

  7. Anonymous says:

    The big strong manly yeshiva men are content to let women and the handicapped fight in their place. They literally believe that their prayers (mostly not praying for Israel or the IDF btw) are worth a million extra soldiers on the battlefield. How you deal with people like that I don't know other than telling them "no more yeshiva stipends out of public funds."

  8. What a heartwarming, intriguing, and inspiring story. How remarkable that the special abilities of a group that's often shunned by society are being put to use in incredible ways! Let's salute the genius behind this program!

  9. Amy Cooper says:

    This is an amazing article!

  10. This is an enlightening article. Great that the IDF gives autistic youngsters the opportunity to use their skills to serve their country.

  11. This is so heartening. Autistic adults have so many gifts to offer the world but are being held back though a patronising attitude amongst employers. And yes there are people with autism who love science, history, music, art, politics and cooking as well as computers. One young man I know told me 'why do I have to be good at computers when I want to study languages?'.

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Swiss Amb. to Iran Giulo Haas presents his credentials to Iranian Pres. Rouhani
‘US and Iranian Cartoon Doves’ Shown Defecating on Bibi by Swiss Amb to Iran
Latest Blogs Stories
haredim-no-women-allowed-sign

The Halacha of shmirat einayim (guarding one’s eyes) is incumbent on the MAN; it’s his obligation

Doug Goldstein

Dem. presidential candidate Doug Shreffler talks about his campaign & its motto “as good as it gets”

Jewish Press Blogger, Jordana Brown

I’ve decided to move away from my safety net-and I wouldn’t change that decision for anything.

Was “Jerusalem” the song Matisyahu planned to perform? It was the PERFECT response to BDS campaign

If the world’s winds of hatred bring Jews to Israel we are ready, joyfully offering them a home here

At what age should the realization start setting in for kids that we live in an uncertain society?

Spain’s SeaWorld canceled Zionist-spy dolphin’s performance unless it supports a Palestinian state

How does the Iranian deal affect anti-terrorist legislation adopted by a number of US states?

Shabbat afternoon soccer games, a tradition in Israel’s league, may become a thing of the past.

Calling the Jewish Press‘closest thing to a frum English-language weekly’ insults the publication

So long as Jews dance for the sheer pleasure of thanking God, Israel will never be defeated!

Why are wealthy people less likely to gossip? So if you get rich you’ll cut down on Lashon Hora!

Matisyahu was bounced from a music festival because he wouldn’t sign pro-BDS, anti-Israel manifesto.

Danon is still young, perhaps one day he’ll succeed Bibi. Representing Israel in UN is good training

I think it has been a major tactical mistake for Israel to consider Iran a particularly Israeli problem. And it is of crucial importance for Israel and Israelis to stop thinking that we have any influence on international leaders when it comes to anything, including international policy re: Iran. That’s why I think that Yair […]

More Articles from IDF Spokesperson's Office
Sgt. Jatemliansquy, originally from Argentina and now at home in Israel.

The Home Front Command for the first time has deployed female soldiers to guard the front lines in Shechem in Samaria.

IDF soldiers - once upon a time.

The IDF has come up with an 81-second video showing 67 years of Israeli land, sea and ground soldiers in action.

Terrorists hide with hostages in a building. How can soldiers rescue the victims and kill the captors?

Aharon and Tzvia Karov prove that faith and belief in a better future is what keeps Israel alive.

“I cried not because I had to undergo surgery, but because I had to leave the army.”

“I knew that being there would allow me to protect other soldiers.”

One missile explosion on Tel Aviv could cause a local disaster. One successful Hamas hack of IDF secrets could cause a national disaster.

During Operation Protective Edge, IDF soldiers were faced with deadly risks in the Gaza Strip. Sixty four soldiers were killed and many more were wounded in combat. This is the story of one IDF commander who put his life in danger to rescue a soldier kidnapped by Hamas. Lt. Eitan, 23, joined the elite unit […]

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/blogs/idf-blog-blogs/autism-in-the-idf-uniquely-talented-soldiers/2014/04/17/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: