web analytics
March 28, 2015 / 8 Nisan, 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:


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
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.
Netanyahu to Release Frozen Palestinian Authority Tax Revenue
Latest Blogs Stories
The Dimona nuclear reactor dome. Iran has been using Israel's reluctance to join the NPT to escape criticism of its own program.

“Israel has nuclear weapons & it isn’t afraid to use them if necessary-Does that frighten you? Good”

JB Flag

American Jews think they know what’s best for Israel-better than Israelis. Here’s my take…

HarHabayitwDome.jpg

An old Arab man yelled at me “You’re stupid!” I returned the compliment; He had murder in his eyes.

Doug Goldstein

Why do people feel the need to check their email 50X a day, constantly dipping in & out of Facebook?

Betar is the world-wide Zionist youth movement that refuses to be silent, and as our founder Ze’ev Jabotinsky wrote: “Silence is despicable.”

Life in Europe’s pre-War Yeshiva world makes today’s rulings look like the Taliban has taken over.

Moshe’s the 1st family member in thousands of years to have the honor of serving in a Jewish army

Often wig wearers become more attractive after marriage. Doesn’t this turn the intent on its head?

US official interference in Israel’s Elections is not only immoral but may be illegal under US law.

The greatest thing about leaving Israel is the joy in returning, hearing/seeing/smelling coming home

I never felt an election resonate so much; I had true existential fear that my candidate might lose

It appears that Agudah has joined with those choosing to erase women from the public sphere.

How can you turn your passion into your business? How can you build your business around your life?

Politicians have their own egos as priority, not the good of the country nor the will of the people

I might have to “reassess” my position on President Obama if his “new positions and comments” on Israel don’t match his pre-election statements.

Find out about peak oil and how the production & sale of cheap oil has affected other oil sources

More Articles from IDF Spokesperson's Office
Elite soldiers train to kill terrorist kidnappers and rescue hostages.

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

Aharon Karov and his wife Tzvia on their wedding day. hours before he returned to the Gaza front and was critically wounded.

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 […]

Sgt. O’s commander: “We do not fight indiscriminately. We are an army not a terrorist organization.”

The discovery of a Hamas “urban warfare” manual by IDF forces reveals Hamas’ callous use of Gazans

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: