The Israel Defense Forces is expected to allow recruits suffering from attention deficit hyperactivity disorder to join combat units.
Currently, inductees diagnosed with ADHD are nearly always barred from front-line units even if they are strongly motivated to join.
Over a year ago the IDF’s Occupational Medicine and Medical Screening unit began an in-depth study to bring the army’s procedures and approach in line with recent research, Maariv reported Sunday. The work is now nearing completion and will be sent for approval by the IDF’s Chief Medical Officer Brigadier-General Dr. Itzik Kreiss.
“Until now military conscripts with attention and concentration disorders didn’t go to combat units in the infantry, or tanks and artillery,” said the head of the IDF’s Occupational Medicine and Medical Screening unit, Lt. Col. Yifat Erlich. “Now, after a comprehensive examination, there will be changes in their service.”
The new protocols are expected to begin coming into effect later in 2013. The conscripts will be tested to determine the level of their disorder and the influence of medication on their physical capabilities while serving in demanding combat roles. The IDF already provides medication to soldiers who need it, Maariv reported.
According to the report, the IDF’s intelligence branch began deliberately seeking out conscripts with ADHD because their alternative methods in processing information can provide useful insights reviewing data.
In its efforts to enable as many soldiers as possible to serve in fulfilling positions, the IDF also recently began allowing conscripts diagnosed with blood cancer to serve in tank and artillery units.