Special in Uniform: Israel Welcomes the Disabled into the IDF

The Israel Defense Forces is one of the most powerful militaries in the world, yet also one of the most inclusive.

When Oria Sagie received a letter of exemption from mandatory service in the IDF due to autism, he objected and was determined to become a volunteer. He entered an innovative program called Special in Uniform, which integrates young people with disabilities into the IDF. Oria persevered through the program, earning an identification card certifying him as a full-fledged IDF soldier.

“We have to try to the extent that we can to enter so-called ‘normal’ society and work hard to support the revolution that we are starting in Israel and around the world. We are part of this society. We have to keep going and keep fighting!”

~Oria Sagie

Special in Uniform has a presence on 28 different Israeli military posts where these special soldiers are serving honorably and making a difference in Israeli society by empowering those with disabilities.

“When individuals with special needs see a boy on the autistic spectrum, like Sagie, coming home on Friday in uniform and learn that they can also continue from the military into the civilian workforce, it has an enormous influence and inspires them to take the step toward full integration.”

~ Lt. Col. (Res.) Tiran Attia, director of Special in Uniform

Watch Oria and his fellow soldiers receive special recognition from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu recently: