IDF to reduce number of soldiers exempted from service due to 'incompatibility'

IDF Manpower Unit orders commanders to refer soldiers to Compatibility Committee 'only as a last resort.'

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

IDF soldiers (illustrative)
IDF soldiers (illustrative)

The head of the IDF Manpower Directorate's Planning and Management Division, Amir Vadamni, recently turned to IDF commanders requesting that they reduce, as much as possible, the number of soldiers who receive exemptions from service, Israel Hayom reported.

The request comes after it became clear that approximately 2,000 soldiers - a full brigade's worth - were examined by the committee for compatibility, and 80% received exemptions from military service.

The Compatibility for Service Committee is charged with determining the compatibility of soldiers for military service in light of their behavior, in the case of improper functioning or a lack of compatibility for service due to other reasons. The Committee is obligated to discuss the soldier when a qualified mental health professional has determined it, or alternately when the soldier is referred to the Committee by a military judge.

Due to the high number of soldiers brought before the Committee in the past year and who received exemptions, it was decided to "dig deeper into the Committee's policies and to adjust them to the changing reality."

Among other things, it was decided to reduce the number of Committees, shorten the length of time each cases is handled by the Committees, and reduce bureaucracy. In addition, there is now an option to hold a meeting virtually. In a policy guide sent out to the units, Vadamni emphasized that commanders sending a soldier to the Committee is "the last option, after several attempts have been made in various roles, both in the unit and outside it."

"I wish to emphasize again the great importance of reducing the scope of those who received exemptions this year. The number of exemptions received from the Compatibility for Service Committees alone is enough for an entire brigade, and we need to reduce this trend as much as possible."

An IDF spokesman responded: "Recently, much work has been done on the issue of the Compatibility for Service Committees, with the goal of improving the Committees' processes and reducing the process. The process has been shortened and the amount of time it takes has been reduced."

"In addition, as part of the headquarters' work, we canceled irrelevant committees. The Compatibility for IDF Service Committee is one which is charged with examining the compatibility of a soldier for military service, in light of serious discipline issues, his improper functioning, or his incompatibility for service due to other reasons, which do not allow him to be utilized properly within the framework of the unit or within the framework of other units.

"Throughout all the work we did, it was emphasized to commanders that release [from the army] by the Compatibility for Service Committee should be a last resort."