Two new medical profile indicators are on their way into the IDF, enabling more people to serve in more demanding positions in the army. "There is a social message here," army doctors say.

At present, there are eight different medical profiles, assigned to new soldiers when they enter the army. 97 is the top grade, while 82 is slightly below perfect; both enable the soldiers to be drafted into nearly any infantry or other battle unit of their choice.

The profile of 72 is also battle-worthy, but not for infantry units. 65 means "temporarily incapacitated for combat service," such as a broken limb. Soldiers with profile 64 are not combat-worthy, but can serve in the Armaments, Medical, Communications Corps and the like.

A soldier with profile 45 is listed as one with limited ability; he can serve as a clerk or cook. Profiles of 24 and 21 are exempt from military service, though 24 must be checked again after six months. They can volunteer in the army for up to two years.

The New Profiles: 35 and 77

Two new profiles are now about to be introduced: 77 and 35, designed to allow more opportunities for soldiers to serve in the IDF. The decision was made by Personnel Corps Chief Maj.-Gen. Elazar Stern and Chief Medical Officer Brig.-Gen. Dr. Chezi Levy, as part of an overall conceptual change in the way new recruits are medically categorized.

Until now, the hard of hearing, those with celiac and some diabetics were exempt from army service. With the new changes, however, they will be assigned a profile of 35 and will serve in the army in conditions specially suited to their conditions.

The new profile of 35 represents a "social message," says Lt.-Col. Dr. Arnon Afek. "We are saying that these people need not feel that they have to volunteer - but rather that the IDF wants them. They are normal. This will also raise motivation among the other soldiers, and strengthen the value of IDF service. Society must be open to people with medical problems, and realize that they can - and already do - contribute a lot."

The new profile of 77 will enable many of those who don't quite reach 82, such as those who suffer from nasal allergies and over-sweating, to serve in some field positions.
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