Military Review

How are the "scientific company" in Israel

How are the "scientific company" in Israel

In Israel for more than 30 years, the most intellectually advanced recruits of both sexes are selected for service in the elite division of Talpiot.


This word is not so easy to translate. Undoubtedly, it is taken from the verse of the immortal biblical "Song of Songs" attributed to the legendary king Solomon. "Tel" is translated as "hill", and "piyot" - "mouth". It turns out like a hill on which all the lips turn to prayer. However, in Israeli army slang, "talpiot" means "elite." It is not surprising that the curriculum was called just such a word in the IDF (Israel Defense Forces), which allows, according to its developers, “to use local intellectuals of draft age not only muscles, but also brains”.

The elite division of Talpiyot was created in 1979 by the initiative of Brig. Gen. Stock General Aaron Beit-Halahmi. Moreover, the “star ensemble of army intellectuals” was not formed immediately. As Beit-Halakhmi himself says, back in 1974, he was approached by two professors from Hebrew (Hebrew) University and offered to create a training program that would concentrate the efforts of the most capable of new recruits. It was assumed that these young people will be able to develop the most advanced technologies for the IDF. The preparatory work continued for five long years. Beit-Halakhmi does not hide that he had to overcome a lot of bureaucratic obstacles. Opponents of the formation of "Talpiyot" argued that it does not make sense to involve young people in scientific work in the army structures immediately after school, even if they are very talented, but did not have time to get a fundamental education at universities or colleges. However, Beit Halakhmi and his associates considered it necessary to orient talented young people to research in the military fields at the age of conscription. This idea was actively supported by Lieutenant-General Raphael (Rapoul) Eitan (1978 – 1929), who had taken over the leadership of the IDF General Staff in 2004, by the way, the son of the natives of Russia, whose real name is Orlov. It was he who gave - I ask you to pay attention to the duration - the nine-year program of training army "stars" with the green light.

It is clear that, taking into account the fact that the term of military service in Israel was three years for young men and two years for girls, the selected “stars” were actually engaged in university programs and the completion of service coincided with their higher education. Moreover, many "star" cadets of the program "Talpiot" stepped over the first bachelor's degree and immediately became masters and doctors.

During the 32 years under the Talpiot program, created under the auspices of the Air Force and the Development Administration weapons and the technological industry (UROITP), were trained annually and conducted research from 25 to 30 recruits, both boys and girls. Candidates selected for this program were supposed to demonstrate not only the highest IQ rating, but also strong motivation, as well as undoubted leadership qualities. Most recruits who expect to get into this program are already arriving for exams with "outstanding school recommendations."

According to Beit-Halakhmi, “every year only 1,5% of thousands of army recruits with the same“ outstanding recommendations ”are accepted for the Talpiot program. How can one fail to recall the phrase that Sun Lutan (1860 – 1933), the famous master of the internal school of Chinese martial arts, who became an aphorism: “Finding a good teacher is not easy, finding a good student is even more difficult.”

John Hasten, an expert in the field of elite military training programs, the author of the article “The Talpiot”, published in the Jerusalem Post in Israel, says that “there are no more such programs in the world”.


Information about the military developments of those who have completed the Talpiot program is classified. Otherwise it could not be - the army is obliged to keep its secrets. Nevertheless, the quality and significance of these developments can be judged indirectly by the achievements of graduates of these nine-year programs in areas of purely civilian, because not all graduates wished to remain military all their lives. So, Guy Shinar, now a prominent researcher of biological systems, who received his doctorate in physics at the famous Chaim Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, a city considered to be an Israeli Cambridge and Oxford at the same time, is also a pet "Talpiot". Dr. Shinar is a member of the boards of directors of several well-known Israeli companies engaged in the development and production of medical devices used around the world.

In the 2005 year, when Shinar was 28 years old, he had just been demobilized, completing the Talpiot program. In the same year, this young man immediately founded a successful company for the production of devices that monitor the vital functions of the patient's body without the help of electrodes. Such a device, placed under the mattress on which the patient lies, can determine the pulse rate, respiratory parameters and other important indicators of human activity.

Dr. Shinar directly says that participation in the Talpiot program played a significant role in his successful career as a scientist. In a conversation with Josh Hasten, Shinar stressed that it was thanks to this program that he was able to choose for himself and the field of professional activity. "If you intend to work in the field of medical instrumentation, you need to become a specialist in a wide field, learn to excel in various disciplines, including clinical science, medical engineering, physiology, and even the problems of intellectual property rights."

According to Shinar, the first three years and three months of the “young” recruits of “Talpiyot” are spent on completing a bachelor’s degree in physics or mathematics from the Hebrew University program. Next, the soldiers go through the one and a half year military training program not in one, but in several units, including the paratroopers, the Air Force, the navy and intelligence. Upon completion of this stage of training, actual graduates are given the military rank of lieutenant and the remaining service time (out of nine years), they are engaged exclusively in research and, if necessary, in production activities. Dr. Shinar emphasizes that, firstly, the cadets of “Talpiot” were engaged in research activities and not being officers, and secondly, having received officer ranks, these same cadets are promoted to the highest positions in intelligence units, the Air Force and some other parts . So, the same doctor Guy Shinar at the age of 22 years began to serve in UROITP.

Shinar's fellow student, information about which is completely classified, at the same age performed very important works in the field of precision engineering. However, according to Shinar, the majority of graduates of "Talpiot" conduct research in the field of biotechnology, medical and other types of instrument-making.

Dr. Ofer Goldberg, who completed the Talpiot program a year later, is currently holding the position of vice president of Clal Biotechnology (General Technologies), one of the largest international companies in the 10 top list of the most successful companies of this type. . This company specializes in pharmaceuticals and invests in new medical technologies. Like Shinar, Goldberg believes that his career could take place only due to the fact that he got on the program "Talpiot".

“When I professionally study the scientific validity and feasibility of modern technologies for medicine,” says Ofer Goldberg, “I use the analytical methods and skills I learned while taking the Talpiot program.” Indeed, this program is focused on basic systems of interdisciplinary importance. Therefore, Goldberg continues his thought with these words: “I checked the innovations in the army in accordance with military affairs, and now that area of ​​technology that I directly deal with.”

Dr. Goldberg uses the term “Talpiot factor” when he emphasizes the dependence of achievements or the career success of a graduate who has completed this challenging nine-year course. He gives a curious example. When he, as a vice-president of the company, was offered to invest a lot of money in one company that studies the problems of cardiology, he accepted this offer not least because the director of this company is a graduate of Talpiot.

Ofer Goldberg is proud that his company is based on patriotic principles. He says: "In addition to practical reasons, the fact that the company operates in Israel is of particular importance to us."


This famous maxim, belonging to the great Russian commander Alexander Vasilyevich Suvorov, sounds particularly relevant today. It is clear that in the confrontation with the enemy priority is given to the human factor. But you can’t defeat a serious enemy with your bare hands or with antediluvian weapons. In our time of total computerization, it is young people who have barely stepped over adolescence to take the technological innovations in the best way. Therefore, it is clear that they should be involved in this kind of development. More precisely not all, but the most talented of them, giving special hopes.

It is interesting that in the XX century the first attempt to create elite intellectual army units capable of doing research was made in the early 20s by the commander of the land units of the Reichswehr (German armed forces in 1919-1935, quantitatively and qualitatively limited by the terms of the 1919 Versailles Peace Treaty ) General Hans von Sect (1866–1936). He initiated the creation of research laboratories for talented military personnel who proved themselves in scientific work. He was supported by some military, politicians and scientists. However, the growing chauvinist German circles didn’t like it when it turned out that Zekt’s idea was supported by Jews of origin - Admiral Fritz Haber, director of the Institute of Physical Chemistry, Nobel laureate, German Foreign Minister Walter Rathenau and Felix Teilhaber, medical officer, one of the pioneers aviation medicine.

Today, the command of the armed forces of a number of countries sets the task of creating army scientific units. However, in armies formed exclusively on a contract basis, it is impossible to attract specially gifted “in relation to the sciences” 18-summer recruits for these purposes. And the reasons are obvious. First, because there are practically no such and never will be. After all, if in the country there is no compulsory recruitment, then the “especially gifted” who have completed school education will prefer receiving higher education to the military service. True, it is quite possible to attract contract servicemen to army research units. But, as they say, it will be "a completely different calico." Indeed, in one army of the world contract soldiers are not represented by boys. This is the second. So the severity of scientific perception in any case will be different. Thirdly, it is highly doubtful that young people with very high IQ will be recruited into the army for the soldiers' service. It does not happen, after all, the usual muscular guys who do not claim Nobel Prize prefer to strap a soldier's shoulder strap.

As for "Talpiyot", then such programs are quite possible in the armies, formed by conscription. For example, in the Russian army. It is not surprising that an article with a pretentious title appeared recently in a Moscow newspaper: “Soldiers-scientists will appear in the army”. The subtitle of this article is even more impressive - “The armed forces will be raised from conscripts of Nobel laureates.” And after all, in principle, this can not be excluded.

“We are starting a“ big hunt ”for programmers. Hunting in the good sense of the word, because it is dictated by the volume of software that the army needs in the next five years ... We want, on the one hand, to overcome some part of inertia, and on the other hand, we would like to see A new generation of people who will move military science has emerged, ”Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu announced at a meeting with rectors of universities and other publics.

The idea of ​​the minister is good, but it is not yet clear how it will be implemented. Perhaps the Russian army will benefit from the experience of Israel, where the IDF has long had an analogue of “scientific companies” - in computer security connections.

Unlike the Russian “scientific companies”, which are going to form from students, the contingent of Israeli military computer schools consists of 18-year-old recruits. They win their right to study in fierce competition long before being drafted into the army.
The army is looking for talented young people while studying in secondary schools - they pass a lot of tests as part of pre-conscription training, and at every stage of testing all those who do not meet stringent army requirements are ruthlessly cut off. And there is someone to choose from: there are dozens of applicants for each place of a future cyberwar fighter.

The toughest selection of candidates, studying in an atmosphere of strict army discipline and demandingness, participation in real projects and instilling a sense of personal responsibility for the task entrusted - all these factors allow us to prepare future leading Hi-Tech specialists who can compete on equal terms with graduates of technical universities over the years of military service. . The prestige of graduates of army computer schools, among which the most famous are those belonging to the military intelligence and IDF troops, is extremely high and enjoys international recognition; recruiters of the most well-known companies hunt for their graduates after demobilization.

Those lucky ones who succeed in successfully passing acceptance tests are awaited by the initial 6 month-long training course in which training in computer disciplines is combined with the combat training of a recruit soldier.

The term of active army service is 36 months. Then, the most promising soldiers may be asked to continue their military service. In this case, the contract is signed for the term 3-5 years.

During these three years of military service, the soldier combines intensive training with participation in projects based on advanced technologies. And while computer soldiers do not have to make 70-kilometer full-blown marches, as their peers from combat units, they are waited for by no less intense work in army computer centers.

Training computer platoons are trained in the same style as reconnaissance and sabotage units - each soldier knows that only the best will manage to complete the whole course and enter the computer elite. Those who are not able to withstand this constant tension and fierce competition, will be expelled from school.

A graduate of the army computer school Dorit S. tells. She is 26 years old, and she works as a leading analyst in one of the transnational computer companies:

- Having studied in such a school, I can say that there was not a single day without tears. Stress is wild, study at night, exams every few days, the results of which are ruthless dropouts. And besides - the usual army service with the guards and daily combat duty.

At seven in the morning - building and divorce classes, and so every day.

The fact that Israel today is a superpower in the field of high technologies is a great merit of graduates of army computer schools. At the beginning of 2013 in Israel, 36% of business owners and 29% of the leading high-tech specialists were graduates of military computer schools.

Yossi Vardi, who founded the first Israeli computer startup in 1969, believes that "army computer units have produced far more Hi-Tech millionaires than any of the business schools."

A graduate of an army computer school, Gil Shved, demobilized from the army in 1992 and created Check Point Software Technologies, which now costs $ 1,8 billion.

Mirabilis was created in 1996 by graduates of the army computer school Arik Vardi, Yair Goldfinger, Safi Wiziger and Amnon Amir after their demobilization from the army. Developed by this company ICQ - a program for sending messages over the Internet - instantly gained popularity all over the world and brought $ 400 million to its creators.

Uri Levin began his career as a software product developer during his actual military service. After completing military service, he signed a contract with the army for another five years. Knowledge and ideas accumulated over the years in the army helped him after demobilization to create a startup, in 2008, he developed a software product like Waze - today, perhaps, the world's most popular GPS navigator. In 2013, the GPS navigator Waze was bought by Google from Google for $ 1 billion.

As can be seen from the above examples, for talented youth, army computer schools in Israel became a kind of springboard for achieving commercial and creative success after demobilization. These people are interested in the army computer service, because it gives them professional training and allows them to unleash their creative potential.

The Russian army could well take advantage of the Israeli experience, making service in the "scientific companies" prestigious and profitable.
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  1. intsurfer
    intsurfer April 7 2014 11: 49
    As far as I know, starting next year, a similar department will be created at the Nizhny Novgorod State University (NNSU), where military programmers will be trained.
  2. Mister X
    Mister X April 7 2014 14: 25
    Thorough article.
    I learned something new about ICQ.
    I thought that
    In 1996, an 4 high school student from Tel Aviv created Mirabilis and released a small application called ICQ

    About the Israeli elite units not a word.
    And after 2, the guys became rich: they sold their brainchild for 287 million dollars to AOL Corporation.

    The question is eating to me: who has access to the history of my correspondence in ICQ, Skype, etc.?
    1. intsurfer
      intsurfer April 7 2014 14: 30
      >> I am gnawed at the question: who has access to the history of my correspondence in ICQ, Skype, etc.?
      all who may be interested in your correspondence;)
      1. Mister X
        Mister X April 7 2014 14: 50
        Not for nothing that I use secure WebMoney services for important correspondence:
        chat, mail and file storage.
        Let them read it: do not mind wink
    2. Marine One
      Marine One April 7 2014 14: 57
      Quote: Mister X
      The question is eating to me: who has access to the history of my correspondence in ICQ, Skype, etc.?

      From the ICQ user agreement: "You agree that by submitting any material or information through any ICQ service, you assign copyright and any other proprietary rights to the published material or information. You further agree that ICQ Inc. has the right to use the published material or information in any form and for any purpose, including but not limited to its publication and distribution. "

      Similarly, in Skype: "The Skype Terms of Service provide for the availability of decrypted data to the network owner (Microsoft), employees of Microsoft or affiliated companies, and Internet providers. Skype servers can automatically scan forwarded texts and links from it to combat spam and fraud; some links can be removed from messages. The terms also stipulate the permissibility of interception and manual processing of forwarded text messages. "

      Read user agreements. Everything is written there.
      1. Mister X
        Mister X April 7 2014 17: 28
        Quote: Marine One
        Read user agreements. Everything is written there.

        Anecdote in the topic:
        Specialists from Microsoft found that Russians read the fastest in the world.
        They read the user agreement in a fraction of a second.
        From the moment of opening the user agreement and its acceptance, fractions of seconds pass.
  3. Vita_vko
    Vita_vko April 7 2014 17: 01
    A very interesting experience. But it cannot be copied in its pure form as it exists in Israel, the mentality and conditions differ, + the advantages of a traditional Russian scientific school, which the liberals could not completely destroy.
    Now there are powerful scientific schools at universities and research institutes in various fields, including IT. At the same time, the leaders of scientific organizations and laboratories actually formally conduct classes for all students, in order to identify the most gifted and entice to themselves. Of course, this allows domestic science to survive, but the lack of system and isolation of such an approach from state programs and strategic directions does not allow achieving such an effect as, for example, in Israel or in the American DARP.
    The main advantage of military scientific units is of course the development of scientific and creative potential, which is absolutely impossible without discipline and education.
    Therefore, of course, this direction needs to be developed, possibly on the basis of the Suvorov schools or Cadet schools, which should, in the framework of programs for gifted children, get in closer contact with higher military educational and scientific organizations.
    On the other hand, very often it turns out that gifted children, under the influence of various circumstances, stop learning and choose other areas of activity for themselves, which multiplies by 0 all the efforts of teachers and the state. But on the other hand there is a striking example of the Russian scientist M. Lomanosov, who began to study already at a respectable age. Therefore, in scientific departments it is necessary to give a chance to everyone in whom the craving for science has awakened.