Israel's Autistic Intelligence Unit
Young people with autism often struggle with finding their place in a world that doesn't understand them -- half the time they're shunned for being "creepy," and the other half they're patronized and treated like taller, more articulate babies. Well, Israel has a solution for young Israelis on the autistic spectrum looking for a way to pass the time: Come and do extremely sensitive intelligence work for the country's military!
As children, autistic people tend to compensate for their under-developed social skills by over-developing their perceptual ones (something every writer of TV detectives apparently knows). Israel has taken advantage of this by recruiting autistic young adults into Unit 9900, an elite intelligence unit that pores over aerial and satellite images to pick out the tiniest details. And as it turns out, they're pretty fucking good at it. They may struggle to fit in at parties, but show them hundreds of nearly identical pictures of maps, and they'll spot key differences most of us would totally miss (like the slightly elevated grass in a Gaza soccer field that was actually a hidden weapons cache).
Israel Defense Forces
Which is double-impressive, since Israeli computer monitors appear to be extremely blurry.
While autistic teens are exempt from mandatory conscription in Israel, since 2008 the Israeli Defense Force has been taking some of them as volunteers on an individual basis. The selection process is rigorous, as not everyone (autistic or not) is psychologically suited for the sheer tedium of intelligence work. Those who pass the six-month training process, however, are entrusted with classified information and get to call themselves the elite of imagery analysts. So unlike you, they actually have an excuse for spending their late teens/early twenties sitting in front of a computer, fighting virtual wars for eight-plus hours a day.
Israel Defense Forces
And they subsist on more than just Mountain Dew.
The IDF has also realized that people with autism are well suited for software quality assurance, something especially important in a field where computer bugs can kill people. Another plus of this program is that it allows autistic individuals to build some useful life skills before they turn 21 -- when, as a rather nasty birthday gift, Israel cuts off almost all types of support for them. It seems unwise to piss off highly trained intelligence officials who handle top-secret data, but what do we know.
The Ritchie Boys (Or, The Real-Life Inglourious Basterds)
Imagine you're a Jewish person who managed to escape Germany or Austria during World War II and ended up in the U.S., where most of the population hasn't tacitly agreed that you deserve death just for existing. What do you do now? Go to Coney Island? Catch up on all those movies you missed? Never leave the safety of your bedroom again? If you said "get back to Europe and kick some ass," then you're Ritchie Boys material.