Canine in action
Photo courtesy of the IDF
Army dogs get serial numbers, personal files
IDF introduces unique computer project aimed at tracking activities of dogs from Oketz Canine Unit. Medical background, performance reports, photos are all included in their personal files
From now on, it’s not only IDF soldiers who get the full induction day red carpet – so do four legged friends. Over the past few days, all the dogs of the Oketz unit have received a military serial number which the army will use to track their activities.


The Ground Forces Computer Services Directorate has implemented a unique computer project focusing on the combat canines. Every dog has been given a personnel file documenting all its information from the moment it joined the unit and until its release. And, of course, there is a photo.


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“On the one hand we are not talking about a soldier, and also not about a regular serial number, thus we found a unique solution,” said Lieutenant Colonel Eran Shor, head of Information Systems unit in the Computer Services Directorate.


The personnel file includes all the details a commander needs to know about his furry charge – where it was born, when it joined the unit, what training it had completed, what operations it had participated in, level of operational preparedness, and accreditations the dog had earned. This means, for example, after a dog passes the unit test on the course at Mitkan Adam, this is listed in its file.

Oketz members – two and four legged (Photo: IDF)


In addition to operational information, the file includes medical background such as current state of health, types of immunizations received, and treatments the dog has had throughout its service. This information is shared with the IDF’s chief veterinarian, so that the dogs can be tracked and given appropriate healthcare.


The new system became operational last week after it was inaugurated by Oketz commander, Lieutenant Colonel Ariel Ben-Dayan.


Lieutenant Colonel Shor said the new system would assist in tracking the health status of each dog, “This is a unit with special needs and characteristics,” Shor explained. “The dogs are spread out over several fronts along the northern border, in the territories and on the Gaza border. This information will provide commanders with an up-to-date picture.”



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