The Commando: A One Man Army

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When we think of a commando, we often envision a highly skilled and fearless individual who can single-handedly take on any challenge. The term “commando” originated from the Portuguese word “comando,” meaning “command,” and it refers to a soldier or operative who is trained to carry out special operations. In this article, we will explore the world of commandos, their training, their roles, and the impact they have on military operations.

The History of Commandos

The concept of commandos can be traced back to World War II, where they played a crucial role in various military campaigns. The British Commandos, formed in 1940, were the first modern commando force. Their primary objective was to conduct raids and sabotage enemy installations. The success of the British Commandos inspired other nations to establish their own specialized units.

Over the years, commandos have evolved and adapted to the changing nature of warfare. Today, commando units exist in many countries, including the United States, Russia, Israel, and India. These units are highly trained and equipped to carry out a wide range of missions, from direct action and reconnaissance to counter-terrorism and hostage rescue.

The Training of Commandos

Becoming a commando is no easy task. It requires rigorous training, both physically and mentally. Commandos undergo a selection process that tests their physical fitness, endurance, and mental resilience. Only those who pass this selection process are accepted into the commando training program.

The training of commandos is designed to push individuals to their limits and prepare them for the challenges they may face in the field. It includes intense physical conditioning, combat skills training, weapons proficiency, tactical training, and specialized courses such as parachuting, diving, and mountaineering.

One of the most renowned commando training programs is the United States Navy SEALs’ Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL (BUD/S) training. BUD/S is a six-month-long program that tests candidates’ physical and mental capabilities through grueling exercises, including long-distance swims, obstacle courses, and sleep deprivation.

The Roles of Commandos

Commandos are trained to perform a variety of roles, depending on the mission and the needs of their respective units. Some of the common roles of commandos include:

  • Direct Action: Commandos are often deployed to carry out direct action missions, such as raids, ambushes, and targeted killings. They are skilled in close-quarters combat and are trained to neutralize high-value targets.
  • Reconnaissance: Commandos are also tasked with gathering intelligence on enemy positions, movements, and capabilities. They conduct covert surveillance and reconnaissance missions to provide valuable information to their commanders.
  • Counter-terrorism: In the face of terrorism, commandos play a crucial role in countering and preventing terrorist activities. They are trained to respond swiftly and decisively to hostage situations, hijackings, and other terrorist threats.
  • Specialized Warfare: Commandos are often trained in specialized warfare techniques, such as jungle warfare, mountain warfare, and urban warfare. This enables them to operate effectively in different terrains and environments.

The Impact of Commandos

Commandos have a significant impact on military operations and national security. Their specialized training and skills make them a valuable asset in both conventional and unconventional warfare. Here are some examples of the impact commandos have had:

  • The Operation Neptune Spear: In 2011, a team of United States Navy SEALs carried out a daring raid on Osama bin Laden’s compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan. This operation, codenamed “Operation Neptune Spear,” resulted in the death of the world’s most wanted terrorist.
  • The Entebbe Raid: In 1976, Israeli commandos executed a daring rescue mission at Entebbe Airport in Uganda. They successfully freed over 100 hostages who had been held captive by Palestinian terrorists.
  • The Battle of Mirbat: In 1972, a small team of British Special Air Service (SAS) commandos defended a remote outpost in Oman against a large force of communist insurgents. Their heroic actions prevented the outpost from being overrun and turned the tide of the conflict.

Q&A

1. How long does it take to become a commando?

The duration of commando training varies depending on the country and the specific unit. In general, it can take anywhere from several months to over a year to become a fully qualified commando.

2. What are the physical requirements to become a commando?

Commandos must possess a high level of physical fitness. They are required to pass rigorous physical tests, including running, swimming, push-ups, sit-ups, and pull-ups. The specific requirements may vary depending on the unit and the country.

3. Are commandos only male?

While commandos have traditionally been male-dominated, many countries now have female commando units. These units undergo the same training and perform the same roles as their male counterparts.

4. Do commandos always work alone?

While commandos are often associated with working alone, they also operate in teams. Teamwork is essential in commando operations, as it allows for better coordination and enhances the chances of mission success.

5. Can commandos transition to civilian careers?

Many commandos transition to civilian careers after their military service. The skills and experiences gained as a commando, such as leadership, problem-solving, and resilience, are highly valued in various fields, including law enforcement, security, and private sector industries.

Summary

Commandos are the epitome of bravery, skill, and dedication. Their training and expertise make them a formidable force on the battlefield. From conducting daring raids to gathering critical intelligence, commandos play a vital role in military operations. Their impact can be seen in the successful execution of high-profile missions and the safeguarding of national security. Becoming a commando is not for the faint-hearted, but those who undertake the challenge become part of an elite group of individuals who are truly a one-man army.

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