Senior officials familiar with the matter said on Sunday that the Indian Navy has decided to admit women to its elite special force ‘MARCOS‘, allowing them to serve as commandos for the first time in any of the three defence services.
“Women in the navy who meet the criteria can now become marine commandos (Marcos).” It is a watershed moment in Indian military history. However, no one is assigned directly to special forces units. “People must volunteer,” an unnamed senior naval official was quoted as saying by the Hindustan Times.
According to a second official, female officers and sailors who join the service as Agniveers next year will have the option of volunteering to become Marcos.
The Marcos have been trained to perform a variety of tasks on land, sea, and air.
MARCOS: India’s elite line of Defence
According to the Military Direct’s ultimate military strength index, India scored 61 out of 100 points on parameters like budget, personnel, and equipment. Much of this credit should be attributed to our nation’s special forces. These are relatively small military units, but truly ferocious to stand against any deadly mission without breaking a sweat. One of these special forces is the MARCOS or Marine Commandos.
The MARCOS was raised in 1987 by the Indian Navy. Dubbed the ‘Dadiwala Fauj’ due to the beards the commandos grow as a disguise, the unit carries out intense operations relating to direct action, surveillance & reconnaissance, and recovery. Although it specializes in maritime warfare, it is also skilled to operate on land and in air. It operates under extreme secrecy and is lauded globally for its professionalism.
The marine commandos’ initial role was to defend off-shore assets in Bombay High. Soon they had greater responsibilities and accomplishments. Some of them include:
- Operation Pawan (1987)
The MARCOS joined the Indian Peacekeeping Force (IPKF) to fight the LTTE (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam) in Sri Lanka. LTTEs were operating in lagoons around Jaffna. Our commandos swam 12 km towards them without being detected, made explosions in their area, engaged in firing with them, and swam back without any casualties. It was a highly successful operation that earned the commandos gallantry awards including the Maha Vir Chakra and Vir Chakra.
- Operation Cactus (1988)
The Marine Commandos helped the democratic government of Maldives stop a coup. They also caught the mercenaries who tried to escape after the coup ended and saved the hostages they had held.
- Operation Tasha (1991)
On the Tamil Nadu coast, the MARCOS were deployed to restrict the movement of LTTE militants between Sri Lanka and India and the smuggling of arms.
- United Nations Operation in Somalia II (1993)
During the second phase of the UN’s intervention in Somalia post the civil war, Indian Navy’s marine commandos provided maritime support to the Indian contingent in Mogadishu.
- Operation Rakshak (1995 till today)
In 1995, the militants in Jammu and Kashmir used the Wular Lake to reach Srinagar. Going through the lake saved them a distance of 100 km that they otherwise had to travel additionally through the mountains. When the MARCOS team was deployed at the lake, the militant activity ceased within weeks. In the following years, they were also positioned on land to interdict and kill militants. To date, they continue to deal with those militants, and have recovered many weapons.
- Kargil War (1999)
The MARCOS have assisted the Indian Army in carrying out covert operations during the Kargil War.
- Operation Black Tornado (2008)
During the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks on Trident and Taj Hotels, the MARCOS were the first to respond. The terrorists created havoc in at least 10 places in Mumbai, killing about 125 people and injuring more than 300. The marine commandos along with the National Security Guard commandos stormed both luxury hotels and took control by November 29. It was at this point that the MARCOS came into the spotlight both nationally and internationally.
- Operation Rahat (2015)
When Yemen was devastated by a full-blown civil war in 2015, the Indian Navy decided to evacuate Indian and Foreign Nationals. Amid the continuous bombing, airstrikes, and rigorous patrolling by heavily-armed Houthi rebels on harbours, the Navy tasked the MARCOS with the safe evacuation of people through boats. The commandos successfully evacuated thousands of people.
Apart from the above operations, our marine commandos have undertaken various anti-piracy operations. Reports also suggest that since 2020, some of them have been deployed in Eastern Ladakh, accompanying the Indian Army in a stand-off with the Chinese military.
Only the bravest of souls can be a part of MARCOS. It has one of the world’s toughest selection and training programs. All applicants have to be qualified in HALO (High Altitude Low Opening) and HAHO (High Altitude High Opening). HALO means to be able to jump from 11 km above the earth, and the parachute opens when the person is close to the ground. HAHO is a jump from 8 km above the earth, and the parachute opens 10-15 seconds after the jump.
About 80% of the applicants are screened out in the pre-training procedure itself. It consists of a three-day-long physical fitness and aptitude test. This is followed by a hell’s week that is similar to the US Navy SEALs’ hell’s week. Each day, an applicant has to undergo over 20 hours of continuous physical exercise, and suffer extreme sleep deprivation. After the applicants pass this, the actual training begins.
The training lasts between two-and-a-half and three years. Initially, the aspiring marine commandos are made familiar with the basics such as using different equipment i.e. weapons & explosives, battling unarmed, para jumping, diving, kayaking, photography. They are trained to fight in all kinds of environments – high-altitude warfare (for the cold), jungle warfare and mountain warfare. They are taught to fire while lying down, while sprinting forward and backward, and while looking in a mirror.
Furthermore, the MARCOS are expected to be responsive at all times. Hence, they are trained to have a reaction time of 0.27 seconds in any situation. Also, owing to the covert nature of their job, the commandos have to behave like the general public wherever they are deployed. This requires them to be well-trained to gather foreign intelligence. As a result, they are proficient in various languages including Mandarin and Arabic. They also possess one of the most coveted feats by Special Forces around the world: para dropping into the sea with a full combat load.
The trainees then pursue advanced training in their specialization and join respective groups on probation. These may include counter insurgency, amphibious operations, clandestine operations, hostage rescue, surveillance & reconnaissance, or anti-piracy.
With such stringent training, the marine commandos are trained such that they can withstand any circumstance, irrespective of however physically or emotionally straining that may be.
How to Become Marcos Commando in India 2022
India is a land of Bravery and valiance, our soldiers accept the duty of serving the nation as their prime duty and don’t even care about themselves when it comes to nation, we grow up listening to the stories of supreme sacrifice and imbibe them in ourselves, the vast land of India is protected by our brave soldiers who work day and night to keep us safe, but the neighbors we have don’t let us breath in peace that’s why we have managed some special forces who are ever ready to act and let the enemy bite dust, In this article we are going to discuss about one such mighty Force MARCOS and how to become a Commando in Marcos.
What is Marcos
Marcos is the abbreviated form for marine Commandos, they are a part of Navy but they are apt for all kind of Operations in Air , Water and Land , Marcos was founded in February 1987 and since then it has gained international popularity owing to their professionalism , Marcos Commandos are also known as Dadiwala Fouj, now let’s discuss the rigorous process of becoming a Marcos Commando
MARCOS Commando Eligibility
The Marcos Commando have the motto “The Few The Fearless” so the motto itself suggest how hard the Training is going to be, As very few people make it to the final selection but those who make it are the one synonymous with bravery. Below are the criteria for becoming A Marcos commando
- Gender- Male
- Age- 20s
- Qualification- must be a sailor or Officer at navy.
Step By Step Process on How to Become a Marcos Commando
Mind you before volunteering for this special force you must be very very strong and Fit physically as the whole process forward is going to be like a nightmare, the Nightmare which leads to a daydream.
Given that you are a personnel of Navy a sailor or an Officer, you need to volunteer for the Marcos Special forces and from here start the real hardships , there are four phases of selection
- Phase 1: Pre-Selection.
- Phase 2: Selection.
- Phase 3: Initial Qualification Training (Basic SF Training).
- Phase 4: Probation Period (Advanced SF Training).
Marcos Commando: Pre Selection
- Pre Selection is a Three day long process .
- Here you are tested for your physical stamina
- The Pre selection also includes an aptitude Test.
- If you are brave enough to get selected (only 20%) make it , then prepare yourself for the hell week.
Marcos Commando: Selection
The selection process includes a five week packed with daunting Tasks incorporating a hell week. The tasks are daunting and large doses of Sleep deprivation make it a much more grueling experience, but again this is nothing for a Strong willed person.
The Exclusive pack of this five week program comes with the following
- Morning runs of 20-kilometres (12.4 miles).
- Night marches of 20-kilometres (12.4 miles) carrying a 60 kg (132 lb) load.
- Conduct training with live ammunition.
- Once per week, conduct a march of 120 kilometres carrying a 60 kg (132 lb) load in a specified time limit.
- ‘Hell Week’, modelled on the US Navy SEALs Hell Week:
- A week of continuous training with, on average, over 20 hours each day containing continuous physical exertion.
- Candidates will be lucky to receive more than 4 hours of sleep over the week.
- At the end of the week, candidates will be expected to ‘run’ through an 800 metre, thigh-high thick mud filled, route known as the ‘Death Crawl’ carrying a 25 kg (55 lb) load.
- Then complete a 2.5-kilometre (1.5 mile) obstacle course, before.
- Fire at a target, with a fellow candidate standing right beside it, from 25 metres away.
Marcos Commando Training: Basic SF Training
You came out of the mouth of Hell? we salute you for your sheer bravery but that’s not enough to become a full fledged Para Commando, get your spirits high for the Basic SF Training. The Training Takes place at various institutes but the main superviser is INS Abhimanyu,
- 10-week basic SF training, located at INS Abhimanyu, including:
- Weapons handling training.
- Ammunition and explosives training.
- Unarmed combat training.
- Close quarter battle (CQB) training.
- Ship intervention drills.
- Hostage rescue.
- Recapture of offshore installations.
- 3-week Basic Parachute Course at the Indian Army’s Parachute Training School, located at Agra.
Basic Combat Divers course at the Indian Navy’s Dive School, located at Kochi.
Marcos Commando Training Advanced
You did it again? now the success is just a mile away, once you get through the Advanced SF Training then you are ready to become a Marcos Commando.
Training during this phase consists of:
- Combat free-fall training (HAHO and HALO), plus water-para jump (with full combat load) capability training;
- Counter insurgency, at the Counter Insurgency and Jungle Warfare School (CIJWS) in Mizoram;
- Anti-hijacking and anti-piracy;
- Clandestine operations;
- Surveillance and reconnaissance;
- Amphibious operations (beach, coastal and riverine);
- Unconventional warfare;
- Language training (e.g. Arabic or Mandarin).
- The language and culture of likely adversary areas, to enable them to operate and survive behind enemy lines;
- Operations from submarines and submersible craft training;
- Sniper competence and training on shoulder-launched missiles, MMGs, etc.;
- Making Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) with readily available items;
- 4-week High Altitude Commando Course at the Parvat Ghatak School in Tawang, Arunachal Pradesh, along with other Indian SF units; and
- Desert Warfare School in Rajasthan.
once you complete this training you are now the part of prestigious special force, yes! you are the one in the few the fearless.
Marcos Commando Age Limit
Any Indian navy officer can apply for Marcos but their age not be more then 20 Year. So if applicant those wants to apply for Marcos must be remember check their age before applying.
Marcos Commando Salary
Marcos Commando Salary depends upon various factors and circumstances. Here we are giving approximate of their salary.
Basic Salary: 25000/month
Ship Diving Allowance: Between 8.500 to Rs.10,000
Marcos Allowance: Rs.25,000 ( 20% of Basic Pay (Hard Area Posting))
Field Area Allowance: Rs.16,900 (For Field Area Posting Only)
Field Area Allowance: Rs.10,500
Marcos Commando: FAQs
Q1. Is There A Direct Entry for Marcos Commando?
Ans. No, only Navy Personnel’s are eligible for becoming Marcos.
Q2. How Many Stages of Selection are there for becoming A Marcos Commando ?
Ans. The selection process comprises four steps
- Initial Qualification Training (Basic SF Training).
- Probation Period (Advanced SF Training).
Q3. What is the motto of Marcos?
Ans. The motto of Marcos is ”The Few, The Fearless“.