MARCOS or Marine Commandos (previously known as the Marine Commando Force or MCF) is a Special Forces unit of Indian Navy which was established in 1987. This elite force is one of the best in the world, and comprises marine commandos who have been trained for special reconnaissance, direct action and all kinds of amphibious warfare. You may have been in awe of the US Navy Seals, but we can tell you with pride that the guys at MARCOS are no less (and probably ahead of them).
1. The MARCOS are capable of jumping into water with the full combat load.
If you think that’s an easy feat, imagine for a moment surging waters, spray of bullets and any such extreme situation.
2. Conducting special operations in all kinds of terrains and situations is their speciality.
It’s not just the oceans they rule. Their parent department might be the Indian Navy, but these men are fully trained to be deployed in all kinds of warfare.
3. Not anybody can become a MARCOS soldier; it takes something special to be one.
The selection criteria for becoming a part of MARCOS is extremely high. Even if you are lucky enough to be selected, you have to go through a rigorous training which lasts almost three years. Mostly, men in their twenties are chosen for this profile.
4. Only 20% candidates make through the HELL week.
The first phase of the training consists of a physical assessment which takes three days; there is an aptitude test too. Upon clearing this stage, candidates’ physical endurance, pain, tolerance to cold and mental toughness is tested.
The actual training starts after the HELL week.
5. The INS Abhimanyu is the home base of the MARCOS.
Majority of the training takes place here. The other major centres for training are located in Mumbai, Goa, Kochi, Vishakhapatnam, and Port Blair.
6. These men can give no excuse for failure when put to the job.
MARCOS are trained for every possible warfare on this planet. Be it close-circuit diving, weapon skills, martial arts or para training, a MARCOS sailor knows it all.
7. Their adversaries have every reason to fear the MARCOS.
After all, these men are trained for everything from anti-hijacking to anti-piracy operations. They can also handle all kinds of counter insurgency operations.
8. MARCOS are both HALO – High Altitude Low Opening and HAHO – High Altitude High Opening qualified.
Basically you can drop these men from the sky into the sea or on the land and expect them to unleash hell upon the enemies.
9. The MARCOS are trained in mountain warfare, desert wars and guerilla warfare too.
Rigorous training takes place in Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh, Rajasthan and Mizoram for such operations.
10. In a competition with the US Navy Seal, an Indian MARCOS commando came first.
This only speaks of their caliber and extreme prowess in the matter of wars.
11. The MARCOS carry some of the finest weapons in the world.
The Israeli TAR-21, one of the finest assault rifles in the world, is their favourite toy. Their combat uniform is at par with any other commando forces of the world.
12. Terrorists call them ‘Dadiwala Fauji’.
The MARCOS sport a beard when undertaking civil unrests. This tactic was adopted from Israel and is called ‘ ista’arvim’. When they sport a beard and wear local Kashmiri suits called ‘Pheren’ the terrorist often mistake them as locals.
13. Operation Pawan, Operation Cactus are some of the famous successful international operations undertaken by the MARCOS.
They had joined the Indian Peace Keeping Force in Sri Lanka for Operation Pawan, and helped in capturing the harbors of Jaffna and Trincomalee. During the Operation Cactus, they defended Maldives President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom from a coup.
14. There is a two-member MARCOS team guarding the Wular Lake in J&K round the year.
Due to their vigil, the terrorists now need to travel 100 kms through the high mountains, if they wish to infiltrate (and get killed by other soldiers protecting the interior areas).