Naval commandos (France)
The Naval Commandos are the special forces
Special forces
Special forces, or special operations forces are terms used to describe elite military tactical teams trained to perform high-risk dangerous missions that conventional units cannot perform...

 of the French Navy
French Navy
The French Navy, officially the Marine nationale and often called La Royale is the maritime arm of the French military. It includes a full range of fighting vessels, from patrol boats to a nuclear powered aircraft carrier and 10 nuclear-powered submarines, four of which are capable of launching...

. They are made up of ~500 members, mostly based in northwestern France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

Brittany is a cultural and administrative region in the north-west of France. Previously a kingdom and then a duchy, Brittany was united to the Kingdom of France in 1532 as a province. Brittany has also been referred to as Less, Lesser or Little Britain...

), with several bases across the country for specific training needs. The Naval Commandos are nicknamed bérets verts (Green Berets
Green beret
The green beret was the official headdress of the British Commandos of World War II. It is still worn with pride by members of the Royal Marines after passing the Commando Course and any member of the British Military who has passed the All Arms Commando Course.There are certain other military...

). Their qualification training is one of the toughest in the world. They operate under the Naval rifle and special force Command
The Naval infantry and Commandos Marine units are under command of the Force maritime des fusiliers marins et commandos in Lorient...

 and the French Special Operations Command
Commandement des Opérations Spéciales
The Commandement des Opérations Spéciales is the organisation which coordinates the use of the French special forces of all military branches . The COS was created on 24 June 1992, following the Gulf War...



The Naval Commandos were formed during World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

 in Great Britain modeled alongside the British Commandos
British Commandos
The British Commandos were formed during the Second World War in June 1940, following a request from the British Prime Minister, Winston Churchill, for a force that could carry out raids against German-occupied Europe...

 (who were founded in 1940). Its manpower came from the Fusilier Marins.

It took part in the Normandy Landing on D-Day under command of Commandant Philippe Kieffer
Philippe Kieffer
Philippe Kieffer , capitaine de frégate in the French Navy, was a French officer and political personality, and a hero of the Free French Forces.- Life and career :...


Recruitment and training

All the recruits must be fusiliers marins (Marine) with at least 9 months of service. They have to enter a special forces course basic training reputed to be one of the toughest among the NATO Special Operation Forces.
The basic training is called Stage Commando (commando training).

The commando training is for the marine the gateway to the special forces. Conducted at the Fusilier Marins school in Lorient, it provides upon graduation access to the commandos and the right to wear the green beret and the badge of the commandos. Lasting 20 weeks, it includes one week of commando testing, 6 weeks of preparatory training, 4 weeks of evaluation, the actual commando training for 7 weeks, and 2 weeks of paratrooper training. During this period, any mistake can instantly disqualify the candidate. The ultimate goal of this training is to detect individuals with the physical, intellectual and psychological potential needed to work into the marine commandos. The historical roots of commando training date back to the Second World War, when the volunteers of Free France went to the Commando
British Commandos
The British Commandos were formed during the Second World War in June 1940, following a request from the British Prime Minister, Winston Churchill, for a force that could carry out raids against German-occupied Europe...

 training center in Achnacarry, Scotland. Since then, naval commandos has kept by tradition the green beret "English" with the badge to the left, the only such exception in the French armed forces. They have mostly retained the principle of exceptional training without compromise, based on immersion in a highly stressful environment, close to the operational situations of combat.

The Commandos in training are constantly under stress and pressure from instructors leaving them no respite. All activities are timed and scored: marching several tens of kilometers with equipment and weapon, obstacle course, combat strokes, navigation at night on the ground. The training is punctuated by firearms training and special combat techniques, rappeling and climbing, boating, explosives and hand-to-hand combat. The instructors are usually former commando operatives who monitor and punish any misconduct with extra-hard physical activity.

Sleep is scarce, two hours a day, with the sound of grenades waking students each night.

Students are continually soaked by the Brittany drizzle, and comfort is denied.


Their personnel is distributed between 6 commando
In English, the term commando means a specific kind of individual soldier or military unit. In contemporary usage, commando usually means elite light infantry and/or special operations forces units, specializing in amphibious landings, parachuting, rappelling and similar techniques, to conduct and...

s, named after former naval fusilier officers killed in action
Killed in action
Killed in action is a casualty classification generally used by militaries to describe the deaths of their own forces at the hands of hostile forces. The United States Department of Defense, for example, says that those declared KIA need not have fired their weapons but have been killed due to...

, and a special counter-terrorist
Counter-terrorism is the practices, tactics, techniques, and strategies that governments, militaries, police departments and corporations adopt to prevent or in response to terrorist threats and/or acts, both real and imputed.The tactic of terrorism is available to insurgents and governments...

 unit :
  • Commando Hubert
    French commando frogmen
    France has a large commando frogman tradition. Jacques-Yves Cousteau was a naval officer in World War II and helped much to set up France's commando frogmen...

    (also named Commando d'Action Sous-Marine Hubert, CASM, "underwater operations commando"): Submarine action (combat divers
    A frogman is someone who is trained to scuba diving or swim underwater in a military capacity which can include combat. Such personnel are also known by the more formal names of combat diver or combatant diver or combat swimmer....

  • Commando [Jaubert]: Assault
    In law, assault is a crime causing a victim to fear violence. The term is often confused with battery, which involves physical contact. The specific meaning of assault varies between countries, but can refer to an act that causes another to apprehend immediate and personal violence, or in the more...

     at sea, exfiltration, close quarters battle
    Close quarters battle
    Close quarters combat or close quarters battle is a type of fighting in which small units engage the enemy with personal weapons at very short range, potentially to the point of hand-to-hand combat or fighting with hand weapons such as swords or knives...

     at sea.
  • Commando [Trepel]: Assault at sea, exfiltration.
  • Commando de Penfentenyo: Reconnaissance
    Reconnaissance is the military term for exploring beyond the area occupied by friendly forces to gain information about enemy forces or features of the environment....

    , Intelligence Operations
    Military intelligence
    Military intelligence is a military discipline that exploits a number of information collection and analysis approaches to provide guidance and direction to commanders in support of their decisions....

     (recon swimmers)
  • Commando de Montfort: Long range neutralisation (missile launchers
    Shoulder-launched missile weapon
    A shoulder-fired missile, shoulder-launched missile or man-portable missile is a projectile fired at a target, small enough to be carried by a single person, and fired while held on one's shoulder...

    , light mortars
    Mortar (weapon)
    A mortar is an indirect fire weapon that fires explosive projectiles known as bombs at low velocities, short ranges, and high-arcing ballistic trajectories. It is typically muzzle-loading and has a barrel length less than 15 times its caliber....

    , heavy sniper rifle
    Sniper rifle
    In military and law enforcement terminology, a sniper rifle is a precision-rifle used to ensure more accurate placement of bullets at longer ranges than other small arms. A typical sniper rifle is built for optimal levels of accuracy, fitted with a telescopic sight and chambered for a military...

    s), fire support
    Fire support
    Fire support is long-range firepower provided to a front-line military unit. Typically, fire support is provided by artillery or close air support , and is used to shape the battlefield or, more optimistically, define the battle...

  • Commando Kieffer: C3I
    In military usage, a number of abbreviations in the format C followed by additional letters are used, based on expanded versions of the abbreviation C2 - command and control.C2I stands for command, control, and intelligence....

    , military dogs
    Dogs in warfare
    Dogs in warfare have a long history starting in ancient times. From 'war dogs' trained in combat to their use as scouts, sentries and trackers, their uses have been varied and some continue to exist in modern military usage.-History:...

External links

Official website
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