All About MARCOS Commando – Navy Marine Commando

The MARCOS Commandos, an elite unit of the Indian Navy, are highly trained and secretive soldiers known for their outstanding combat skills and unmatched bravery. Officially called the Marine Commando Force, they specialize in fighting in water and on land, particularly in maritime and counter-terrorism missions. Often likened to the prestigious Navy SEALs of the United States, the MARCOS have built their reputation on their courage and exceptional abilities.

History of MARCOS

In 1987, in response to increasing maritime security threats and the necessity for specialized units to combat terrorism along India’s coastline, the MARCOS was established. Taking inspiration from the U.S. Navy SEALs and the British Special Boat Service (SBS), this unit has grown into a powerful force, gaining recognition for their effective operations.

Milestones of MARCOS

Formation: On February 26th, 1987, MARCOS was officially established as an elite special operations unit within the Indian Navy, initially consisting of a select group of highly skilled personnel.

Training: The first members of MARCOS underwent intensive training covering various fields such as amphibious warfare, special operations tactics, combat diving, and unconventional warfare techniques.

Anti-Piracy Operations: MARCOS played a crucial role in carrying out anti-piracy operations in regions like the Gulf of Aden and other piracy-prone areas. Their expertise in maritime operations and combat skills were vital in ensuring the safety and security of Indian vessels and their crews.

Counter-Terrorism Operations: Over time, MARCOS has been actively involved in conducting counter-terrorism operations both within the country and beyond its borders. Their deployment in sensitive areas has been crucial in thwarting terrorist threats and safeguarding national security interests.

Operation Pawan: One notable operation undertaken by MARCOS was “Operation Pawan” during the late 1980s amidst the Sri Lankan Civil War. Their pivotal role in capturing important LTTE-held territories significantly contributed to restoring peace in the region.

Selection Process and Training of MARCOS

Joining MARCOS is a rigorous process for navy personnel with exceptional service records. Candidates undergo tough physical tests, endurance drills, and psychological evaluations. Those who are chosen undergo intense training, which includes combat diving, underwater demolitions, close-quarters combat, counter-terrorism operations, and specialized weapons training.

Selection Process

The selection process comprises four phases, starting with Pre-Selection, followed by Selection, Initial Qualification Training (Basic SF Training), and concluding with a Probation Period (Advanced SF Training).

Pre-Selection: Candidates undergo a rigorous assessment, resulting in a significant attrition rate ranging between 50% and 80%.

Selection: Candidates advance to a 5-week Selection process, marked by physically demanding tasks and minimal sleep.

Initial Qualification Training: Held at INS Abhimanyu, this 10-week training program covers essential skills such as weapons handling, unarmed combat, close-quarter battle (CQB) training, and diving exercises.

Advanced SF Training: During a probationary period, candidates receive specialized training in combat free-fall, counter-insurgency, reconnaissance, amphibious operations, and more.


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Roles & Responsibilities of MARCOS

The MARCOS (Marine Commandos) are a top-tier special operations force of the Indian Navy. Trained to excel in maritime and amphibious warfare, MARCOS commandos have various roles and responsibilities:

Counter-Terrorism Operations: MARCOS play a crucial role in countering terrorist threats and stopping terror activities on land and at sea.

Special Reconnaissance: They gather intelligence by conducting reconnaissance and surveillance operations.

Unconventional Warfare: MARCOS are skilled in unconventional warfare techniques, including sabotage and guerrilla warfare.

Amphibious Assaults: They carry out amphibious assaults, infiltrating enemy territory from the sea and seizing strategic locations.

Rescue and Evacuation: MARCOS conduct search and rescue operations during natural disasters, humanitarian crises, or hostage situations.

Counter-Piracy Operations: They counter piracy activities, protecting Indian flagged vessels and seafarers.

How to Join MARCOS?

Applications for MARCOS are exclusively open to male volunteers of the Indian Navy, including both commissioned officers and enlisted sailors. Aspiring candidates can join the Indian Navy as sailors and then choose to apply for the Special Forces after enlisting. They can take exams like INET (Indian Navy Entrance Test) to be eligible for sailor roles.


The MARCOS Commandos, India’s silent guardians of the seas, hold the crucial duty of protecting the nation’s maritime interests and fighting terrorism. Their bravery, expertise, and dedication to duty showcase India’s strength and determination. As elite special forces, MARCOS continues to motivate the nation, and their impact on national security is immeasurable.

Frequently Asked Questions:-

1. What is MARCOS and how can I become a MARCOS Commando?

  • MARCOS (Marine Commandos) is a special operations unit of the Indian Navy. To become a MARCOS Commando, one needs to join the Indian Navy and then apply for selection to undergo rigorous training conducted by MARCOS.

2. What are the eligibility criteria for joining MARCOS?

  • Eligibility criteria typically include being a part of the Indian Navy, meeting age requirements, having completed basic military training, and passing physical fitness tests.

3. What is the selection process for MARCOS Commando training?

  • The selection process includes written exams, physical fitness tests, swimming tests, interviews, and medical examinations. Those who pass these stages are selected for further training.

4. What kind of training do MARCOS Commandos undergo?

  • MARCOS training is extremely demanding and includes specialized courses in combat diving, parachuting, close quarter combat, marksmanship, reconnaissance, and other tactical skills.

5. How long does it take to become a MARCOS Commando?

  • The duration of training can vary, but it typically takes several months to complete the initial training and become a fully qualified MARCOS Commando.

6. Can civilians apply to become MARCOS Commandos?

  • No, MARCOS Commandos are recruited exclusively from within the Indian Navy. Civilians cannot directly apply for MARCOS training.

7. Are there any specific educational qualifications required to join MARCOS?

  • While a certain level of education is preferred, there are no specific educational qualifications required. However, candidates must demonstrate competence in various aspects of military training.

8. What is the role of MARCOS Commandos within the Indian Navy?

  • MARCOS Commandos are trained for special operations missions, including counter-terrorism, direct action, special reconnaissance, hostage rescue, and unconventional warfare, both at sea and on land.
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