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Commando marine
Commando Marine, cérémonie du 06 juin 2009 hommage au commando Kieffer.JPG
Active 1947 - present
Country  France
Branch French Navy
Type Naval infantry
Role Commando
Garrison/HQ Lorient
Saint-Mandrier-sur-Mer
Marine Nationale
Naval Ensign of France
Motto: Honneur, Patrie, Valeur, Discipline
(“Honour, Homeland, Valour, Discipline”)
Command
Naval Ministers
Maritime Prefect
Components
Force d'action navale
Forces sous-marines (FOST, ESNA)
Aviation navale
FORFUSCO (Commandos Marine, Fusiliers Marins)
Gendarmerie Maritime
Equipment
Current fleet
Current deployments
Personnel
Ranks in the French Navy
History
History of the French Navy
Future of the French Navy
Ensigns and pennants
Historic ships

   battleships
   cruisers
   ships of the line
   Sail frigates

Historic fleets
Awards
Croix de guerre
Médaille militaire
Légion d'honneur
Ribbons

The Naval Commandos (French language: Commandos Marine) are the special forces of the French Navy. They are made up of ~500 members, mostly based in northwestern France (Brittany), with several bases across the country for specific training needs. The Naval Commandos are nicknamed bérets verts (Green Berets). They operate under the Naval rifle and special force Command and the French Special Operations Command.

History[edit | edit source]

The Naval Commandos were formed during World War II in Great Britain modeled alongside the British Commandos (who were founded in 1940). They were formed from Free French Navy Fusiliers-Marins (naval infantry) and trained at the Commando training facility Achnacarry, Scotland. To remember this the beret of the French naval commandos is worn pulled to the right with the badge worn over the left eye or temple, the opposite of all other French units.

It took part in the Normandy Landing on D-Day under command of Commandant Philippe Kieffer.

Recruitment and training[edit | edit source]

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

Commando training is the gateway to the special forces for the marines. Conducted at the Fusilier Marins school at Lorient on the Atlantic coast, 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 parachute 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 volunteers of the Free French Navy went to the Commando training center in Achnacarry, Scotland. Since then, naval commandos has kept by tradition the green beret pulled right with the bronze shield badge on 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 conditions of combat operations.

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.

The Commandos Marine have evolved to be broadly comparable to the British Special Boat Service.

Composition[edit | edit source]

Their personnel is distributed between 6 commandos, named after former naval fusilier officers killed in action, and a special counter-terrorist unit :

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

External links[edit | edit source]

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