What It Takes to Be a Special Forces Commando of the Indian Army
Director General of Military Operations (DGMO) Lt General Ranbir Singh, on Thursday, announced that the Indian Army had carried out multiple surgical operations in various locations in Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK) on Wednesday night.
A special forces unit was reported to be involved in the surgical strikes.
A month ago, on the 70th Independence Day, Discovery India launched a new show to tell people how an Indian paratrooper is made.
The episode on 'India’s Paratroopers – Earning the Badge' was meant to inspire awe about the prowess of the men who go through an intense six months of gruelling probation to make the cut.
This story is about the Paratrooper Special Forces Unit, a strike force that was formed to drop behind enemy lines and catch them unawares.
They were first used in the World War II. But it was India's war with Pakistan in 1965 when they were converted into a special unit called the Para Commandos.
However, Saikat Datta points out the difference between paratroopers and special forces. In a Scroll report, he writes that the men belong to the Special Forces units who, although a part of the Indian Army’s Parachute Regiment, were never paratroopers to begin with.
Maroon Beret and the ‘Balidaan’ Badge
These Paratroopers wear the Maroon Beret and pin to their chest ‘The Balidaan Badge’ — the winged blade of sacrifice, a badge to die for.
Earning this badge is not an easy task as one has to go through exercises which require them to demolish structures, evade capture, survive in the wild, give emergency medical aid and converse in a range of languages.
These men operate in a six man squad who are capable of everything from attack to medical assistance.
The Selection Process
Twenty-three men are selected from the probation cycle from all over the country. Twenty-one of them are jawans and two officers, who volunteered to be a part of the force.
They are a highly motivated bunch and are considered to be the best out of the best.
Insertion and Extraction
They are taught how to go behind the enemy line and also come back after the mission.
The ‘probies’ have to undertake a 10 kilometre walk with a load of 30 kg on their backs, both uphill and downhill.
Towards the last phase of their training, they are made to run a distance of 100 kilometre with a 10 kg load on their back.
Going without food, sleep, water and still going on to defend their country's pride and honour. That is what it takes to make an Indian Paratrooper, which is considered one of the best forces in the world.
"Indian para ranks amongst the very best special forces operatives in the world as they serve in the most difficult terrains including the Siachen Glacier — the highest battlefield on earth,” Prabhu Asgaonkar, the producer of the show told The New Indian Express.
He adds that this coming out of the special forces will hopefully enable us to add these men to popular culture like the US's Navy Seals or British's SAS.