Marine Commando: The most dangerous Special Forces in the world?

Commando Marine : Les Forces Spéciales les plus dangereuses au monde ? - Phil Team

Special Forces of the French Navy: Marine Commandos

An emblematic unit of the French Navy , and more broadly, of the French Special Forces , the Marine Commandos have their roots in 1943. Recognized throughout the world in terms of counter-terrorism, the regiment cut its teeth during the Second World War, under the orders of Lieutenant Commander Philippe Kieffer.

Indeed, the first volunteers who will make up Troop 1 will land on the Normandy beaches to face the Germans.

The wars have succeeded, and the commandos have not ceased to improve. Today composed of approximately 700 sailors divided into 7 units, we will list and detail all the characteristics that make up the prestigious Marine Commandos unit.

Read more about Special Forces selection here.

The missions of the Marine Commandos: omnipresence in the theaters of war

The CM's know-how allows them to intervene in 3 areas of action: 

  • Offshore actions
  • Actions from sea to land ( AVT )
  • Special Operations Ashore (OST)

All of these areas thus cover a wide range of missions such as tactical reconnaissance, protection and evacuation of nationals, protection of sites in troubled areas, sabotage and destruction actions, or operations to combat piracy. 

To carry out the missions to which the sailors are engaged, each of them is assigned to one of the 5 combat commandos. 

marine commando

Organization of Marine Commandos

Composed of approximately 90 men, each of them has a base of common skills: commando combat, intelligence, land, nautical and aeronautical infiltration. 

Combat Group Commandos

- the Trépel and Jaubert commandos : specialized in assault at sea, counter -terrorism and the extraction of nationals; they also have groups specializing in hostage release ( CTLO group) . 

- the Montfort and Penfentenyo commandos : their teams are capable of carrying out neutralization and observation actions. Each of them also has special skills: the members of the Montfort commando specialize in remote neutralization. While the second commando is prepared to conduct reconnaissance actions aimed at acquiring operational intelligence for action purposes. 

- the Hubert commando: Often publicized for its extreme selection, the members of the Hubert commando are specialized in the release of hostages, as well as maritime counter-terrorism actions. 


Support commandos

- the Kieffer commando: their area of ​​expertise is dog science , electronic warfare, the use of drones and NRBC threats. 
- the Ponchardier commando : this last group is responsible for supporting special operations via air, water and land intervention vectors. 

Weapons, Equipment and Vehicles of the Marine Commandos

To carry out all of these missions, the commandos have a wide range of vehicles, weapons and tactical equipment. 
Here is a non-exhaustive list of the equipment they have at their disposal: 

Weapons & equipment 

The palette is wide and covers all types of weapons in use in special units around the world. If some are specific to combat swimmers, such as the underwater gun P-11 , the others are generally fairly common weapons.

  • Smith & Revolver Wesson 686 Stainless 
  • PA GIS P-226
  • PA glock 17
  • Pamas G1 of GIAT ( Beretta licensed) 
  • HK submachine gun MP5 , A5, SD-3 And SD-6
  • HK Assault Rifle G-3 
  • Assault rifle GIS SG-551 
  • Assault rifle famas of GIAT 
  • Colt Assault Rifle M4
  • Shotgun nasalized Remington 870 
  • FN light machine gun Minimi 
  • Rifle of sniping FR-F2 of GIAT
  • Rifle of sniping MacMillan M-87
  • Rifle of sniping PGM Hecate II
  • Rifle of sniping Ultimate Ratio
  • HK submarine gun P-11

Marine Commandos vehicle


  • Land Rover Defender 90 Td5 Light Tactical Vehicle
  • Canine intervention vehicle


  • Zodiac Hurricane 630 IO EDOP HB
  • Zodiac Hurricane 630 IO EDOP NG
  • Zodiac Futura Mark II
  • Zodiac Futura Mark III

The Marines and Commandos Force ( FORFUSCO ) also has light craft for the Marine Commandos which can be deployed from the Horizon, La Fayette, Floréal, FREMM or some PHA .

  • ETRACO ( Boat commando fast transport) ,
  • 10 FOAM NG ( Boat next-generation multi-purpose on-board commando) . They can also be aero released from C130 Hercules.

Recruitment of Marine Commandos

Wearing the green beret is something you deserve. And any participant will tell you that, whether they succeed in becoming a commando or not. Renowned, long and extremely demanding, the selection of marine commandos is open to all civilian - or military - volunteers. 

They must first pass a preparation phase and a pre-selection phase. Once these steps have been validated, the candidates will be able to present themselves to the STAC , or commando training. 

Dreaded by all young aspirants, this course takes place in Lorient, and has for purpose of evaluating the physical and psychological qualities of the participants. At the end, for those selected, a basic training period begins, lasting 8 weeks. 

The future commandos will then go to Pau, to pass their parachuting certificate. In total, it is 3 months of selection and training that the recruits will have to endure, and succeed, to be awarded the elementary commando certificate during an official ceremony. 

“United we conquer”

“Coming out of the belly of the night, they are carriers of Neptune's thunderbolts” - this adage naturally reflects their modes of action. Since its creation during the Second World War, passing through Indochina, these men have never ceased to shine. 

Put on the marine commando uniform is more than a profession, you have understood that. The requirement is for those permanent men. By the difficulty of their missions, and the commitment they never cease to show, we easily understand why their expertise is recognized worldwide.




    Quelle sont les

  • Maizieres on

    Bonjour. Mon fils matheo qui a bientôt 17ans veut devenir commando marine car mon père donc son grand père c’est engagé dans la marine nationale lui aussi a 17ans et lui parle de ce qu’il a vécu. Qu’elle est le cursus à suivre ? Merci par avance de vos conseils.

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