The importance of commandos in the modern era

Topic: Fighting armsRoyal Marines Storyline: Royal Marines

The head of the Royal Marines has emphasised the importance of his commandos in the modern era of warfare as the Corps celebrates its 360th anniversary year.

Commandant General, General Gwyn Jenkins and the most senior Royal Marines Warrant Officer, Regimental Sergeant Major, Warrant Officer Nick Ollive, have outlined what it means to be a commando in the modern era in a video address to the Corps. 

The Commando Force – with Royal Marines at its heart – continue their bold modernisation into a force that embraces technology but also returns to their roots as raiders from the sea. 

At its core, each commando brings with them unrivalled training and a mindset that means they can adapt and overcome when others may founder.

“Commandos are a special operations warfighting force,” said General Jenkins. “This unique role that was born in 1942 in the hills of Achnacarry, has never been clearer, more relevant, or more important. 

“Commando operations are, by their very nature, special operations. Our force was originally conceived for this purpose.

“We have the ability to disperse and strike with precision, or come together to deliver a decisive blow.

“In these hardest and most threatening of environments where the commando is in their element, we bring the best of technology to bear.

“Our uniquely comprehensive, arduous and testing training develops this ability. It is technical. It is physical. Above all, it is cognitive. 

“The Commando Mindset is the single most important thing we have,” adds the General. 

“Don’t doubt it. Nurture it. Be the first to understand. The first to adapt. The first to overcome.

“Qualifying as a commando gives us the privilege of wearing the Green Beret. It gives us the responsibility of embodying that title in our actions. 

“We master the basics. We think the unthought. We do whatever it takes to keep ourselves ready. 

“There is no one else who can do what we can do.”

WO1 Ollive has laid down the gauntlet to this generation of commandos and those who will follow, urging them embrace to the challenge of thinking differently and adapt faster than anyone else in this era.

“Do not underestimate what warfighting commandos are. This is about doing the hard yards, being the advanced force, and operating behind enemy lines,” he said.

“This is not a new role, nor is it something we are unfamiliar with.

“We are small groups of specially trained individual who use novel tactics, master the element of surprise and have an aptitude for performing the improbable.
“We overcome a numerically superior enemy and defeat the most difficult targets.

“We operate up threat. We thrive in the most inhospitable of locations so we can utilise terrain that others cannot.

WO1 Ollive adds: “We are the modern commandos. We will adapt to the modern age faster than anybody else.

“My challenge to every commando is to live this vision. 

“Embrace the robust challenge a team needs to do things differently, and win. 

“The commando leader is relentlessly positive, particularly in adversity, and we should not accept anything less. 

“Reject the corrosive cynicism of those who cannot rise to the challenge of finding a better way to win.”

Watch the video HERE