You will find it interesting to note that US Navy SEALS had a direct influence on MARCOS. Some 18 years back two young Indian Naval Officers : Lt. Arvind Singh and Lt. Shamsher Singh Deopa were sent to do what any Indian has never did before. They underwent the gruelling Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL Training programme where they emerged at top.
These two young officers then created the Indian Marine Special Forces which was then baptized in combat in Sri Lanka where they blew up the Jaffna harbour which was a threat to Indian Peacekeeping Force thereas it housed Guru Nagar Jetty and the militant speedboats. Lieutenant Singh also took part in operations along with Army 10 PARA SF where he battled LTTE men after breaking out of Jaffna Fort and making a link of 41 Brigade with 1 Maratha Light Infantry on 20 October 1987.
Lt.Singh was later awarded the Mahavir Chakra for his gallant actions.
MARCOS in coming years rose to a legendary status in Indian establishment with asymmetrical warfare capabilities developed by them in lines of Western Special Forces. They saw action in Operation Cactus when they intercepted a vessel carrying mercenaries. The next big deployment of MARCOS was in Operation Muffet in Somalia where they took part in operations with US Special Forces like Navy SEAL and Rangers.
One of the MARCO Operative who was deployed in Op.Muffet was Ajay Thapa who was awarded Shaurya Chakra by Former President of India Sri Shankar Dayal Sharma for his actions. You will find it interesting to note that he is a qualified US Navy SEAL Operator (Note the SEAL Trident he sports) :
MARCOS then saw action in Operation Rakshak which gt a bit bloody for MARCOS as they faced serious casualties there. Nevertheless they learnt from their mistakes there and are now used in a multi-spectral warfare being deployed in Anti-Piracy Missions in Arabian Sea to protecting ONGC Rigs and also deployed in Kashmir and some other foreign hostile areas for operation.
They are now India’s prime force in combating terrorism in a maritime environment with unconventional warfare capabilites which make them a stuff of legends in India. Note that MARCOS are best in their Area of Operation that is Marine environment and comparing them with Para SF which is a completely versatile unit is a complete injustice. MARCOS do attend warfare schools like CIJWS and HAWS but that doesn’t specialize in that forms of combat as well as their Army counterparts.
The one personal feel about MARCOS men I encountered was they are cool headed guys but comes to equal terms in aggression when needed and yes they sport real quirky tattoos (allowed to them in Navy) and Abs (thanks to daily training in Gyms and lots of physical exercise) though they sport a beard only when they are to be deployed in Kashmir or for some clandestine operation.