The combat/martial arts taught to a soldier are not the conventional ones known to the common man. For a soldier, it is a need based programme designed keeping in view the operational requirements. These are updated/upgraded as and when improvements are imminent. A simple and sketchy commando training is given below and is not entirely comprehensive.
The Commando Wing (CW), one of the most-discreet units of Indian Army, situated in Belgaum make men out of boys. Tough times don’t last, but tough people do, that is the motto with which a commando starts his training.
A good commando has to be a good human being first, possessing qualities like top class character, compassion, courage, competence, commitment and finally charisma. It is in the CW that the advanced lessons in undercover operations are taught to the fittest and finest soldiers who get enrolled for a 35-day commando course.
The commando course is mandatory for all infantry and mechanised forces. Among the highlights of the commando course are; jumping from high walls, walking on narrow platforms and beams, slithering from helicopters, endurance runs (10 km to 40 km) carrying complete battle load and personal weapons, battle obstacle courses, rock-climbing, rappelling, combat firing, survival missions and lecture demonstrations.
JLW impart special skills using most-optimum use of ground and they get sharpened when the commandos repeat the process again and again. It’s all about how much extremes your body and mind can handle. No two situations in life or war can be similar. It’s not a mathematical formula that they should apply.
As part of the special mission training to enhance the combat edge, small teams are formed and sent to jungles and varied kinds of terrains. This exercise, said to be the most toughest part of the course, may vary from one to three days and is all about confidence. The biological timings are broken by depriving a commando of sleep and put him through a timetable that’s not told to him till the last moment.
The commando is made to do all things which he hasn’t done before. No plans are known to anyone. They are driven to the limits their body, mind and soul can take.
It’s all about romancing dangers and risks. It’s all about feeling for the nation, one may vaguely call it patriotism. Every commando did it in the past and will do so in future. In addition, there are planned exercises in simulated battle conditions.
The commandos are also trained in different kinds of military explosives and they are given valuable survival tips in hostile conditions. They are also given training in basic medical aspects and unarmed fighting(if the weapon malfunctions).
In total the training is to enhance the endurance, confidence and the knowledge levels of a solider so that he gets a complete insight of special mission and covert operations.
Among the many tests a commando has to pass in the beginning of the course is the BPET (Battle Proficiency Efficiency Test). The BPET consists of a 5-km run with weapons (5kg) and battle load (3.5kg); climbing vertical rope and horizontal rope; jumping fire ditches with battle load; 60-m sprint and swimming in battle fatigue (uniform, shoes and the like).
The Junior Leaders Wing (JLW), the CW is spread across vintage buildings of British era and imparts training to officers, non-commissioned officers, para-military forces and friendly foreign nations on a regular basis. The JLW is part of the Infantry School at Mhow.
This is written by Manohar AM on Quora.