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How to join Indian Marine Special Forces unit MARCOS?

How to join Indian Marine Special Forces unit MARCOS?

Indian Marine Special Forces unit MARCOS is the Special Operation Force of Indian Navy. To earn the Marine Commando badge one has to go a hard training process where they are tested to their limits and those who are ready to go one step forward become a MARCO.

It’s not easy to be a part of such elite special force unit, not just physically fit you need to be mentally strong and should be very clear with your thoughts.


Members of the first batch of Marine Commando were sent to undergo the US Navy SEALs training and further training from British SAS. Now the training consists of a two-year course for new recruits.

British Royal Marines training with Indian Navy MARCOS

The training regimen includes airborne operations, combat diving courses, counter-terrorism, anti-hijacking anti-piracy operations, direct action, infiltration and exfiltration tactics, unconventional warfare training etc. Majority of the training is conducted at INS Mandovi which is also the home base of MARCOS.

MARCOS train along with the Indian Army Special Forces Officers like the Para Commandos at the Indian Special Force Training School, Nahan.

MARCOS are then trained at various training agencies within the navy. They are skilled combat divers and parachutists and most of the training deals with counter-terrorism, anti-hijacking and anti-piracy operations.

Generally, the pre-training selection process is made of two parts. Any Indian Navy personnel who wants to join this outfit must first undergo a three-day long, physical fitness test and aptitude test. Within this process, 80% of the application is screened out. The further screening process is known as ‘hell’s week’ which is similar to the US Navy SEALs hell’s week.

This involves the high degree of physical exercises and sleeps deprivation. It is only after this process that actual training begins

The total duration of training of MARCOS is between two and a half to three years.

The basic training lasts six months. The first two months is the weeding out phase. The first phase of which lasts one month, in which they undergo many rigorous physical tests of which only 50% pass. Then for the next nine months, they are taught how to use different types of weapons, conduct special warfare techniques and how to gather intelligence from the enemy.

This is followed by a year of training of specialized skills. They are trained in various types of close combat. Being divers, they can reach hostile shores swimming underwater.

The average MARCOS training drop-out rate is more than 90%.