How to Become Para Commando In India

How to Become Para Commando In India

The Indian Army’s elite special forces unit, the Para Commandos, stands as a testament to the pinnacle of military training, endurance, and prowess in the country.

Often operating behind enemy lines and undertaking covert missions, Para Commandos are trained to be the best in every conceivable condition, making their selection and training one of the most grueling and demanding in the military world.

The journey to earn the prestigious maroon beret, symbolic of the Para Commandos, is laden with immense challenges, both physical and mental.

This outline delves into the step-by-step process of joining the esteemed ranks of the Para Commandos, illuminating the path of sheer dedication, grit, and unparalleled determination.

1. Join the Indian Army

The journey to becoming a Para Commando starts with first enlisting in the Indian Army.

The Indian Army is the land-based branch of the Indian Armed Forces and plays a critical role in safeguarding the nation’s territorial integrity and sovereignty.

Joining the army is the foundational step to acquiring the basic military skills, discipline, and ethos necessary for advanced roles like that of the Para Commandos.

To join the Indian Army, one can take various routes:

  • National Defence Academy (NDA) Entry: Young aspirants right after completing their 12th standard can opt to join the NDA. After clearing the NDA examination, which is followed by a Service Selection Board (SSB) interview, successful candidates undergo a three-year training program at the NDA. Post this, they are commissioned as officers in the Indian Army.
  • Combined Defence Services (CDS) Entry: Graduates can take the CDS exam to join the Indian Military Academy (IMA). After clearing the exam and the subsequent SSB interview, successful candidates are sent for training at IMA and then commissioned as officers.
  • Technical Entries: For those with specific technical qualifications, there are technical entries where the Indian Army recruits candidates for their engineering skills. They undergo training and are then inducted into the technical branches of the army.
  • University Entry Scheme (UES): This is for university students in their pre-final year. Selected candidates undergo SSB and then training at IMA.
  • Short Service Commission (SSC): This allows candidates to join the army for a limited period, which can be extended or converted to permanent commission based on performance and requirements.
  • Direct Entry as a Jawan: Apart from officer entries, candidates can also join the army as soldiers or jawans. Different trades or specializations in the army require varying educational qualifications, ranging from 8th or 10th pass to 12th pass.

Once in the Indian Army, regardless of the route taken, an individual will undergo basic training that imbues them with the values, physical conditioning, and fundamental skills expected of a soldier.

Only after this foundational phase can one volunteer and set forth on the journey to becoming a Para Commando.

2. Volunteer for the Para Regiment

After successfully joining the Indian Army and undergoing the requisite training, the next step for those aspiring to be Para Commandos is to volunteer for the Para Regiment.

The journey from here is filled with intense challenges, and it all starts with a show of genuine interest and dedication.

  • Expression of Interest: Not everyone in the Indian Army can become a part of the Para Regiment. The very first criterion is a voluntary wish. Soldiers and officers have to express their desire to join this elite regiment. Only those who are truly passionate and determined about becoming a Para Commando should opt for this.
  • Screening Process: Upon volunteering, aspirants go through a rigorous selection process. This initial screening evaluates the physical fitness, mental robustness, and psychological resilience of the candidates. Only those who meet the high standards set by the Para Regiment are shortlisted.
  • Pre-Selection Training: Before the formal selection process starts, the volunteers are often put through a pre-selection training phase to get them accustomed to the rigorous demands that lie ahead. This training is meant to filter out those who might not be fully prepared for the upcoming challenges.
  • Eligibility: While the willingness to volunteer is paramount, there are specific eligibility criteria to be met. The standards might vary depending on the requirements at the time of selection. Physical fitness benchmarks, age, service record, and medical fitness are some of the factors taken into consideration.
  • Motivation and Determination: Volunteering for the Para Regiment isn’t just about physical capability. The mental and psychological aspects play a significant role. Candidates need to showcase strong motivation, a clear understanding of the regiment’s demands, and an unwavering determination to see the process through.

Becoming a part of the Para Regiment is a matter of immense pride.

Still, it demands unparalleled dedication and commitment. Volunteering is just the beginning of a long and challenging journey.

Those who clear the subsequent steps are absorbed into the regiment, but only after additional intense training do they get a chance to be a Para Commando.

3. Undergo the Basic Airborne Course

Before being inducted into the Para Commandos, a significant milestone that every aspirant must achieve is to become a qualified paratrooper.

This qualification is achieved by successfully completing the Basic Airborne Course, a foundational program designed to equip soldiers with the essential skills and techniques for airborne operations.

  • Training Centre: The Basic Airborne Course is conducted at the Paratroopers Training School (PTS) located in Agra, India. This school is responsible for training all airborne personnel of the Indian Armed Forces.
  • Physical Conditioning: Before the actual parachute jumps, candidates undergo rigorous physical training. This prepares them for the demanding nature of airborne operations and ensures that they are in peak physical condition to handle the stresses of parachute jumping.
  • Ground Training: Before ever taking to the air, recruits undergo extensive ground training. This includes lessons on how to properly wear a parachute harness, how to exit an aircraft, how to control a parachute while descending, and how to land safely without injury.
  • Jump Training: The crux of the Basic Airborne Course is the actual parachute jumps. Candidates are required to complete a set number of jumps to qualify as paratroopers. These jumps typically progress from lower altitudes to higher ones and from static line jumps (where the parachute is automatically deployed upon exiting the aircraft) to free-fall jumps.
  • Five Parachute Jumps: To graduate from the Basic Airborne Course and earn their coveted maroon beret and airborne wings, candidates need to successfully complete five parachute jumps.
  • Handling Emergencies: Another crucial aspect of the training is learning how to handle emergencies, such as parachute malfunctions. The training ensures that paratroopers can quickly assess and react to any unforeseen situations during their descent.
  • Earning the Maroon Beret: Upon successful completion of the Basic Airborne Course, the candidates are awarded the maroon beret, symbolizing their status as paratroopers. However, this does not mean they are Para Commandos yet. The beret is an acknowledgment of their newfound skills in airborne operations, and the journey to becoming a Para Commando involves further specialized training.

In essence, the Basic Airborne Course is a pivotal phase in the journey of a soldier aspiring to become a Para Commando.

It instills in them the skills, discipline, and confidence required for airborne operations, a fundamental aspect of the Para Commandos’ operational repertoire.

4. Undergo the Probationary Period

After acquiring basic paratrooper qualifications, aspirants desiring to become Para Commandos need to go through a strenuous probationary period.

This stage is designed to push individuals to their limits and ascertain whether they have the mettle, tenacity, and skills essential for the elite Para Commando role.

  • Duration: The probationary period usually lasts about three months, but this duration can vary. The period is intended to be long enough to thoroughly test and train the volunteers.
  • Physical Fitness Trials: Aspirants are put through a series of challenging physical tests, which could include long-distance runs, load carrying, obstacle courses, and other endurance tasks. These trials are designed to be progressively difficult, ensuring only the fittest advance further.
  • Survival Training: This aspect of the probation focuses on teaching and testing the candidate’s ability to survive in hostile environments, be it dense forests, deserts, or mountainous regions. Aspirants learn how to source food and water, build shelters, and navigate difficult terrains.
  • Tactical Drills: Volunteers are introduced to and trained in various tactical operations relevant to the role of Para Commandos. This could involve stealth techniques, ambush tactics, and other special operations drills.
  • Mental Toughness and Psychological Evaluation: A significant part of the probation period assesses the mental fortitude of the aspirants. They are often subjected to sleep deprivation, stress tests, and various scenarios designed to test their psychological resilience. Continuous observation helps in understanding the candidate’s ability to take decisions under pressure, leadership qualities, and their reactions in high-stress situations.
  • Teamwork: One of the critical skills for any special forces operative is the ability to work cohesively in a team. Throughout the probation period, emphasis is placed on teamwork, camaraderie, and building trust amongst peers.
  • Final Assessment: At the end of the probationary period, a comprehensive evaluation determines whether the volunteer is fit to be inducted into the Para Commandos. This decision is based on performance across all areas, including physical tests, tactical drills, and psychological evaluations.
  • Acceptance or Relegation: Successful candidates are inducted into the Para Commandos for further specialized training. Those who don’t make the cut can either be reverted to their parent regiment or be given another opportunity to undergo probation, depending on the circumstances and the potential seen in the candidate.

In summary, the probationary period for Para Commando aspirants is a crucible that tempers and refines the soldiers, preparing them for the manifold challenges of special operations.

Only those with unwavering determination, physical stamina, and mental robustness emerge successful from this grueling phase.

5. Complete the Para Commando Training

Once aspirants successfully navigate the probationary period, they are inducted into the next phase – the specialized Para Commando training.

This comprehensive and rigorous training regimen ensures that every soldier is equipped with the unique skills and techniques required to operate as a Para Commando, one of the Indian Army’s most elite forces.

  • Advanced Combat Training: Beyond basic infantry skills, Para Commandos are trained in advanced combat techniques suitable for a variety of environments and scenarios. This includes advanced weapon training, close-quarters combat, guerrilla warfare tactics, and counter-insurgency operations.
  • Demolitions and Breaching: Para Commandos are trained in the use of explosives for a variety of purposes, such as demolishing enemy infrastructure, breaching obstacles, or creating diversions. This includes training in both basic and advanced demolitions.
  • Combat Diving Course: Some aspirants may undergo the combat diver course, which trains soldiers to operate underwater. This is crucial for amphibious missions, underwater demolitions, or infiltration/exfiltration via waterways.
  • Mountain and Jungle Warfare: Given the varied terrains of India, Para Commandos are trained to operate efficiently in mountainous regions and dense jungles. This includes rock climbing, rappelling, navigation, and survival techniques specific to these environments.
  • Urban Warfare and Hostage Rescue: Modern conflicts often require operations in urban settings. Para Commandos are trained in room intervention, urban surveillance, and hostage rescue operations.
  • High Altitude and Parachute Training: Building upon the foundational airborne course, aspirants are trained in high-altitude jumps, including HAHO (High Altitude High Opening) and HALO (High Altitude Low Opening) jumps. These techniques allow for insertion into enemy territory from significant altitudes, evading enemy radar and defenses.
  • Survival, Evasion, Resistance, and Escape (SERE) Training: Given the nature of their missions, Para Commandos may find themselves behind enemy lines without support. SERE training prepares them to survive in hostile territory, evade capture, resist interrogation, and plan an escape if captured.
  • Intelligence Gathering and Reconnaissance: Para Commandos are often the eyes and ears on the ground, and as such, they undergo training in intelligence collection, reconnaissance techniques, and covert operations.
  • Continuous Specialized Training: The world of warfare and tactics is continuously evolving. Para Commandos regularly update their skill sets by undergoing specialized training modules as per the changing dynamics of modern warfare.

Once the aspirants successfully complete this comprehensive training, they are formally inducted as Para Commandos and are ready to be deployed on missions.

However, the training never truly ends. Throughout their service, Para Commandos are continually honing their skills and learning new techniques to remain at the forefront of military excellence.

6. Continuous Learning and Specializations

Even after successfully becoming a Para Commando, the journey of learning never stops.

To stay relevant and efficient in an ever-evolving battlefield, continuous upskilling, training, and specialization are of paramount importance.

The very nature of special operations demands adaptability, innovation, and a constant thirst for improvement.

  • Regular Refresher Courses: With changing tactics, technology, and geopolitics, the nature of threats and challenges evolves. Regular refresher courses ensure that Para Commandos are always abreast of the latest in military strategy, weaponry, and technology.
  • Specializations: Not all Para Commandos are identical in their skill sets. Some may opt to specialize in specific areas based on the needs of the regiment and their personal interests. Specializations can range from sniping, combat medic training, intelligence, and counter-intelligence operations, to name a few.
  • Foreign Trainings: Para Commandos, being among the elite in the Indian military, often get opportunities to train with special forces from other nations. This exposure helps in the exchange of tactics, techniques, and procedures, allowing them to learn from global best practices.
  • Equipment and Technology Training: As newer technologies emerge, be it drones, advanced communication systems, or cutting-edge weapons, Para Commandos need to be trained to utilize these tools efficiently.
  • Simulated War Games: Regularly, these commandos participate in simulated war games and exercises. These simulations, often based on realistic scenarios, test their skills, coordination, and decision-making abilities under pressure.
  • Physical Fitness Regimens: The demands of a Para Commando’s duties require peak physical fitness. Regular and rigorous fitness regimens, often exceeding standard army routines, ensure that they are always in optimal shape.
  • Mental and Psychological Training: The challenges faced by special forces aren’t just physical. The mental strain can be immense, especially in high-stakes, high-pressure situations. Continuous psychological training, meditation, and stress-relief exercises are incorporated to ensure mental well-being and resilience.
  • Interdisciplinary Training: Modern warfare and operations often require knowledge beyond traditional military tactics. Para Commandos may undergo training in disciplines such as cybersecurity, languages, or cultural studies, especially if they are to operate in specific regions or against particular adversaries.

In essence, the life of a Para Commando is a journey of continuous evolution.

They are always in the process of becoming better, sharper, and more efficient.

This commitment to excellence and continuous learning ensures that the Para Commandos remain among the finest special forces in the world.

7. Service

After the exhaustive training and specializations, a Para Commando finally steps into the role he has been rigorously prepared for: active service.

This phase encapsulates the practical application of all the training, learning, and experiences garnered over time.

The service tenure of a Para Commando is marked by demanding missions, teamwork, and an unwavering commitment to the nation.

  • Deployment: Para Commandos can be deployed across a diverse range of environments and scenarios. Whether it’s counter-terrorism operations in urban settings, anti-insurgency missions in dense jungles, or covert operations behind enemy lines, their adaptability allows them to operate efficiently wherever they are needed.
  • Mission-Centric Approach: Every mission can be unique, with its own set of challenges and objectives. Para Commandos approach each task with meticulous planning, relying on intelligence, reconnaissance, and their extensive training to guide their strategy and execution.
  • Teamwork: The bond between members of a Para Commando unit is intense. Operations often require seamless coordination and unwavering trust in one another. Their collective strength, honed through shared experiences and challenges, becomes a significant asset during missions.
  • Confidentiality: Given the sensitive nature of their operations, Para Commandos are bound by strict confidentiality protocols. Details of their missions, strategies, and tactics are often classified, safeguarded from public knowledge to ensure operational security.
  • Continuous Evaluation: After every mission or operation, debriefings and evaluations are conducted. These sessions allow for reflection on what went well, what challenges were faced, and how operations can be improved in the future.
  • Commitment to the Nation: The overarching principle guiding every Para Commando is an unwavering commitment to the nation’s security and sovereignty. Their dedication, often requiring personal sacrifices, stems from a deep sense of duty towards their country.
  • Training the Next Generation: Seasoned Para Commandos, after accumulating years of experience, often take on roles as trainers and mentors for the newer batches. Their insights, experiences, and wisdom play a crucial role in shaping the future of the regiment.
  • Retirement and Post-Service: After years of demanding service, Para Commandos eventually retire from active duty. However, their skills and experiences don’t fade away. Many ex-Para Commandos find roles in training academies, private security agencies, or consulting roles, while others may choose completely different paths, leveraging the discipline and leadership skills they’ve acquired.

In summary, the service phase for a Para Commando is where theory meets practice. It’s a period of action, challenges, growth, and most importantly, of serving the nation with valor and distinction.

8. Maintain High Physical and Mental Standards

Being a Para Commando isn’t just about the training and missions – it’s a lifestyle.

Given the extreme challenges and demands of their profession, maintaining peak physical and mental standards is not just encouraged, it’s imperative.

This commitment to excellence ensures that each Para Commando is always mission-ready and capable of executing their duties with precision and efficiency.

  • Routine Physical Regimens: Even outside of active missions and deployments, Para Commandos engage in daily physical training exercises. This includes cardiovascular workouts, strength training, endurance building, and specialized combat fitness drills.
  • Regular Medical Check-ups: Regular health screenings ensure that any potential health issues are identified and addressed promptly. This proactive approach ensures that every commando is always in optimal health for deployments.
  • Mental Health and Resilience Training: Given the stressful and often traumatic nature of their missions, there’s a focus on mental well-being. Meditation, counseling sessions, and resilience-building exercises are integrated into their routine to ensure psychological robustness.
  • Diet and Nutrition: Nutrition plays a critical role in maintaining physical fitness and overall health. Para Commandos follow a well-balanced diet that provides the necessary energy and nutrients to sustain their high activity levels.
  • Combat and Tactical Drills: To keep their skills sharp, regular combat simulations and tactical drills are conducted. These exercises ensure that the commandos’ reflexes, decision-making abilities, and combat techniques remain top-notch.
  • Continued Learning: The world of military strategy and technology is always evolving. Regular workshops, seminars, and training sessions ensure that the commandos are updated with the latest knowledge and techniques.
  • Peer Support: One of the most potent sources of mental strength for any soldier is their comrades. The bond shared among Para Commandos provides a vital support system, helping them cope with the pressures and challenges of their profession.
  • Recreation and Downtime: Rest and relaxation are just as crucial as rigorous training. Periods of downtime, recreational activities, and leaves are essential for rejuvenation, allowing commandos to recharge both physically and mentally.
  • Periodic Evaluations: Regular fitness tests and evaluations ensure that each Para Commando maintains the requisite physical and mental standards. Those who do not meet the benchmarks are given specialized training regimes to bring them up to the mark.

In essence, the emphasis on maintaining high physical and mental standards underscores the fact that being a Para Commando is a continuous commitment.

It’s not just about the operations they partake in but also about the daily dedication to excellence, ensuring they’re always at the pinnacle of their capabilities.

This unwavering dedication ensures that when the call to duty arrives, each Para Commando is ready, both in body and mind.

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The journey to becoming a Para Commando in the Indian Army is one of intense dedication, rigorous training, and unwavering commitment.

From the initial steps of joining the Indian Army to the continuous efforts to maintain peak physical and mental fitness, each phase is a testament to the resilience and tenacity of these elite soldiers.

Their multifaceted training, covering diverse terrains, combat scenarios, and specialized tactics, positions them among the finest special forces globally.

However, it’s not just about the physical prowess or combat skills; the mental fortitude, team spirit, and deep-rooted sense of duty towards the nation set Para Commandos apart. Their journey doesn’t conclude once the training ends; it is a perpetual commitment to growth, learning, and service.

The role of a Para Commando is more than a profession; it’s a calling.

It requires sacrifices, both personal and professional, but at its heart, it embodies the spirit of serving the nation with valor, honor, and distinction.

As defenders of the country, ready to respond at a moment’s notice, Para Commandos represent the epitome of dedication, excellence, and bravery in the vast spectrum of the Indian military landscape.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is the Para Commando regiment?

The Para Commando regiment is an elite special forces unit of the Indian Army, trained for special operations, airborne operations, and high-risk missions both within the country and abroad.

How long is the training process to become a Para Commando?

The training process is exhaustive and can span over several months, encompassing basic military training, the Basic Airborne Course, probation, specialized Para Commando training, and continuous upskilling.

Is it necessary to join the Indian Army first to become a Para Commando?

Yes, one needs to be a part of the Indian Army before volunteering for the Para Regiment.

What is the Basic Airborne Course?

It’s a foundational course where aspirants learn the basics of skydiving and airborne operations, including static line jumps.

How demanding is the Probationary Period?

The probationary period is physically and mentally demanding, with high dropout rates. It tests an aspirant’s determination, endurance, and suitability for the regiment.

Are there specializations within the Para Commando regiment?

Yes, once inducted, Para Commandos can specialize in various areas such as sniping, combat diving, intelligence gathering, and more based on the regiment’s needs and personal interests.

How do Para Commandos maintain their physical and mental standards?

Through daily rigorous physical exercises, regular medical check-ups, mental resilience training, peer support, and regular evaluations.

Do Para Commandos get opportunities to train with international special forces?

Yes, being among the elite in the Indian military, Para Commandos often have the chance to train with special forces from other nations, facilitating the exchange of tactics and knowledge.

What kind of missions do Para Commandos undertake?

They are deployed for a variety of missions, including counter-terrorism operations, covert operations behind enemy lines, intelligence gathering, and more.

Is there a specific age or service limit to volunteer for the Para Regiment?

While there are age limits for joining the Indian Army in various capacities, specific criteria might vary. It’s essential to check the latest guidelines from the Indian Army’s official sources.

Meet Ankit Kumar holding a master's degree in Museology, Ankit Kumar brings a profound understanding of the cultural and historical significance of museums. With a passion for research and a keen interest in writing, they have not only excelled in guiding individuals in their career paths but also have a flair for creating insightful and engaging blogs on various aspects of museology as well as different professions.

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