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The Men of the Red Berets
The Commandos
Commandos are the raid specialists in the army. They strike mostly under the cover of darkness and employ various means to get to their target undetected. They are thus adept at infiltrating enemy territory using airborne raids, helicopter assaults or sea landings. All Commandos learn the use of assault boats and other light vessels for stealthy infiltration into enemy territory. Commandos will usually operate at small unit level, to carry out raids on important targets. Travelling by boat allows silent entry and exit to and from enemy territory, thus lessening the chances of detection. Reconnaissance (or recce) operations are something the Commandos can do much better than the average soldier. Such operations demand high combat fitness, stamina, drive and mental agility and push them to their limits.
Commandos on recce
Commandos on recce patrol avoid contact with enemy forces but are expected to observe and report enemy activities and terrain information until their mission is accomplished. As such, the Commandos are adept at living off the land. Commandos can also sabotage enemy installations and are thus well trained in various skills like demolition, signals, and medical aid. Most Commandos are usually cross-trained in various skills and arms used so that they can take over each other's functions if necessary.
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The common brotherhood of the Red Berets is derived by the experience of parachuting. No Commando wears the Red Beret without having previously earned the parachutist wings. The Commando BAC entails a total of five parachute descents.

Three of these will be executed in daylight, whilst two are executed in darkness. To successfully graduate from the course, Commando trainees are required to execute a day and night combat equipment jump each.
The SAF Ranger Course is a 65-days course that aims to develop small unit leadership to the highest levels. It exposes the trainees to a robust course of instruction, deliberately structured within the parameters of emotional, mental and physical stress.

Throughout the course, attention is paid to the command and control capability of Ranger students, as well as their ability to perform otherwise simple task under the worse possible conditions. The Ranger thus finds himself constantly watched over and supervised in a realistic and extremely demanding field environment.
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Last updated on 20 May 2015
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