Australian Special Operations

1st Commando Regiment

The 1st Commando Regiment is a mixed regular and reservist commando regiment of the Australian Army. It is part of the Australian Special Operations Command (SOCOMD).


The Unit headquarters is located in Randwick, New South Wales. 1 Commando Company (1 Cdo Coy) is located in HMAS Penguin, Balmoral, NSW. 2 Cdo Coy is located in the historic Fort Gellibrand at Williamstown, VIC. 301 Signal Squadron (301 Sig Sqn) has its headquarters at Randwick and elements of the squadron are located in Sydney and Melbourne with each Cdo Coy. 1 Cdo Regt is organized similarly to 4th Battalion the Royal Australian Regiment (Cdo) (4 RAR (Cdo)), which is a regular Commando unit also serving in SOCOMD. The commando companies are made up of a headquarters, two commando platoons, a reconnaissance platoon, a training platoon and integral combat service support elements.


The term Commando is derived from the South African/Dutch word used by the Boers identifying their irregular sized raiding forces employed against the British during the South African Wars. Australian commandos evolved from the unconventional units formed in Australia during WW2. These centered around the Independent Companies and M and Z Special Units. 2 Company was raised on 24 Feb 1955. 1 Company were raised on 25 June 1955. Both functioned independently of each other until the forming of 1 Commando Regiment on 1 Feb 1981. 126 Cdo Signal Squadron were also under command of 1 Commando regiment until they became independent in 1999. All Australian commandos wear the Sherwood green beret adopted from the British Royal Marines. It was first used by the Companies and later continued under 1 Commando Regiment. Prior to 1956, the unit wore the traditional Australian Rising Sun Badge. It was then decided to have a competition in which both 1 and 2 Company members could enter for a new design. The Officer Commanding 2 Company decided on a design, a sword and boomerang, by Warrant Officer Ronald Nordhoff. The unit motto is “Strike Swiftly“.

Specialist Equipment

1 Cdo Regt is equipped with a range of weapon systems that allow it to tailor requirements based on mission specifics. Key equipment are Zodiac F470 inflatable boats, Australian Commando Operational Watercraft (known as COWs – aluminum hulled jet boats) and other small craft such as the Klepper folding kayak.

Reserve Service

1 Cdo Regt is SOCOMDs only mixed Regular and General Reserve unit. As such it fills a unique role in providing a surge capacity to the Commando capability. Members of 1 Cdo Regt include lawyers, airline pilots, police officers, firemen, teachers, businessmen, students and numerous other professions and trades. This wide range of occupations provides for a close relationship between the Unit, local community and industry.

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