CAMP MOREHEAD, Afghanistan – More than 200 Afghan National Army soldiers completed their transition from the regular ANA Army to the elite commandos during a graduation ceremony, March 30.
Commandos, who are modeled after U.S. Army Rangers, are hand-picked soldiers who work to strengthen the security and infrastructure of Afghanistan.
The symbolic transition to Commando came during the ceremony when each graduate was instructed to remove their patrol caps, the headwear of the Afghan National Army, and replace it with the maroon beret, which is worn only by Commandos.
“You are now among those whose name strikes fear into the minds of the enemy, a commando with the support of the people who will bring peace to the country of Afghanistan,” said Brig. Gen. Dadon Lawang, 1st Commando Brigade commander. “This ceremony is a great honor, and marks the beginning of your career as one of Afghanistan’s greatest sons, who serve their country with honor and bravery.”
To become a commando, ANA soldiers are medically screened to ensure they are capable of the completing the rigorous training they will go through over the course of the 10 week training at Camp Morehead’s training center.
During this training, the commandos are taught how to overcome any challenge they might encounter while conducting operations across the country including: land navigation, close quarters combat, squad maneuvers, weapons training, building clearing and much more.
All of this training culminates into a final field-training exercise to test the commando trainees’ retention of the various skills to ensure they can accomplish the mission. Training, taught by commando cadre, is also overseen by U.S. Special Forces members who ensure the information is taught in the most effective way possible.
With the newest class of graduates, there are currently more than 5,200 members of the commando brotherhood poised to respond wherever there country needs them, whether that calls for the capture of key al-Qaida leaders, improving the quality of life in villages, bringing the fight to insurgent forces or any of the other missions the incorruptible force has accomplished in the past.
“We have worked to achieve this point for many months, and after all that work, being commando is a great honor,” said Sgt. Zabiullah, one of the commando team sergeants during the graduation. “We are all now ready to honor our country and families fighting the enemies of peace in Afghanistan.”