Commandos are highly skilled Special Forces soldiers. As a Commando you will be trained to an exceptionally high level, both physically and mentally and be expected to perform accordingly. A Commando is mentally tough, quick thinking, innovative and can keep a cool head in difficult and complex situations all over the world.
Commandos are highly skilled Special Forces soldiers capable of advanced infantry tactics. They are trained and qualified in a range of advanced specialist weapons and equipment and can deploy to their area of operations over long distances using a wide range of insertion methods. They can operate in a variety of demanding operational situations conducted in complex terrain. The Commando is mentally tough, quick thinking, innovative and can keep a cool head in difficult situations.
As a Commando you will become part of Australia's highly respected Special Forces. As part of this organisation you will contribute to the safety and security of Australia and its National interests through the conduct of special operations. Special operations are measures and activities conducted by specially trained, organised and equipped forces to achieve military, political, economic or psychological objectives.
Regular Army Commandos are employed in the 4th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment (4 RAR (Cdo)). 4 RAR (Cdo) is Australia's only fulltime Commando unit. It provides the ADF with a unique capability as it spans the gap between conventional infantry operations and unconventional operations. 4 RAR (Cdo) has the capacity to conduct offensive operations beyond the range and capability of other ADF Force elements.
As a Commando serving in 4 RAR (Cdo), your training will be principally focussed on developing your ability to participate in large-scale operations, often conducted outside of Australia using stealth, surprise and shock action. To be part of this Special Forces unit you will need to have a high level of Commando skills.
Commandos may operate in any area or region of the world where Australia's national interests may be served. Operations within Australia are possible, although offshore operations are more likely. You may be required to participate in the 'War on Terrorism' and may be called upon to deploy on both combat and peace enforcement operations around the world. In recent times, Commandos have deployed on operations to a wide range of locations including East Timor, Iraq, Afghanistan and the Solomon Islands.
One of the principal methods of rapidly deploying as a Commando into an area of operations is parachuting. Therefore, as a Commando you must become parachute qualified. This requires you to jump from an aircraft using a static line parachute from between 1000 and 3000 feet, by day and night and onto land or into water. Therefore, it is essential that you volunteer to undertake military parachute training if you are considering Commando (ECN 079) as a career.
As a Commando you will also have the opportunity to participate in a range of amphibious operations which include activities such as operating high speed Commando operational watercraft, parachuting into water and operating with Australian Navy ships. In order to safely participate in this range of amphibious activities, it is essential that you are a proficient swimmer.
Commandos are expected to operate in different size groups or teams from small fighting patrols to a large raiding force. Therefore, Commandos are required to have good interpersonal skills and a proven ability to work effectively in a team environment. In particular, when tired and when operating under adverse conditions. These adverse conditions include operating in an outdoors environment in all terrain, in extremes of climatic and weather conditions for prolonged periods of time, and in isolation from hygiene facilities, comforts or regular social contact.
Commandos also require the ability to undertake new tasks quickly, respond effectively to challenges and to adapt to different environments including the ability to operate effectively and without signs of undue stress, panic or excessive fear when:
- exposed to heights;
- in dark confined spaces;
- in the ocean, in deep water or in a surf zone; and
- alone or at night, or both, in all of the situations listed above.
Commandos work hard and for long hours. Therefore, you must be willing to work long and irregular hours when required and have a demonstrated ability to balance professional and personal responsibilities, in particular your family life. A range of support services are available through the Defence Community Organisation to assist the families of those personnel serving in Special Forces units.
Commandos also contribute to Australia's counter-terrorism capability. Selected Commandos are trained in Counter-Terrorist tactics, and specialist weapons and equipment. These personnel are employed in the 4th Battalion's Tactical Assault Group. Employment in this unit provides you with the opportunity to contribute to the safety and National security of Australia and its interests.
Being a Commando is no ordinary career. It will take you beyond the limits of conventional soldiering, challenging you to perform at a level beyond anything you will have encountered in your civilian life. You are likely to learn more about yourself and what you are capable of, both physically and mentally, than you would have thought possible. However, being a Commando is a rewarding career.
Main Job Functions
As a Commando your main function will be to participate in large-scale offensive operations. Using your advanced infantry tactics and specialist weapons and equipment, you will use stealth, surprise and the precise application of hard-hitting shock action in a range of operations.
Some of the tasks you will be required to perform as a Commando are:
- Accurately employ a range of advanced weapon systems (including night aiming devices);
- Fight at close quarters with weapons;
- Participate in a Commando fighting patrol in both urban and rural operations;
- Destroy targets using explosives;
- Parachute onto land or into water;
- Participate in Tactical Air Land Operations from both fixed wing and rotary wing aircraft;
- Embark and disembark from Commando amphibious insertion craft in surf (beach and rocky landings) and from parent craft;
- Ascend and descend vertical obstacles using military roping and caving ladder climbing techniques;
- Operate intra-platoon communications equipment;
- Conduct manual entry to urban structures;
- Comply with the Laws of Armed Conflict (LOAC), Rules of Engagement (ROE) and adhere to Orders for Opening Fire (OFOF);
- Conduct airborne rappelling and fast roping (including suspended extraction); and
- Operate Commando amphibious boats as coxswain / bowman as part of a flotilla.
As a Commando you must also be capable of transitioning from special operations to conventional infantry operations where required.
Once you become a fully qualified Commando, you may be suitable to participate in further training in Counter-Terrorism. This involves completing training in advanced weapon skills and close-quarter fighting techniques and tactics. On successful completion of this training you could be employed in the 4th Battalion's Tactical Assault Group.