Leadership: Commandos Command In Oz


July 2, 2015: For the first time in its history all the senior commands of the Australian Army are filled by special operations officers. While special operations troops comprise only seven percent of army strength the Special Operations Command (SOCOMD) has been the most frequently deployed Australian combat unit, especially since 2001. The 2,000 SOCOMD troops are organized into the SAS (commando) regiment of four SAS squadrons and some support units, and two commando regiments (seven commando companies plus support and whose members are more similar to American Rangers). The Australian special operations troops are rated by their peers as among the best in the world (along with the British SAS and American units like SEALs, Special Forces and rangers). Thus officers who commanded units in SOCOMD were the most experienced in combat operations as well as handling difficult overseas operations and working well with allied troops and troublesome foreigners (especially politicians).

Australia first organized commandos in World War II basing them on similar British units that had pioneered the concept in 1940. After World War II the Australian commando units were disbanded but revived in the 1950s. The same pattern was found in Britain and the United States and all three countries (plus New Zealand and Canada) began cooperation in special operations matters which continues. The commando idea has been copied by most other nations and sometimes the results have been impressive.



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