Special Operations: Turkish Commandos Go Long


p> May 26, 2008: Turkey is removing conscripts and reserve officers from its 30,000 man commando force. The six Commando Brigades are similar to the U.S. Ranger Regiment. The troops are carefully selected and intensively trained. But  conscripts only serve fifteen months, so the commandos lose their young troops just as they have become effective. Currently, 80 percent of the commando troops are conscripts and reserve officers (college grads who took military training along with their academic subjects, and are only on active duty for a year).  The other twenty percent  are career NCOs and officers.


Getting in the commandos was always a big deal for conscripts, as it is a prestigious outfit. But from now on, conscripts will have to volunteer to serve two or three years before they can be a commando.


Turkey is making the change partly because the one year conscript service, which was implemented in 2003, left the commandos with too many troops in training, and not fully prepared for the kind of difficult operations commandos undertake. For example, the recent ground operations in northern Iraq are mainly carried out by small groups of commandos. Also, the Turks looked at similar organizations elsewhere (like the U.S. Rangers and the British Royal Marine Commandos), and noted that longer service was  essential.


Article Archive

Special Operations: Current 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 


wreath Help Save the Content Elves Christmas!

Christmas is around the corner. StrategyPage needs your help to make it a merry one for our content elves. Because of falling ad revenues and the owners of the site wanting you to have a good experience, the content elves may recieve no gifts from Santa Dunnigan.

What can you do to help the content elves have a merry Christmas? There are three possibilities:

  1. Make sure you spread the word about us. Two ways to do that are to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
  2. Subscribe to our daily newsletter. We’ll send the news to your email box, and you don’t have to come to the site unless you want to read columns or see photos.
  3. You can contribute to the health of StrategyPage. A contribution is not a donation that you can deduct at tax time, but a form of crowdfunding. We store none of your information when you contribute..

Drake appreciates any help you can give him.

Subscribe   Contribute   Close