'History and Training 1946 - present'
The following pages will tell you a little about current Commando training for the Royal Marines, and the All Arms Commando Course for the other Services of today, but first read about the changes the Commandos went through post war.
In 1946 a decision was made to disband the Army Commandos. Demobilization commenced almost immediately with some Commando Units being merged for short periods as numbers dwindled. The Commando Basic Training Centre at Achnacarry was closed and returned to the Lochiel. The task of maintaining the proud tradition that the Army Commandos had done so much to create was passed to the Royal Marines.
There is a small memorial of a Commando Soldier in Westminster Abbey. The quotation below it speaks for all wartime Commandos, Army or Royal Marines :
"They performed whatsoever the King commanded"
The RM Commandos did not escape the cutbacks being reduced from nine units down to just three. The existing 3 Commando Brigade was reformed as 3 Commando Brigade, Royal Marines. In 1947 the Brigade consisted of 40 Commando ( formed from the disbanded 44RM Commando), 42 Commando, and 45 Commando.
Unlike in WW2, nowadays all Royal Marines are Commando trained. However this did not occur immediately. Throughout the 50's and 60's recruits attended the Infantry Training Centre, Royal Marines at Lympstone. Once finished their infantry training, Marines had a choice of of going either on the Commando course, or on a Gunnery Course and going to sea on “Big Ships”. Eventually a decision was made for all Royal Marines to be Commando trained. In 1972 the name of the training centre at Lympstone was changed to the Commando Training Centre, Royal Marines (CTCRM).
Veterans who served all their time on board ships wear the blue beret with red patch just as proudly as Commandos who wear the green beret. These days the former is worn in service only by recruits, often harmlessly referred to in the past as Nods or Winks.
Today the CTCRM delivers training recruitment and selection, recruit and Officer training, leadership and career training for the Royal Marines, as well as Commando training for the rest of UK Defence.
Additionally Army Commando units have again returned. During 1962, 29 Field Regiment RA were deployed with 25 Pounder guns in Aden and Kuwait, deterring Iraq from invading the oil fields. On the back of these deployments, the Regiment was re-roled as Commando Artillery. The newly formed 29 Commando Regiment RA trained for and passed the All Arms Commando Course at the Training Centre Royal Marines Lympstone. It was a proud and historic moment when the first Army Commandos since the end of the War received their Green Berets on 15 May 1962.
24 Commando Engineer Regiment and 131 Independent Commando Squadron Royal Engineers (V) provide integral engineer support to 3 Commando Brigade Royal Marines. Currently 24 Cdo RE consists of 54 Commando Headquarters and Support Squadron RE and 59 Commando Squadron RE, as well as 131 Independent Commando Squadron Royal Engineers.
Today's Commando Logisitic Support Squadron can trace its Commando roots back to the 8th May 1964 when four Officers and 24 RAOC storemen and clerks completed their commando training and were awarded their Green Berets as part of the new 3 Commando Brigade Ordnance Field Park. Changing its name in 1972 to the Commando Ordnance Squadron, then being renamed again as the Commando Logisitic Squadron in 1996.
Sources: CVA / Royal Navy / MOD
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